Tuesday, May 18, 2010
We never give up on an ingredient just because it's become passé. Goat cheese? Love it! Sun-dried tomatoes? We use them all the time. Same for pine nuts. The only formerly trendy item that we've ever burned out on is balsamic vinegar, and that's because we mindlessly overused it, for years. And years.
Smoked paprika popped up on the American cooking radar a few years ago, when Spanish cooking was all the rage, and for all we know, it's now scorned by the cognoscenti. But we continue to love it for the rich flavor it adds to everything it touches. It gives forthright lentil and quinoa salad surprising depth. Sprinkled on pita croutons, it amps up a plain green salad.
Last night we used smoked paprika in a cauliflower and bulgur sauté with happy results. (Recipe tomorrow; really, it's much, much better than it sounds.)
As the photo attests, you can now find smoked paprika in the spice section of your supermarket. Or, if you like to scour the discount stores, as we do, you often can pick up a tin of the Spanish stuff for about $5. Either way, a few dollars' investment will buy you a lot of flavor.
Got a good recipe that uses smoked paprika? Please share!