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Ode to Smoked Paprika


My new favorite spice is smoked paprika. I had read about it on various cooking blogs and fancy food snob websites, and assumed that I would have to get to a fancy food store, and it would be imported from Spain and fabulously expensive. I was wrong, though, when I was looking for something else at the grocery store, and found Smoked Paprika right there in the spice rack.
I remember a few years ago, when I “discovered” chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce, and put them in everything, meatballs, garlic bread, salad dressing. The problem was, from my point of view, that chipotle peppers are a bit too hot for me. They are smoked jalapeno chiles, and a little goes a long way. With the smoked paprika, though, you get a little heat, with some smoke flavor too. And it smells amazing.
I put it in a dry rub for pork loin on Friday. (Sorry, no pictures. Kind of can’t find my camera…) And it was so good, DH didn’t use sour cream on his mashed potato, he just used the juice from his pork. That sounded really gross. Don’t take it that way.
It would also, of course, be good on anything else savory, or eggy. I am thinking about the ancient can of regular paprika in my mom’s spice cabinet, which we broke out whenever we made devilled eggs. I am sure the can is still there, kind of sawdust flavored. You have probably heard the rule “spices shouldn’t celebrate birthdays.” My goal is to use up this jar of smoked paprika before it has to celebrate a birthday.

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