OFF THE SHELF
Paprika flavor stars in dishes from many countries
By Wanda A. Adams
|In Hawai'i, paprika from Hungary is available in both hot, left, and traditional sweet varieties.
Bruce Asato The Honolulu Advertiser
In America, we tend to confine our use of paprika to a sprinkle atop deviled eggs "for color."
Hungarians are fanatical about paprika, which appears in everything from their entrees to their confections and especially in their best-known dish outside of Hungary, chicken paprikash, in which chicken and onions are slow-cooked in fat with paprika and other seasonings, then finished with sour cream. For this reason, Hungarian paprika is considered superior.
The Spanish use paprika in rice and shellfish dishes (including paellas) and in sausages.
The Web site Culinary Cafe recommends paprika as a simple garnish for almost any savory dish. Combine it with butter, margarine or oil for a quick baste for fish or poultry. This is especially good on roast turkey. Paprika can be mixed with bread crumbs before sprinkling over casseroles or vegetables.
As with any spice, it's best to buy paprika in small quantities and use it within a few months. Throw out any more than six months old.
Here's a quick recipe for showcasing the flavor of paprika: Cut 2 large all-purpose potatoes into the thinnest possible slices; pat very dry. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan and stir in 1/2 teaspoon paprika (stirring prevents spattering or burning). Fry potatoes until golden. Drain and thread slices on skewers; salt slices and place under broiler for 10 minutes, until browned and crisp.