Spice of the Month: Smoked Paprika

Spice of the Month: Smoked Paprika

Paprika is a spice made by grinding dried red peppers. Typically, it has little to no heat, unlike chili powder. It has a unique, slightly sweet, flavor and bright red color that can be added to many different types of dishes. And that-s just the classic varieties – add a touch of smoke to the sweetness and you take this delicate spice to a whole new level! An excellent option for savory fall recipes, try adding this spice to roasted veggies, soups, stews, breads, and marinades. If you are interested in receiving samples of future spices, you can sign up to receive them through the Veteran’s Memorial Library.

Smoky Rice Cakes

  • 1 pkg 90 second rice (or about 2 cups cooked rice, any type)
  • 4 green onions sliced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

Dipping Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • hot sauce to taste

Mix the first five ingredients in a medium bowl until well combined. (If using 90 second rice, allow it to cool slightly after microwaving, otherwise it will cause they egg to begin cooking before the ingredients are fully combined.) Heat a large, lightly oiled skillet over medium heat. Scoop the rice mixture into the skillet in 6 even portions and flatten slightly to form the individual cakes. They should be about 1/2 inch thick. Cook for seven minutes, then flip, cooking for seven more minutes on the second side. While the rice cakes are cooking, combine the dipping sauce ingredients and whisk thoroughly. The sauce might seem a bit salty, but the cakes themselves are not, so they will pair well. If you prefer not to make the dipping sauce, I would suggest lightly salting the rice cake mixture before cooking. When the cakes are done, remove them from the heat immediately and serve with sauce. Serves two.

Crispy Grilled Cheese

  • 4 slices bread
  • 4 ounces of cheese, sliced or shredded*
  • 3 tbsp butter or spread
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • salt to taste, optional

Combine the butter, spices, and salt (if using) in a small dish and mix well. Melt half the seasoned butter in a skillet over medium heat. When it is fully melted, swirl to evenly coat the bottom of the pan and add two slices of bread. Divide the cheese evenly between the two slices of bread and top with a second slice of bread. Once the cheese has begun to melt and the bottom slices are golden brown, add the rest of the butter to the pan. It should melt almost immediately. Flip both sandwiches and rotate in the pan to ensure they are evenly buttered. Cook until the second side is golden brown. Remove from heat and serve with your soup of choice. We suggest potato or squash, rather than tomato, to let the flavor of the paprika shine.

*If you prefer a dairy free sandwich, I highly recommend Violife Aged Cheddar slices, as they melt beautifully and have a pleasant texture.

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