In the midst of my food journey, a friend of mine mentioned the secret ingredient of her allergy-free life; smoked paprika. Her battle with foods has been ongoing since I met her and when she described this single spice as smoky and robust, rich and flavourful, a perfect compliment to simple cooking, I knew I had to find some.

I think she got hers at Stong’s, but I was happy to discover some, for only a few dollars, on a trip to my favourite store, Galloways. In truth, my Mom was never much for cooking, and although I’ve learned to bake from cookbooks and can muddle my way through nearly any recipe, the delicate art of spices is relatively new to me. That being said, I have made a number of dished using smoked paprika as the primary flavouring.

I made amazing chicken burgers; home-ground chicken breast, finely diced onions and smoked paprika. Cooked on the grill, these juicy burgers shrunk little, and had the authentic taste of smoke and grill. So easy and so delicious. I think these are all I ate for the first 3 meals of my camping vacation.

I’ ve been enjoying the flavours of rice pasta as of late; complimented on one occasion by a seafood white sauce, complete with shrimp, scallops and the delicious flavour of smoked paprika. More recently, I made a traditional meat pasta sauce, however the addition of smoked paprika to my browning ground meat, added a depth and dimension to the meal that was hard not to enjoy.

Finally, last night, I made a roast, using a recipe I found in a recent issue of Real Simple Magazine for a homemade BBQ Rub. I haven’t had much experience with rubs and this particular one was intended for BBQ-ing steaks, chicken or ribs – but it was incredibly easy and yielded a delicious roast. Unfortunately, despite my best searching efforts, I cannot seem to find the recipe and accompanying article online, but due to the simplicity and wonderful flavour I will post it here.

Barbeque Rub
(Taken from Real Simple Magazine, June 2008 )

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp Paprika (I recommend a smoked paprika)
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp ground coffee
  • 1.5 tsp sea salt
  • 0.5 tsp pepper

Directions:

  • Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl – mix well.
  • Drizzle up to 2 pounds of meat with 1 tbsp Olive oil.
  • Sprinkle rub on meat and press it gently to the food.
  • Flavours will intensify if you apply the rub to meat ahead of time.

*note: this made enough rub to cover two small roasts with extra to spare – I froze the second roast after applying the seasoning, and still had a small amount leftover to use on another occasion.

*note: include the ground coffee regardless whether you are a coffee-drinker. It enhances the flavour and provides depth. My husband doesn’t like coffee and he didn’t even notice it was there!

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