Image 1: Three types of Capsicum only used to make paprika
Paprika is a spice made from the grinding of dried fruits of Capsicum annuum (e.g., bell peppers or chili peppers) and in many cuisines is used as a seasoning to add color and flavor to dishes. Not only can paprika range from sweet (mild, not hot) to spicy (hot) but the flavor also varies from country to country and even from one region to another in the same country.
The types of Capsicum annuum used in the production of paprika tend to be very rich in vitamin C, a fact discovered in 1932 by Hungary’s 1937 Nobel prize-winner Albert Szent-Györgyi. Importantly most of the vitamin C content of the raw fruit is retained in paprika, which generally contains more vitamin C than lemon juice by weight. Paprika is also high in other antioxidants, containing about 10% of the level found in açaí berries.
Image 2: Plate of Ground Smoked Spanish Paprika
A basic paprika marinade can be used to marinate most meats including; lamb, chicken, veal, chops and many vegetables. Here is how to go about it.
Paprika Marinade Ingredients:
- 1 Medium Small Brown Onion (optional)
- 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon of Finely Grated Lemon Zest
- 1 Tablespoon of Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
- 1 Tablespoon of Paprika
- ½ Teaspoon of Chili Powder
- ½ Teaspoon of Crushed Garlic (optional)
- 1 Splash of Tabasco Sauce (optional)
- Freshly Ground Sea Salt (season to taste)
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper (season to taste)
Image 3: Garlic & Garlic Press
By way of interest the primary distinguishing difference between the zest and the rind of citrus fruit is that the rind encompasses the complete skin of the fruit and not just the colored portion as is the case with the zest.
Paprika Marinade Preparation:
- Peel and finely dice the onion
- Squeeze lemon to extract at least 1 tablespoon’s worth of lemon juice
- Finely grate lemon zest (this recipe calls for 1 tablespoon’s worth of lemon zest)
- Into a large mixing bowl add the finely diced onion, the olive oil, the chili powder, the paprika, the garlic, the sea salt, the black pepper, a splash of Tabasco sauce, the lemon zest and finally the lemon juice.
- Mix well to ensure that all of the paprika marinade’s ingredients are well and truly thoroughly combined.
- Transfer marinade (still in mixing bowl) to the refrigerator to lightly chill for 5 minutes or so.
How-To Use A Paprika Marinade:
- Once; lightly chilled, remove marinade from refrigerator, add meat and toss to ensure even coverage of meat with marinade.
- Return meat and marinade to refrigerator to marinate for at least another 15 minutes prior to cooking.
Paprika Marinade Tips:
- Using a stainless steel mixing bowl makes cleanup considerably easier and quicker.
- Marinating for an extended period (i.e. overnight) generally results in a superior dish with greatly improved tenderness and enhanced flavors.
- Once the marinade ingredients are thoroughly combined and chilled you might wish to consider transferring the chilled marinade to a zip lock plastic bag. Then add in whatever meat or vegetables that you wish to marinate and shake vigorously to thoroughly coat all pieces with marinade. Place zip lock bag containing the shaken marinade mixture into refrigerator for 15 minutes or so prior to cooking.