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A pound of Hungarian paprika enroute to meeeeee !

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: A pound of Hungarian paprika enroute to meeeeee !
    Posted: 23 Sepeptember 2013 at 14:29
I got one heck of a a sweet promotional credit from the folks at www.iHerb.com, so I looked through their inventory and settled on something that I would like to play with. Since my stock of Hungarian paprika (Pride of Szeged) is almost gone, I decided to order a pound of the Hungarian paprika that they offer and give a try. I suspect that I'll be spending a lot of time in the Hungarian, Balkan and Charcuterie forums in the near future! Star
 
As an aside, I'd like to give another thumbs-up to iHerb for continuing such exceptional service - not only for the credit itself, but also the fact that this order - which was pretty much free - was processed AND shipped within minutes of my hitting the "place order" button.
 
These folks are worth a look, in my book ~
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Rod Franklin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Sepeptember 2013 at 18:59
That's a lot of paprika! You're going to be looking for ways to use that up. It degrades after a while.

Try some abalt szalona. It's been a very long time since I've had it and I personally haven't made it but I think I know how it goes as I have seen it done on more than one occasion. Find a smoked hog jowl with the skin on. This is a good time of year to be looking for them. It should say "fully cooked" on the package. Put it in a pot just big enough to hold it and that has a tight lid and cover it with water. Add all the peeled cloves of a head of garlic, 4 bay leaves, some hot chiles and this is where I'm uncomfortably uncertain of my memories when I suggest the following, a couple or three tablespoons of salt. That might be too much. I just really don't recall. Any way, bring it to a ripping boil, cover it and turn off the heat and leave it alone till it cools.

Remove the jowl and dry it off. Roll it in paprika to cover it completely and put it in the refrigerator to chill it.

Slice it very thinly, skin and all, with your sharpest knife and serve on squares of dark bread with pickles and thinly sliced onions. You can fry it for breakfast, just keep the heat real low.

You should taste the smoke and paprika and garlic and bay leaves. It should be pleasantly salty and there should be a slight sting of heat. As it's to be eaten with other things, it needs to have enough intensity of flavors to stand up against the bread or crackers and pickles and onions. The fat, of which this mostly is, should still have some tooth to it and the meaty parts should be soft enough to eat comfortably. The skin should still have just a hint of a snap to it, but not chewy or unpleasant in any way. All to say that the jowl shouldn't be cooked to a mushy mess. If you get it right, well, it can be wonderful. And I don't think it's any worse for you than putting butter on toast.





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AK1 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AK1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Sepeptember 2013 at 20:22
A pound!!!!!!! Holy crap that's a lot of paprika!!!! I can't wait to see the stuff you end up making.
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HistoricFoodie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Sepeptember 2013 at 22:32
Ron, when it arrives, immediately repackage it in smaller quantities, in air-tight containers. Then, other than your working stock, keep those packages in a cool, dark location. That will delay degradation. 

Even your working stock should be kept in the dark, as heat and light are the two worst enemies already-ground spices have. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gracoman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Sepeptember 2013 at 09:12
The finest paprika I have run across, by far, comes from The Spice House. http://www.thespicehouse.com/spices-by-category/paprikas  Cooks Illustrated published a paprika review several years ago and The Spice House's paprika was the clear winner so I ordered a pound. Paprika varies tremendously in quality and this stuff is exceptional in every way.  I am a huge fan of Hungarian cuisine and this stuff puts everything I had ever tried to shame.  Deep red in color, exceptional fragrance with a complex flavor unlike any on the market that I have tried, and I use a lot. 

I always vacuum seal my paprika immediately upon arrival in glass mason jars with an oxygen absorber thrown in for good measure before storing behind closed doors in my dark basement storage room.  Probably not necessary in my case because it's always gone a few months.  

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Sepeptember 2013 at 12:54
Thanks for the link, gman. I agree that not all paprika is the same. Not even close to the same. The brilliant color, the incredible aroma and the sweetness of the highest quality paprika can jade a man against all others.
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