Slow Cooker Paprika Chicken with Mushrooms

Lately, like many, our family has been involved in Spring Sports.  So, I have been pulling out the slow cooker a little more…

The slow cooker is definitely a “must have” appliance for your kitchen….especially if you are a working Mom like me. 

Most slow cooker recipes are easy and it is a great feeling to come home and dinner is done .  I like to take advantage of the slow cooker doing all the work.  So, I double the recipe… then freeze half for another meal.

Below is a recipe for a simple slow cooker chicken dish which highlight the spice Paprika.   It is flavorful and I usually serve it with rice or pasta and a vegetable.  For my family of 4, it is enough for two dinners.

Enjoy!

 

 

Gypsy World Spice Cafe Recipe – Slow Cooker Paprika Chicken with Mushrooms

4 lbs boneless, skinless Chicken Breast halves

1/4 cup Lemon Juice

1/4 teaspoon Sweet Paprika

1/2 teaspoon Hot Paprika

10-3/4 oz. can Fat-Free Cream of Mushroom Soup

10-3/4 oz. can Fat-Free Cream of Chicken Soup

1/3 cup White Wine (or chicken stock)

8 oz. sliced Baby Bella Mushrooms

grated Parmesan Cheese

salt & pepper

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the lemon juice, sweet paprika, hot paprika, salt & pepper (to taste).
  2. Add the cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup and white wine.
  3. Stir to combine.
  4. Spray the slow cooker with cooking spray.
  5. Place the chicken in the slow cooker and pour the soup mixture over the chicken.  Use a spatula to toss the chicken in the soup mixture.
  6. Top with the mushrooms and parmesan cheese.
  7. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.  Adjust the seasoning.
  8. Serve with rice or pasta and a veggie.

 

Variation: 

If you love artichokes and spinach together, add a can of artichokes, drained/rinsed/quartered along with one 10 oz. package of chopped spinach (thawed out). 


Advertisements

Gypsy Spiced Frittata

Recently, I have become a huge fan of making frittatas.

Not only is the technique easy, you can easily swap out the veggies for whatever flavors you like.  

It starts on the stove top and finishes off under the broiler.  

I like to top the frittata with a small amount of cheese for flavor, texture and color.  I love how it browns under the broiler!

Serve with a nice salad and you are set for a nice brunch or dinner entrée.

Enjoy!

 

 

 Gypsy World Spice Cafe Recipe – Gypsy Spiced Frittata

Yield:  4-6 Servings

8 Eggs
1 teaspoon of your favorite herb blend ( I use my own custom blend)
1/2 cup Onion, chopped
1/4 cup Pancetta, chopped
2 small Red-skinned Potatoes, quartered and thinly sliced
1 clove Garlic, minced
4 cups Baby Spinach
4 oz. Baby Bella Mushrooms, sliced
3/4-1 teaspoon Hot Paprika (depending on level of heat you like)
Salt & Pepper
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Butter
1/8 cup shredded part-skim Mozzarella

  1. Add eggs, herb blend, salt and pepper to a large bowl.
  2. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
  3. Heat oven broiler to high.
  4. In a large frying pan (that is oven-proof), melt butter with olive oil over medium-high heat.
  5. Sauté pancetta, potatoes, and onions until veggies tender (about 5 minutes).
  6. Add garlic, mushrooms, and spinach. Cook another 3-5 minutes until spinach has wilted. 
  7. Season to taste salt, pepper and hot paprika.
  8. Pour egg mixture onto veggie mixture.
  9. Reduce heat to low and cook until edges or pan are firm (3-4 minutes). 
  10. Sprinkle with mozzarella.
  11. Place under the broiler for 3 minutes or until eggs are set and cheese is melted (and lightly browned).

 

Perfect Paprika Party

My grandmother, who loved to cook, would tell everyone that came to visit that she had made something “especially for you”.  As more people arrived, you realized that she loved cooking for everyone…each person was special to her…which made her extra-special…

One of the things that I enjoy most is cooking for others. It decompresses me after a busy day or a crazy week. I enjoy planning an enticing menu, preparing the food and seeing the satisfied faces as they enjoy the meal “made especially for them”.

While brainstorming ideas on what to make with the spice Paprika, I decided to create recipes for a Paprika Party! This so-called “basic spice” (which up until now has been nothing more than a mere garnish in my kitchen) has a plethora of flavors, colors and health benefits.

I hope this article inspires you to try Paprika for more than just dusting your “deviled eggs” and to make something memorable for those people in your life that are special to you.

Enjoy!

 

What is Paprika?

Paprika is the powder form of the capsicum peppers (e.g., bell peppers or chili peppers). There are many varieties of Paprika peppers which are mainly grown in Hungary and Spain. The peppers are picked, dried and milled.

The Spanish were the first to create the powdered form of Paprika. When Christopher Columbus returned from his trip to the Americas, he presented the King and Queen of Spain with capsicum peppers as gifts. However, Paprika was not introduced to Hungary until the 16-17th centuries.

Nowadays, you can easily find many varieties of Paprika at your local supermarket. Like most spices, Paprika also needs to be stored in a cool and dark location away from direct sunlight. It does not have a long shelf life, so it is best to buy Paprika in small quantities.

Below is a break down on the various types of Paprika that you can choose from.

Paprika

Plain Paprika is bland which is why it is often used as a garnish for deviled eggs and potato salad.

 

Hungarian Paprika

Depending on the type of pepper used, the flavor profile for Hungarian Paprika ranges from sweet to very hot. The color ranges from mild to bright red. The brightest red is considered to be the hottest.

There are six types of Hungarian Paprika:

1. Special quality (Különleges) – Mild flavor, Vibrant Red

2. Delicate (csípősmentes csemege) – Mild flavor, Light Red

3. Noble sweet (édesnemes) – Sweet flavor, Bright Red

4. Semi-sweet (félédes) – Sweet flavor with trace of heat

5. Rose (rózsa) – Mild flavor with trace of heat, Light Red

6. Hot (erős) – Hottest of all paprikas, Light Brown-Orange

 

Spanish Paprika (Also known as Pimentón)

Depending upon the amount of seeds included when milling the peppers, the flavor profile of Smoky Spanish Paprika ranges from sweet to hot.

There are three types of Spanish Paprika:

1. Dulce (sweet) – Sweet & Smoky flavor, Dark red.

2. Agridulce (bittersweet or semi-sweet) – Bitter & Sharp flavor, Dark Red

3. Picante (hot) – Hot flavor, Deep Dark Red

*Note: Be sure to read the ingredient list on the Paprika before you purchase it. Sometimes, manufacturers add either MSG or an artificial smoky flavor.

 

Tips for Cooking with Paprika

1. Paprika has a high sugar content. If it is cooked too long, it will become bitter.

2. Both Hot Paprika and Smoked Paprika can easily overpower your recipe. Be sure to adjust the amount of Paprika you use to suit your personal taste.

3. Paprika is a great substitute for chili powder (especially for those who love the flavor of chili powder but can do without the heat). One cool tip that I read is useful when you use too much chili powder. Basically, adding the spice Paprika will balance the heat of the chili powder without disrupting the flavor profile of what you are preparing (rule of thumb is to add double the amount of chili powder).

 

Nutritional Benefits

Note: Home remedies should not be tried without consulting the physician.

  • Loaded with vitamin C.
  • Aids digestion
  • Contains anti-oxidants
  • Increases metabolism
  • Clears pulmonary and nasal congestion
  • Improves blood pressure and circulation

 

 

Gypsy World Spice Cafe Recipe – Paprika Party Mix

2 cups raw Almonds

1/2 cup raw Sunflower Seeds

1/2 cup Dried Cranberries

1 tablespoon Olive Oil

1/4 teaspoon Hot Hungarian Paprika

1 teaspoon Sweet Paprika

1-1/2 tablespoons Sea Salt

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the sea salt and paprika. Set aside.
  2. Place the almonds and the sunflower seeds in a microwavable bowl.
  3. Microwave for 3-4 minutes (in 30 second increments) until golden brown.
  4. Add dried cranberries.
  5. Drizzle the nut/seeds with olive oil and sprinkle with salt/paprika mixture.
  6. Stir to combine.
  7. Store in an air-tight container.

*Variation: Cumin pairs well with Paprika. Add 1/4 teaspoon on cumin seeds to the salt/paprika mixture.

Gypsy World Spice Cafe Recipe – Chocolate Paprika Fudge

12 oz Bittersweet Chocolate chips

6 oz Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips

1 14-oz can Sweetened Condensed Milk

Pinch of Kosher Salt

1-1/2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

1 teaspoon Sweet Paprika

1/2 teaspoon Unsweetened Dark Cocoa

  1. Line a 8×8 square pan with aluminum foil and set aside.
  2. In a heavy saucepan, over low heat, melt the chocolate chips with the sweetened condensed milk and kosher salt.
  3. Remove from heat. Stir vanilla extract.
  4. Spread chocolate mixture into the prepared pan.
  5. Sprinkle with the Paprika/Cocoa mixture.
  6. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm.
  7. Lift fudge out of pan and peel off the aluminium foil.
  8. Cut into 36 squares.

 

 

Gypsy World Spice Cafe Recipe – Spicy Beer Cocktail

(my take on a Michelada…especially for my husband)

1 ice-cold Mexican Beer

2 tablespoons of Kosher Salt

1 tablespoon of Sweet or Hot Paprika

2 tablespoons of fresh Lime Juice

1-2 dashes of your favorite Hot Sauce

1 dash of Soy Sauce

1 dash of Worcestershire Sauce

Black pepper

  1. Mix together the salt and Paprika on a small plate.
  2. Rim a glass with a little lime juice and then dip in the salt and paprika mixture to cover the top of the glass.
  3. Add lime juice, hot sauce, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and a pinch of black pepper.
  4. Slowly pour in beer into your prepared glass.

*Note: Not spice enough for you, add more hot sauce or Paprika.

Gypsy World Spice Cafe Recipe – Nuttella Spice-tini

1 oz. Godiva Chocolate Liqueur

2 oz. Vodka

1 teaspoon Nutella

3/4 teaspoon Sweet Paprika, divided

1/2 teaspoon Cocoa Powder

1 packet Splenda

  1. Mix together 1/2 teaspoon of Sweet Paprika, Cocoa Powder and Splenda. Set aside.
  2. Add the Chocolate Liqueur, Vodka, Nutella and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of Sweet Paprika to a Martini shaker.
  3. Whisk rigorously to blend the Nutella.
  4. Add ice and give a good shake.
  5. Rim the glass with vodka, chocolate liqueur or water.
  6. Dip glass into the Sweet Paprika, Cocoa, Splenda mixture.
  7. Carefully pour into prepared glass.

Variation:  If you do not have Nutella, swap out the 1 oz  chocolate liqueur for 1/2 oz.  Add 1/2 oz of Frangelico.

 

Recipe – Zaalouk – Spicy Eggplant Salad

On a recent shopping expedition, the eggplant was on sale and this recipe came to mind.   I honestly do not know remember where I found the original recipe for this.   But, I do remember searching for it over ten years ago.  My husband and I used to enjoy going to a Moroccan restaurant in the Philadelphia area that served this and I wanted to learn to make it at home for him. 

This classic Moroccan dish is a great appetizer and over the years, I’ve adapted the recipe to our tastes.  It is another recipe for your collection that you can be creative with.  Switch out the vegetables for ones that are in season or are your favorites (like summer squash, zucchini, red onions or colorful bell peppers).  

The combinations are endless.  

Serve it warm or at room temperature with warm pita bread

Enjoy!

 

Zaaloouk – Spicy Eggplant Salad

1 1/2 pounds Eggplant, peeled and cubed

5 cloves Garlic, peeled

3 large Beefsteak Tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)

4 tablespoons Olive Oil

2 tablespoons Red Wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon Paprika

good pinch of Chili Powder  (depending on how much heat you like)

1 teaspoon Cumin

1 teaspoon Sumac Pepper

1 teaspoon Cinnamon (or Sweet Spice Blend)

Salt to taste

1/2 cup Flat-Leaf Parsley, chopped

  1. Boil the peeled and cubed eggplants with garlic in plenty of salted water, covered for 30 minutes (or until eggplant is very soft).
  2. Drain and chop the eggplants and garlic in a colander.
  3. Mash them with a fork, pressing all the water out.
  4. Put tomatoes into the emptied pan.
  5. Cook over low heat for about 20 minutes (or until reduced to a thin sauce).  Stir occasionally.
  6. Mix with the mashed eggplants and garlic.
  7. Add the remaining ingredients.
  8. Add salt & pepper to taste.