Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Easy Shmeezy, Pesto Pea-zy

They say that variety is the spice of life, but how about using some spice to put some variety in your life?

My latest spice obsession has been Smoked Paprika.  I put it on everything.  I have always been a fan of regular paprika.  Most people associate it with the red color on deviled eggs, but it really is so much more.  It tenderizes, and adds peppery flavor.  I just love it.

So, when I saw Smoked Paprika in the store a while back, of course I picked some up.  It adds smokiness to foods without the funkiness of cumin.  It is so versatile!  You haven't had sweet potato fry perfection, until you have put Smoked Paprika on your sweet potato fries! When you grill fish for fish tacos, add a little Smoked Paprika, you are gonna love it!  Then of course there is garlic aioli with Smoked Paprika...yummmmy!  The list goes on and on, but here is how I am using it today!

Take a pound of boneless skinless chicken thighs, Smoked Paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Cover the chicken thighs with all the spices (about a tsp each of SP and G, and 1/2 tsp each of the S&P), and let it marinade in the fridge for the day.

Put a cast iron skillet on medium heat, and add a little of your favorite oil (Coconut Oil here).

Cook for 8 minutes on the first side.

Cook for 6 minutes on the other side.  Make sure to check your chicken for doneness, as the size of thighs and heat of your pan may vary from mine.

Serve it up for some total deliciousness!

Tonight I am serving mine with Pesto Pea Salad on page 77 of Barefoot Contessa at Home,

Spinach, Peas, Pesto, and Parmesan with Walnuts (my improvisation).

Easy, Shmeezy, Pesto Pea-zy!

Try toasting the nuts in the microwave.  I left out the salt, because I felt that between the pesto and the parm there was already plenty of salt in the dish.

...and Wanna Be's Oven Roasted Veggies.

Oven at 475.  Red Peppers, Onions, and Mushrooms on a pan with olive oil, sea salt, and fresh cracked pepper.

Tonight Marcus cut up the mushrooms.  Yes, with a real knife.

Cook until brown and caramelized (about 20 minutes).


No making fun of the McDonald's plates!  We WERE adding a little spice to our meal!

 Then when you are reading a good book after dinner, get leftover salad out of the fridge and enjoy while reading.  He ate the WHOLE thing!


  1. I L O V E cumin. I thought I did at least...I bought a HUGE container at Sam's club. Offbrand, I guess...cheaper than WMART....so, I think I will go back to GV ground Cumin...this was so much harsher, sharper...have been wondering about smoked paprika for years...a la Rachael Ray...!

    1. You should try the smoked paprika, it can taste a little different from brand to brand, and the spiciness of it can vary too (though it is generally not spicy). As for the cumin, it may just be that what you bought is more fresh than what you usually buy. Give it some time to "breath" and it may mellow out a bit.