If you're looking for a way to add a bit of extra flavour to your dishes but are concerned about giving them too much heat, have you thought about using paprika?
This spice is made by drying out sweet pepper and grinding them down into a powder. You'll find paprika in a wide variety of different cuisines, including Spanish, Indian, Hungarian and Moroccan. Its flavour does vary, depending on the type of pepper used, but it's never as spicy as chilli or cayenne.
Paprika has many different uses because it can range from mild and sweet to much smokier and darker. In Eastern European, paprika is used to flavour stews and vegetable dishes whereas in Spain it's more likely to be found in chorizo. So, what sort of dishes might you expect to cook with paprika?
Turkey meatballs: if you're fed up of eating the same beef or pork meatballs, why not try this healthy twist on a classic? By using turkey rather than a red meat you'll keep the fat content to a minimum and by using thigh meat instead of the breast you'll keep them moist and tasty.
Paella: this rice dish is most commonly associated with Spain but has a Moroccan twist to give it a slightly different flavour. You'll use paprika, as well as chilli, coriander, garlic, cumin and lemon to marinate the chicken or fish before cooking it all together.
Vegetable soup: whether it's the middle of winter or the height of summer, a delicious vegetable soup makes a great lunchtime meal. Instead of just seasoning with salt and pepper, add a teaspoon of paprika to your soup to give it an extra boost.
Devilled eggs: one of my favourite side or party dish is this smoky egg snack. Once you've hard-boiled the eggs, scoop out the yolks and mix with mayonnaise, mustard and a little seasoning. Put the back into the shelled out whites and top with paprika for extra flavour – yummy.
Most people have got a jar of paprika lying somewhere at the back of their cupboard, so why not dig it out and try something different? It's also great for adding flavour to the kids' dinners as it's not as hot and spicy as chilli or other spices.
This is a guest post from Schwartz