This time of year means I’m missing the milder temperatures down South a lot more. This hearty dinner is reminiscent of one of my favorite things to order at a Tex-Mex restaurant – sour cream chicken enchiladas. Simple and filling, it’s not hard to put together and will keep you warm and satisfied as snow and salt fill the streets outside. Personally, I would like a little less salt in the streets and a little more for my margarita, but – I’ll take what I can get!
Ahh, paprika – the exotic flame of spices. Paprika is sold and used as a fine powder, ground from certain peppers. Spain and Hungary are probably the most well known European purveyors of paprika, with Spanish paprika generally known as a more milder version to Hungary’s richer and stronger paprika. However, Turkey and the US are also known for producing and selling paprika as well. I’ll bet when you buy the more common brands in the grocery store, like McCormick’s and what-not, if it isn’t specified as Turkish or Spanish or whatever, then it’s most likely manufactured here in the US.
There are many different varieties of paprika as well – from super-mild, to super-spicy, depending on the types of peppers it’s made from. I think Spain is best known for their smoked paprika – so named because the peppers are dried by smoking from oak wood. And color-wise, the more bright red versions of paprika are more mild. The more dull and brown the paprika, the sharper and hotter it will be.
The siblings of seasoning, otherwise known as Coriander and Cilantro, provide a nice contrast of taste sensations. Coming from the same plant, this spice and herb has a rich history dating as far back as 5,000 BC. I can’t even wrap my mind around how old that is.
Basically, coriander is the seed (used as a spice) for the plant (or herb) known as cilantro, also known as “chinese parsley”. I wonder if chinese parsley is more of an old-school name – because I pretty much always see and use the name cilantro when referring to this delicious herb.