The Sciencey Bit:
Pimenton (Spanish paprika) varies in strengths from sweet(dulce) to medium(agridulce) to hot(picante) and it also comes in smoked varieties(de la Vera). It is made from sweet and hot dried peppers.
I won’t remember all of that but I will remember watching Rick Stein’s Spain programme recently and being fascinated to see that the ingredients of Chorizo are simply pork meat and Spanish pimenton.
My latest box of pimenton has been kindly gifted to my store-cupboard by my friend Joanne after a recent jaunt to ‘The Stuffed Olive’ deli. in Bantry. It joins a box of smoked paprika and reminds me that I need to start using that up before it begins to fade. With the Autumn and Winter months beginning to stretch out in front of us I’m having visions of heartily spiced stews and heady goulashes but for now I’m keeping it light and simply perking up a chicken breast with a lash of olive oil and a dusting of pimenton. This works really well on the base of sweet potato & carrot mash which is lifted with cumin seeds.
You will need:
4 chicken breasts
olive oil or rapeseed oil for cooking
Heat a strong non-stick frying pan over a medium to high heat.
Drizzle some oil onto a plate and dip the chicken breasts in to coat them.
Sear the outside of the chicken breasts for a minute on both sides and turn down the heat. Use a sharp knife to cut along and through the side of each chicken breast and splay it wide open (cooking them like this will ensure they get cooked through to the middle). Cook both sides of the chicken for a couple of minutes on each side sprinkling with some of the pimenton before you turn it over.
Sweet Potato & Carrot Mash (This recipe based on BBC Good Food Magazine – October 2012 edition)
You will need:
500g sweet potatoes
3 garlic cloves
1 tsp cumin seeds
olive oil/rapeseed oil/butter for mashing
Dry fry the cumin seeds in a frying pan until lightly toasted.
Peel and chop the carrots and sweet potatoes into chunks. Peel and lightly crush the garlic cloves.
Place the carrots and sweet potatoes into a saucepan of boiling water with the crushed garlic, bring to the boil and cook until tender 10-15 minutes.
Mash the carrots, sweet potatoes and garlic with the cumin seeds and some oil or butter.
Serve the pimenton chicken on a bed of sweet potato & carrot mash.
Til next time, Sheila.