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Secret Ingredient: Smoked Paprika

In the colder months, when it's too frigid to fire up the grill, I always add smoky flavors to my dishes to recreate that charred taste I love.

One of my favorites is smoked paprika. It provides a sweet, cool, smoky flavor without the heat. Smoked paprika can be found at your local specialty market or online. Just last night, faced with below freezing temperatures and a craving for something smoky, I used my go-to dried spice rub on a flank steak. You could cook your flank steak in a grill pan or broil it. Here's my personal recipe:

  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl; rub evenly over flank steak. Let stand 30 minutes before cooking. You might want to try smoked paprika on your tacos, in your soups, or your salads. There's a million uses, so start the new year on an adventurous (and smoky) note.

Photo: Courtesy foodistablog