Inspired by Foodycat's smoked paprika post, some friends and I decided to try our hand at Californian smoked paprika in September, a time when peppers are cheap and plentiful. How hard could it be?
The most time consuming part was slicing and seeding the peppers. Three of us had a station with a knife, cutting board, and a bowl. This was the most time consuming part.
The peppers were on smoked with dried rosemary branches, leftover from yard work, for about an hour.
Afterwards, I dried them in the dehydrator for half a day.
Post dehydrator, they went into the Vitamix. The end result is delicious! Some of the peppers we added must have been fiery hot because my lips go numb (and smokey) when I taste the paprika.
So far, I used the smoked Californian paprika in a moussaka - not quite traditional, I know, but it turned out fantastic despite me ruining the béchamel sauce. Did you know that the béchamel sauce for moussaka has eggs in it? In that case, is it even a béchamel?
I estimate that I have a year's worth of smoked paprika, which was exactly the plan. I split the 5-lbs of peppers with my friends, and it came to about $7 for my half. Not bad for organic smoked paprika! I should weigh the end results so we can do a real price comparison against the Spanish smoked paprika, but if you want a visual, I was able to fill a 1/2 pint jar.