Paprika Cream Risotto

I wrote a post in late 2012 after I started my blog, called “My New Favorite Ingredient.” I had about 4 followers then, and so I would like to re-introduce this ingredient on my blog.

The ingredient, or product, was given to me by my friend who has Hungarian parents. The product? Paprika Cream, sometimes also spelled creme.

There are a few different versions of it, all made by Univer in Hungary, but they’re very much the same product – a paste or “cream” made from Hungarian red bell peppers. There is one called Goulash Creme, Sweet Paprika Mix, and Hot Paprika Mix.

The cream also comes in tube form.

So today I wanted to make risotto, and I thought that the perfect way to season it would be to add some of this lovely paprika cream. And, the color is pretty spectacular, as well. You can use this cream for just about any culinary purpose for instant flavor; I’ve also used it simply as a coating for pork tenderloin. It was fabulous.

Anyway, if you’ve never made a risotto before – trust me – they’re very easy to make. I’ve even taught young girls how to make a risotto. Which is why it infuriates me on these cooking shows like Hell’s Kitchen when the trained chefs mess up risottos. It’s not hard, people!!!

I’m not going to give you an exact risotto recipe, because to make a risotto is about so much more than following a recipe. You really have to feel the recipe, and let your brain be your guide. A risotto is a lot about common sense.

There’s a little elbow grease involved with risotto, as it requires a lot of stirring. But that’s not hard at all. The only rule is to not leave the kitchen while you’re making it. A risotto is a very hands-on dish.

Paprika Cream Risotto
This recipe makes 2 servings

2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
2 shallots, diced
1 cup arborio or carnaroli or Arborio rice
1/3 cup white wine
2 1/2 cups chicken broth, approximately
3 tablespoons paprika cream, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt
Grated Parmesan, optional
Grilled chicken, optional

Place the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. There are pots made specifically for making risotto, but these aren’t necessary. A good saucepan and a wooden spoon will do.

When the butter melts, add the shallots and sauté them for a couple of minutes.

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Then pour in the rice. Stir the rice all around, so that every bit of rice gets coated in butter. Stir the rice for about half a minute.

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Then pour in the wine. Immediately begin stirring the rice as it absorbs the wine. You will notice the wine disappearing before your eyes as you stir. You must keep stirring to prevent the rice from sticking.

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Once the wine is absorbed, begin adding the chicken broth, about 1/4 to 1/3 cup at a time. Stir the rice after each addition.

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Every time the rice absorbs the liquid, you will have to make sure that you don’t wait too long before you add more liquid. Add liquid, stir. Repeat.

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Once you can tell that the rice has essentially stopped absorbing, add the paprika cream and the salt. If you’re not sure you’ll like the paprika flavor, add less and taste. But I’m sure you’ll love it.

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Once you’ve stirred in the paprika cream, you have a couple of options. Sometimes, people add cream and/or Parmesan cheese to risottos. Both of these additions are fabulous. However, today I just want the rice to show off, simply flavored with broth, shallots, and paprika.

Immediately put the hot risotto in a serving bowl.

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But then, I added some left over grilled chicken, and I placed a bowl of Parmesan nearby. This was actually my lunch, and I got really hungry taking these photos. So I decided to go for it and I added a generous amount of Parmesan to the risotto!

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The Parmesan was perfect with the chicken and paprika-flavored rice.

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If you ever happen upon some version of this Univer product, make sure and grab some. You’ll find all kinds of uses for it, trust me!

By Published On: February 24th, 201463 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

63 Comments

  1. bitsandbreadcrumbs February 24, 2014 at 9:12 AM - Reply

    I love risotto and, after making a roast chicken last night, am about to prepare homemade stock with the sole purpose of making risotto. It is really easy to make and your instructions are perfect. I’ll be on the lookout for this paprika cream…it sounds delicious and I’ll bet it’s wonderful made into a sauce for chicken or pork. :)

    • chef mimi February 24, 2014 at 12:48 PM - Reply

      I get my paprika cream from Amazon.com, but you can probably find it easily if you live in a bigger city than I do!

  2. sallybr February 24, 2014 at 9:43 AM - Reply

    Gorgeous!!!!!! Glad you brought this ingredient back to the spotlight, I have a bottled red pepper thing from Hungary, I need to check how it compares to yours. The risotto use is brilliant! Red brilliant! ;-)

    • chef mimi February 24, 2014 at 12:48 PM - Reply

      dThanks! I put the stuff in everything, and it really is good slathered on meat before grilling!

  3. flippenblog February 24, 2014 at 10:11 AM - Reply

    Stunning! I wish I could get my hands on that stuff.

  4. Peri's Spice Ladle February 24, 2014 at 12:22 PM - Reply

    Lovely risotto recipe, the flavors are amazing:) and thanks for the idea of bringing back recipes from when I had 5 followers and 2 of them were family members!

    • chef mimi February 24, 2014 at 12:46 PM - Reply

      I know! I think my husband was one of the four back then!!!

  5. Linda Duffin February 24, 2014 at 12:36 PM - Reply

    I am salivating quite painfully reading this! Lovely idea, thanks for flagging up a new ingredient.

    • chef mimi February 24, 2014 at 12:46 PM - Reply

      Hahaha! It’s a fabulous ingredient. I’ve put paprika cream in just about everything!!!

  6. Toludc February 24, 2014 at 1:08 PM - Reply

    It looks delicious! Is the paprika cream just 100% bell peppers or does it include other ingredients?

    • chef mimi February 24, 2014 at 1:39 PM - Reply

      Yes, just red bell peppers, but different kinds, from sweet to hot.

      • elderjscott March 17, 2014 at 1:39 PM

        I actually got a tube of it gifted to me from friends who went to Hungary last summer. They loved the cream so much, I think I’ll experiment with making it. The translation of the ingredients is: raw sweet paprika, pritamin pepper, salt, tomato paste, vegetable oil, water, flavor, sugar, modified corn starch, thickener, spices and celery flavor, food acid, a preservative, sulfur dioxide.
        Not too descriptive, especially in quantities, but if it turns out similar I’ll let you know!

      • chef mimi March 17, 2014 at 6:35 PM

        Ugh. Not a great ingredient list, but good to know! In any case, I hope you like it as much as I do! I even slather it on meats before grilling.

  7. DellaCucinaPovera February 24, 2014 at 1:34 PM - Reply

    Hello reintrodcution! still looking delicious.

  8. Conor Bofin February 24, 2014 at 1:39 PM - Reply

    Lovely photos Mimi. So right about risotto making. Never leave the stove!

    • chef mimi February 26, 2014 at 2:25 PM - Reply

      But it’s so easy! And delicious! So it’s worth standing at the stove for an hour!

  9. dishnthekitchen February 24, 2014 at 2:36 PM - Reply

    I’m glad you wrote about the paprika paste again. It definitely looks like a must find product. I will keep my eyes peeled.
    I’m always game for any intro to Hungarian cuisine. My grandmother was Hungarian but all I ever saw her make was poppy seed rolls.

    • chef mimi February 24, 2014 at 3:03 PM - Reply

      You’re so welcome! You must have been one of my 4 followers! Amazon.com is my resource for the paprika cream, but that’s because I can’t get it locally.

  10. lapetitecasserole February 24, 2014 at 3:36 PM - Reply

    I can easily believe that you got really hungry while you were taking the pictures! beautiful recipe!

    • chef mimi February 24, 2014 at 5:22 PM - Reply

      I need to take photos after breakfast!!!

  11. ladyredspecs February 24, 2014 at 3:50 PM - Reply

    I’m a big risotto fan AND I adore red peppers, I’ll be on the look out for paprika cream, I can see it would be very handy to have in the fridge.

    • chef mimi February 24, 2014 at 5:22 PM - Reply

      I even smother meat with it before grilling! Fabulous flavor!

  12. Bluejellybeans February 24, 2014 at 4:39 PM - Reply

    It looks delicious!!

  13. ChgoJohn February 25, 2014 at 2:38 AM - Reply

    Paprika cream? I’d no idea. It sure did give your risotto a lovely color and I bet it added a nice flavor, too. I’ll have to look for it. It’s bound to be in one of the ethnic markets I frequent. Thanks for the tip.

    • chef mimi February 25, 2014 at 7:48 AM - Reply

      It’s an outstanding food product. If you can’t find it, Try amazon.com!

  14. anotherfoodieblogger February 25, 2014 at 2:38 AM - Reply

    I have never even seen paprika cream nor heard of it! Now I must go order some! I love all kinds of paprika! Plus,I do need to try my hand at a risotto… I’ve always been a chicken about that. :)

    • chef mimi February 25, 2014 at 7:47 AM - Reply

      Just jump in and make it. I’ve seriously taught little girls how to make it!

  15. Mélanie February 25, 2014 at 3:40 AM - Reply

    sooo yummy! bon appétit and cheers, Mimi! :) sincerely, Mélanie

  16. eastofedencook February 25, 2014 at 10:47 AM - Reply

    Thank you for the introduction to Paprika Cream it is new to me! I use both mild and spicy paprika in my cooking and can’t wait to try Paprika Cream. The risotto is so lush and creamy!

    • chef mimi February 25, 2014 at 4:13 PM - Reply

      Thank you so much! This really is a good product!

  17. yummychunklet February 25, 2014 at 11:42 AM - Reply

    Oh, never heard of that. Thanks for the review!

  18. emmabarrett1508 February 25, 2014 at 1:16 PM - Reply

    A great tip. Me and my husband are on a bit of a diet at the moment so I will have to try this recipe at home very soon. Risotto is one of my favourite dishes. Emmaxxx

    • chef mimi February 25, 2014 at 4:12 PM - Reply

      Ahhh, I’ve been on a diet for 40 years. Awful.

  19. littlepinkkitchen February 25, 2014 at 2:52 PM - Reply

    Looks good Mimi!

  20. saucygander February 25, 2014 at 3:43 PM - Reply

    I don’t think I’ve seen paprika cream before, can I make do with powdered paprika?

    • chef mimi February 25, 2014 at 4:11 PM - Reply

      It’s just not the same. But there’s nothing wrong with good paprika, of course!

      • saucygander February 26, 2014 at 8:59 AM

        Bummer. :-)
        Will keep a lookout for paprika cream then…

  21. Dolly Rubiano February 26, 2014 at 1:41 AM - Reply

    Looks like a wonderful dish. Paprika is a favorite spice of mine, too.

  22. Heather @ Sweet Precision February 26, 2014 at 8:05 AM - Reply

    I love paprika but I’ve never heard of cream! I love the smoky flavor that it adds to dishes, not to mention the beautiful color. What a treat with the chicken and parmesean added on top. I’m glad you reintroduced us to this ingredient :)

    • chef mimi February 26, 2014 at 8:06 AM - Reply

      You are so welcome! It’s a fabulous ingredient.

  23. Butter, Basil and Breadcrumbs February 26, 2014 at 9:51 AM - Reply

    You talked me into trying the paprika cream… I bought it on Amazon just now. I’ve never heard of it before, thanks for sharing! The risotto looks spectacular!! I’m totally bummed that it isn’t Amazon Prime, because now I have to wait more than a couple of days to try your risotto, because you can be sure that as soon as that baby gets here, I’ll be trying your recipe! <3

    • chef mimi February 26, 2014 at 10:23 AM - Reply

      Hahaha! It’s also good slathered on pork tenderloin and chicken. You’ll really love it!!!

  24. Linda Duffin January 17, 2017 at 9:19 AM - Reply

    Ah, now I have it! I must look this up and see if paprika creme is something I can make at home, I’ve never seen it in the UK. Lx

    • chef mimi January 17, 2017 at 9:23 AM - Reply

      I’ve only seen it made by Univer. I have to get it through Amazon.

      • Linda Duffin January 17, 2017 at 9:36 AM

        I’ve looked it up and you can get the tubes from Hungarian food specialists over here. I may have to dip a toe into Hungarian waters! I can’t find a recipe, except for one that tells you to mix red peppers and a leek, which doesn’t sound right.

      • chef mimi January 17, 2017 at 10:05 AM

        The tubes are great! http://www.univerfoodsusa.com/

      • Linda Duffin January 17, 2017 at 10:12 AM

        I’ve ordered loads from a UK retailer. Woman, you are costing me money! :)

      • chef mimi January 17, 2017 at 10:13 AM

        Hahahaha! You won’t regret it!

  25. Beth January 23, 2017 at 8:30 PM - Reply

    We have a Russian store in our town and they carry it as well. Very tasty.

  26. John Mann February 26, 2017 at 7:24 PM - Reply

    You can make paprika cream by blending 1 cup or canned roasted red peppers with 1/3 cup paprika, 2 teaspoons vinegar

    • chef mimi February 26, 2017 at 8:19 PM - Reply

      Good to know! I just can’t get the real Hungarian peppers…

  27. Csilla Cabot September 20, 2017 at 8:02 PM - Reply

    I will be happy to share a few online Hungarian sites where you can get the paste or cream in a jar or tube. One place is called Otto’s, then there is Bende, and Mezes Macko in Cananda. Otto’s is located on the West Coast and Bende is located I believe in Ohio or Chicago…but they all carry amazing products and much better prices than Amazon. :) The gulyas krem is perfect for making authentic Hungarian Beef Gulya
    s and also great for Paprikas Csirke…or as better known in English… Chicken Paprika. “Enjoy!! and “Happy Cooking fellow foodies!!

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