Cajun Spice Blend
This recipe is an all-purpose Cajun Spice Blend that’s full of New Orleans flavors. This Cajun Spice Blend | Spice Rub can be used on chicken, white fish, alligator, and vegetables. It can be applied to proteins like chicken, catfish or steak, then placed into a hot cast iron pan and used in the Creole | Cajun Cuisine to make Blackened Fish | Chicken | Vegetables | Steak (or Beer-Braised Pork Belly with a Creole Seasoning). This Cajun Spice Blend can also be used to season many recipes from the Louisiana | New Orleans area.
Try using this Cajun Spice Blend in a Jambalaya, Gumbo, Shrimp Creole, Shrimp And Grits, Fried Catfish, Po’ Boy Sandwiches, Étouffée, Red Beans And Rice or other recipe that needs a light extra ‘Nawlins kick!
To make this recipe, instead of using teaspoons and tablespoons to portion out the herbs & spices, it is set up in parts. Using one part could be any kitchen spoon, cup, mug, handful or what ever is around. This technique of having parts or a equal portion of one ingredient to the next, is a great way to make this Cajun Spice Blend fresh. The spice ratio will produce a great balance of flavors and heat. If you like more of one spice, modify the ratio to your tastes. Add more cayenne pepper if you like the spice blend hotter, or use a different dried chili. Fresh spices will make a difference when making this homemade Cajun Spice Blend, as with any recipe, freshness counts.
How to Use This Cajun Spice Blend:
When cooking, whether it be Creole | Cajun Cuisine or any other global cuisine, adding spices and herbs to a recipe will change and enhance the flavoring. Yet it is important to think about when and where you add the spices. One of the lessons I learned from Chef Paul Prudhomme was using spices in different ways in a recipe. Think about layering the spices into a recipe. When you are sautéing onions, peppers and celery (called Trinity), the hot oil will carry the aromatic essential oils in the spices differently than if they were boiled, as the sauce reduces. Or using spices to marinate a protein | vegetable, letting the spices mixed with some salt, to infuse their flavors deeper into the ingredient. Layering this Cajun Spice Blend into a recipe, adding it not all at once, but throughout the recipe and the cooking of it, will add an extra depth to the recipe. Adding a few pinches as the vegetables cook, then adding it with any liquid, then adding it at the very end of cooking, to pop the flavors that might have been muted by a longer cooking time. This nugget of culinary wisdom has stuck with me. I use the same technique when cooking Indian Cuisine, Thai Cuisine, Southwestern Cuisine and pretty much any cuisine that has lots of spices, herbs and layers of flavor.
Makes: as much or little as needed
Adapted from BeerAdvocate Magazine: Cuisine à la Bière | Jul 2011 | Issue #54
- 4 part paprika, Hungarian
- 3 part oregano, Greek, dried
- 2 part salt, kosher
- 1 part pepper, cayenne, dried
- 1 part onion, powder
- 1 part garlic powder preferably Roasted Garlic Powder
- 1 part pepper, white, freshly ground
- 1 part pepper, black, freshly ground
- 1 part celery salt,
- 1 part thyme leaves, dried
- 1/8 part bay leaf, dried
- Start by figuring out approximately how much of the spice blend needs to be made. Then, use either a teaspoon, tablespoon, 1/4 cup to a full cup, or a pint glass as your base measurement for equal parts. Using the same measuring tool, measure out the spices and place them into a mixing bowl. Mix all the spices together using a whisk, until they’re evenly combined. Place the spice blend into a sealable jar and keep out of the light, in a cool area, for up to 4 months.