8 American Herb/Spice Blend Hacks


Make Your Own! 

I have had several requests, especially from my Aussie friends, for seasoning blends that are not available in other parts of the world. As well, these are American favorites that can be made in your own kitchen without stabilizers, anti-caking ingredients, “natural” flavors, or preservatives. Here are 8 blends I think you will enjoy.

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Bayou Blast-Emeril’s Essence Creole Seasoning (Louisiana)

Makes 2/3 cup

Ingredients
2-1/2 tablespoons Paprika
2 tablespoons Salt
2 tablespoons Garlic powder
1 tablespoon Black pepper
1 tablespoon Onion powder
1 tablespoon Cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon Dried oregano
1 tablespoon Dried thyme

Directions

  1. Combine all of the above ingredients thoroughly.
  2. For maximum flavor, store away from heat and light for up to 6 months.

Uses

Mix up a batch of this seasoning and keep it on hand for giving just about any savory dish a “kicked-up” flavor. Especially delicious in tomato dishes, on seafood, in shrimp Creole, and in gumbos.

I love to roast or smoke a chicken with this seasoning for a wonderful spin on Creole cuisine. Adding a bit of tomato powder to the blend will give you authentic Creole flavor!

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Better-Than-Salt Herb Blend

Makes 1 cup

This recipe is for dried herbs. If you have your own herb garden, do try drying your own.

Ingredients
3 Bay leaves, finely chopped
4 tablespoons Oregano
4 tablespoons Onion powder
1 tablespoon Lemon zest, dried or 2 teaspoons lemon powder
4 teaspoons Marjoram
4 teaspoons Basil leaves
4 teaspoons Winter savory, ground
4 teaspoons Garlic powder
2 teaspoons Rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon Sage
1 teaspoon Thyme
1 teaspoon Black pepper, ground

Directions

  1. Mix and crush to a coarse powder with a mortar and pestle or a small blender or food processor.
  2. For maximum flavor, store away from heat and light for up to 6 months.

Uses

This Herb Blend is delicious on salad greens, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, fish, hamburgers, meat loaves, steaks, omelets, etc.

Try mixing the Herb Blend with a stick of butter. Let stand in refrigerator for a day of two for good flavor. Use herb butter on vegetables, breads, meats, fish, etc.

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Cajun Seasoning (Louisiana)

Makes 3/4 cup

Ingredients
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 tablespoon ground smoked paprika
1 tablespoon dried chilies
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 tablespoon sea salt
1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tablespoon freshly ground white pepper
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
1/2 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 tablespoon ground allspice
1/2 tablespoon fine raw sugar

Directions

  1. Mix and crush to a coarse powder with a mortar and pestle or a small blender or food processor.
  2. For maximum flavor, store away from heat and light for up to 6 months.

Uses

This is the spice blend used in Cajun and Creole dishes. It is delicious in many other dishes as well and great on oven-fries, both potato and sweet potato, and very tasty with fish and seafood.

Try roasting meats and vegetables with this blend to achieve a wonderful flavor combination of sweet and spicy flavor.

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Enchilada Spice Mix (Mexican-American)

Makes 3 tablespoons (1 packet)

Ingredients
2 teaspoons minced onion
1 teaspoon dried chili pepper
1 teaspoon corn meal
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon oregano

Directions

  1. Mix and crush to a coarse powder with a mortar and pestle or a small blender or food processor.
  2. For maximum flavor, store away from heat and light for up to 6 months.

Uses

Use amount you desire when making enchiladas. The usual mix is one packet for 1 pound of ground meat.

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Jerk Seasoning Blend (Jamaican)

Makes 3/4 cup

Ingredients
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 to 3 teaspoons cayenne pepper*
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried parsley
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Mix and crush to a coarse powder with a mortar and pestle or a small blender or food processor.
  2. For maximum flavor, store away from heat and light for up to 6 months.

*To alter the level of heat, use more or less cayenne as desired.

Uses

Make your own delicious Jamaican Jerk seasoning blend for fast and easy stir fry dinners or as a delicious way to boost the flavor of grilled meats or vegetables. This jerk seasoning mix adds kick to otherwise bland dishes and a little goes a LONG way!

Use this on chicken, as a rub for steaks or pork or on vegetables.

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Lemon Pepper

Makes 3/4 cup

Ingredients
8 tablespoons peppercorns (You can use whatever color of pepper you like. I use a nice mixed peppercorn blend.)
1-1/2 tablespoons dried grated lemon zest or 1 tablespoon lemon powder
1/4 cup course sea salt

Directions

  1. Mix the lemon, peppercorns, and salt together. Fill a pepper grinder with the mix for the freshest and tastiest lemon pepper.
  2. You can also grind your ingredients up to get a fine lemon pepper powder mix.
  3. For maximum flavor, store away from heat and light for up to 6 months.

Salt-Free Version: If you want to make a salt-free version, just leave out the salt. You will have to increase your measurements to fill your shaker and use less on your food as this mixture will be much stronger.

Uses

Lemon pepper seasoning is good on so many things; pasta, carrots, chicken, fish. Don’t forget about popcorn and chips!

Note

Commercially available lemon pepper may also include smaller amounts of other ingredients such as salt, sugar,onion, garlic, citric acid, additional lemon flavor, cayenne pepper, and other spices.

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Magic Mushroom Powder Blend (My Own Recipe)

Makes 1-1/2 cups

Ingredients
1 cup (about 1 ounce) dried mushroom stems and/or pieces
1/3 cup kosher or sea salt
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon lemon powder or 1/2 teaspoon dried lemon zest

Directions

  1. Pulse the dried mushrooms in a clean spice grinder until they are finely ground. Transfer the mushroom powder to a bowl and add the salt, red pepper flakes, thyme and pepper. Mix thoroughly to incorporate.
  2. For maximum flavor, store away from heat and light for up to 6 months.

Uses

Sprinkle some of this flavorful umami dust on anything you cook, adding an earthy taste and aroma to your dishes. I especially love this on omelets, steak, and in cream sauces.

For dishes that are long-cooking, add this towards the end of the cooking (about 10 minutes before serving) so as not to mute the flavors of your blend.

Note

When drying fresh mushrooms yourself, you end up to a 10 to 1 ratio: 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of fresh mushrooms equals 1 pound or about 16 cups (450g) of dried.

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“Old Bay” Style Seafood Seasoning (Maryland)

Makes 3/4-1 cup

Ingredients
3 tablespoons ground bay leaves OR 4 tablespoon broken bay leaves with center ribs removed
2 tablespoons celery seed
2 tablespoons sea salt
1-1/2 tablespoons mustard powder
1-1/2 tablespoons freshly-ground black pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 tablespoon ground allspice or cloves
1/2 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper
2-1/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground mace (optional)
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)

Directions

  1. Pulverize first THREE ingredients in a blender.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and blend again.
  3. For maximum flavor, store away from heat and light for up to 6 months.

Uses

First created in my home state of Maryland, this spicy seasoning is commonly used in the South with seafood dishes, but it’s great on many of the same dishes you might use Cajun Seasoning in. Try it in seitan and tofu dishes.

I oven-bake potato chips with this blend on them to make “Maryland Crab Chips”. There are never any leftovers!

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Click here for PRINTABLE recipe file: 8 American Herb/Spice Blends.


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