Updated: Sep 6, 2022
When the bayou starts to beckon, reach for this zesty spice blend to give any dish Louisiana flare.
To skip to the printable recipe, click here.
When the bayou starts to beckon, reach for this zesty spice blend to give any dish Louisiana flare. A relatively simple mixture of spices you probably have on hand, this Cajun spice blend combines oregano, thyme, black pepper, paprika, onion powder, granulated garlic, and cayenne. Now let’s get specific with some of these ingredients:
Paprika. Either smoked paprika or standard sweet paprika is totally fine in this mix. I usually use half of each. I love the flavor of smoked, and it works so well in most applications of this mixture; however, I usually hesitate to do all smoked because it can overwhelm other flavors. You can always add extra smoked paprika to recipes that really beg for that smoky flavor. Use what you have; either way, it will be good.
Black pepper. I call for 30 “cranks” in this recipe. This refers to cranks of a typical hand-operated pepper grinder. I would give you an equivalent teaspoon measurement, but if I’m being honest, I have no idea what that would be. I just crank it. If you buy pre-ground pepper and measure it out, let’s just call it ½ tsp.
Onion powder. Okay, this requires a distinction. There are all kinds of sprinkle-able onion products out there: onion flakes, onion granules, etc. Sometimes the labeling can be a little misleading and inconsistent from brand to brand. Anytime I call for onion powder, I am specifically referring to the cream-colored, finely ground onion powder that resembles powdered sugar. This is my secret ingredient in pretty much anything savory. If you absolutely have to use granulated onion, press on. But if you have the option, go with the good stuff! I can usually find it at regular grocery stores with the Mexican spices, at Whole Foods (sometimes in the bulk spice section), and at Costco.
When it comes to garlic, either granulated (more like sand) or finely powdered is fine. You can roll with whatever oregano you have on hand as well. The choices are typically Mexican and Mediterranean, and you will be good to go with either one.
One last thing! Cayenne. I call for 1 tsp, which is just enough to spice things up without upsetting the delicate taste buds of my more sensitive monsters (bless those little weenies). If everyone in your household can handle the heat, I’d crank that cayenne up to 2 tsp or maybe a little more.
This recipe makes just enough to fill a 4oz mason jar--my storage vessel of choice--and enlivens everything from breakfast sausage to crab cakes to asparagus.
Here's what you'll need:
1 T dried oregano
2 tsp dried thyme
30 cranks black pepper
1 T paprika, smoked or sweet is ok
2 T garlic powder or granulated garlic
2 T onion powder
1 tsp cayenne
Here's what you'll do:
Crush oregano, thyme, and black pepper together with a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in remaining ingredients (this can be done with the mortar and pestle if using). Alternatively, use a mini food processor or simply stir everything together in a small bowl.
Transfer mixture to a 4oz mason jar or airtight container of your choice and store at room temperature for up to 6 months, preferably in a dark cabinet or drawer.
Special tools needed:
For the printable recipe, click here.