Cajun spice rub. A kick of seasoning from Louisiana, salt-free so you can add your own salt separately. Inspired by loyal reader Jason, who asked about spice rubs…
I hate buying spice blends from the store. Hate, hate, hate it. It’s not that they aren’t good; some of them are great. It’s not that they don’t work. Spice blends are a quick way to add a punch of flavor. It’s that spice blends are all salt.
Check the label – store bought spice blends always have salt as the first ingredient. That means salt is the most common ingredient in the jar. Salt, which sells for sixty-nine cents a pound (or three bucks a pound if you buy fancy Kosher salt like me.) Spice blends sell for three bucks an ounce, if not more. I can understand why the spice companies do it – people want the blends, and they can make a lot of money that way.
*There are exceptions, of course: blends that don’t have any salt include chili powder, herbes de provence, curry powder, and italian seasoning. But, I always check the label – if salt is the first or second ingredient, I’m paying spice prices for salt. And, obviously, that bothers me.
The other problem is spice blends with salt in them make it hard to season food properly. If you use brines as often as I do, you can’t use store-bought spice blends without over salting the food.
OK, rant over. I usually throw together my spice blends, from my spice cabinet, in small quantities. But I make Cajun seasoning in big batches, so I always have it at hand. I’ve been a fan of Cajun seasoning ever since I heard my first “BAM!” from Emeril, over ten years ago.* Back then, there was no choice – if I wanted Emeril’s essence seasoning, I had to make my own. When Emeril started selling his line of spice blends in the grocery store, I thought my work was over. That’s how I found out about salt in spice blends – I flipped the jar over, to see if it matched the recipe I used, and saw salt listed as the first ingredient. Oh, well, back to mixing my own.
*Gaah! Was it really ten years ago? (Doing math in my head). Ugh. It was even longer than that…
Recipe: Cajun Spice Rub
Cajun spice rub. A kick of seasoning from Louisiana, salt-free so you can add your own salt separately.
- ½ cup paprika
- ½ cup granulated garlic
- ¼ cup granulated onion
- ¼ cup fresh ground black pepper
- ¼ cup dried oregano
- ¼ cup dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
- Mix up the blend: Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, and stir until completely mixed. Store in a sealed container for up to six months.
- Makes about 2 cups of spice blend
- If you want to kick it up a notch (BAM!) increase the cayenne to ¼ cup. And stand back.
- Category: Building Blocks
- Method: Mix
- Cuisine: American
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
Homemade Barbecue Rub
Adapted from: Emeril Lagasse, Louisiana Real and Rustic
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