Favorite Seasoning/Spice Blends
- Ora Sep 20, 2006 03:15 AM
What are your favorite spice/seasoning blends? It can be homemade or purchased (please mention from where). How do you use it?
Yes--I have about 12 Penzeys blends and singular seasoning in my cabinet right now. Love them all. My fave is the Trinidad blend. Spices Etc has many as well. But, I was hoping to go off-the-beaten track a bit with this post. Maybe some homemade combos etc. Or, obscure restaurant blends that are sold, etc.
I love Penzey's "Barbecue of the Americas" used as a rub on pork or beef, for the grill or the slow cooker. I also like their new Southwest Seasoning and have used it in my spicy remoulade sauce for po'boys and fish tacos.
I always have on hand Emeril's Rustic Rub, which I make from a recipe I found online. I like it on chicken or pork.
When I cook shrimp creole or jambalaya, I use a Creole spice mix from Nathalie Dupree's Southern cookbook.
I concur with the recommendation of Penzey's. There are just too many blends there to mention.
I also like Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute. It's a good salt-free seasoning mix that I use to add flavor to homemade soups.
I just got an awfully good herbes de Provence mix from Surfas in Culver City. It was the "Deluxe Blend" that includes lavender, and I got a huge bag for fifteen bucks. Needless to say I filled a small jar and am freezing the rest.
When I was living in Tennessee I became addicted to Watkin's Cajun Pepper Blend; as this is not available in stores, I would buy it from the Watkins booth at the monthly Nashville flea market. I don't know exactly what I'd use for a substitute now, but I've pretty much moved on to other flavor ranges.
Dean & Delucca Spice and Herb products are some of the very best. The Greek Oregano and Herbs de Provence are amazing.
I agree on the Penzey's blends - I've picked up several that I really like.
A co-worker went to Spain recently, and brought back what was called piri-piri spice in the little market at which she purchased it. It's wonderful rubbed on chicken and shrimp, and then grilled.
What she gave me seems to be a bit different than recipes I've since found for the spice mix (like this one: http://www.recipezaar.com/30002 in that it has dried garlic chips in it instead of garlic powder. It's also not as blazingly spicy hot as how I understand the piri-piri pepper can be (otherwise known as a birdseye chili pepper) - so it was probably made with cayenne?
I definitely plan to make some of my own, including the dried garlic chips, when I'm done with what she gave me.
My favorite spice blend is the Texas rub from Steven Raichlen's book on marinades, sauces and rubs. I made this mostly as a rub for BBQ brisket but liked it so much I use it on ribs, pulled pork, chicken, just about anything that we smoke or grill.
The reason I like it is because it's NOT sweet, has good balance between hot and aromatic spices and just tastes darned good! If anyone is interested I can look up the recipe and post later.
make a variety of good seasoning mixes including Harissa. I follow the directions (more or less) to mix it with minced garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil, then rub this on lamb chops and let them sit for an hour or so before grilling. Excellent.
The only mixes I use are herbes de Provence (bought at a grocery store in France - probably old now) and quatre epices (I make the latter myself) - and curry, I guess is a mix - oh - and some ME mixes that my DH brought back from Jordan for me. But for some reason, they are not something to which generally I gravitate - don't know why.
I have finally gotten into the habit of making almost all my spice mixes in small quantities so they'll stay relatively fresh. It's not very difficult or time-consuming and the mixtures, especially garam masala, ras al hanout and curry powder are so much better. I can also add extra pinches of spices I like such as cumin.
There are recipes for curry powder, etc. in almost every big cookbook (Bittman, etc.) and lots of different ones in books by Jaffrey and Sawhney.
I like the stalks of Greek oregano I buy in a local deli/spice store. I love the ease of crumbling it directly into salads, etc.
I bought my first dukkah from Herbies Spices in Australia, but now make it myself. It's really easy.
Equal parts garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, sugar - sprinkle on hamburgers, steaks, anything really (sugar seals in the juice). Simple and fantastic.
Pennzy's fan here as well.
Chicago for steaks and lamb
Shallot pepper (it has salt as well so be careful) for fish and chicken
Bearzie, here's the link for the baharat spice mix I found and two recipes I have that use it (2nd recipe at the bottom of this post.)
(Note - when I made this, I didn't have Aleppo chiles or pepper, so according to my MasterCook notes, I made up something similar using 4 parts sweet paprika, 1 part cayenne pepper, and 1 part ground sumac.)
For whatever reason, I don't seem to have the za'atar mix in my MasterCook, but I'm pretty sure I found it at the link below - and I think I've read other recipes where the sesame seeds were toasted in a dry pan for a few minutes before combining with the other herbs/spices. (You can get ground sumac at www.penzeys.com.)
* Exported from MasterCook *
Oven-Roasted Middle Eastern Ribs with Apple BBQ Sauce
Recipe By :Linda
Serving Size : 4 Preparation Time :4:00
Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
2 slabs pork loin back ribs
***Dry Rub - Baharat Spice Mix***
3 Tbsp dried oregano
2 Tbsp freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp ground coriander
2 tsp crushed red pepper -- or more to taste
1/2 cup apple cider
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup apple cider
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
If needed to remove the membrane, slide knife under the membrane and
against the end bone to separate the two. With a dry paper towel, grasp
the edge of the thin membrane and pull. The entire membrane should
separate from the rib.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Combine spice mix ingredients and mix well.
Apply about 3/4 of the rub mixture onto the front and back sides of ribs.
Gently pat to ensure that rub will adhere. Place ribs meat-side up on a
large piece of foil, bring each end up and fold down tightly, then do the
same to the sides. Place on a baking sheet or broiler pan and bake for
1-1/2 to 2 hours.
Remove ribs from oven. Carefully unfold the foil until you get a small
opening, and pour in 1/2 cup of apple cider. Refold the foil, sealing
tightly, and return to oven for 1 more hour.
Meanwhile, combine ingredients for the BBQ sauce in a small saucepan.
Heat, and let simmer for about 1/2 hour to blend flavors. Remove from
Remove wrapped ribs from oven. Mix remaining spice rub with 2 Tbsp. of
brown sugar. Remove ribs from foil and apply rest of the spice rub to the
meat side of the ribs. Place uncovered in the oven meat-side up for 30
Remove ribs from oven and increase oven temperature to 350 degrees. Brush
finishing glaze on both sides of ribs. Place ribs in oven for 10 minutes,
or until sauce caramelizes.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 192 Calories; 6g Fat (26.7% calories from fat); 5g Protein; 34g Carbohydrate; 6g Dietary Fiber; 11mg Cholesterol; 469mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 Fruit; 1 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.
Kalustyan's has a nice variety of spice mixes as well.
As far as a recent spice I'm into, I really like Szechuan peppercorns. They were banned for a while due to a citrus canker, but now they're back (I think they're sterilized now with mild heat treatment).
Silly to say, but I like Emeril's mix. I mainly use it on blackened porkchops. The other mix I use is Spice House "Spicy Curry Powder" and I'm very happy with it also, good for noodles for instance.
Here's one that most of you have never heard of. Dizzy Pig BBQ rubs. Now don't let the name fool you, they are not just for making bbq. The rubs are great on Seafood and Poultry and as a seasoning for Vegatables. Some of the rubs have an Asian influence and all are hand ground with the finest spices. I know I sound like a commercial but I am in no way affiliated with the company. I'm just impressed with their products.
I use Penzey's quite a bit. I'm a huge fan of their Greek Seasoning, smoked paprika, shallot pepper etc. Another good seasoning that you might not be aware of is Head Country BBQ seasoning from Oklahoma. It makes the best burgers!
Everything. I eat it a few times a week on rice or pasta. Just butter and TC. I use it to season meat before cooking. I use it in place of Essence in all my Emeril recipes. It's great on vegetables.
Oh, it is really good if you add TC and chopped tasso to grits at the beginning of cooking. Stir in butter at the end.
We can now get Tony Chachere's seasoning in NH. I use it to gently heat up a recipe that contains tomatoes. In fact, yesterday I added it to a meatloaf recipe from the 70s that only had basic salt, dry mustard and Worcestershire sauce. I also sometimes use it on scrambled eggs/omelet. I was wondering when someone would mention it. To me, if a recipe calls for red pepper/cayenne, use Tony's instead but in a greater amount.
Here are a few more to make at home:
I love Michael Chiarello's simple fennel seed spice rub, especially for pork. I keep a jar on hand for quick pork chops, and mix it with fresh garlic, rosemary, thyme and a little olive oil for pork roasts. Grated orange rind is also great with this:
I also enjoy cooking Indian food at home and grind my own garam masala according to Madhur Jaffrey's recipe from an old cookbook of mine, but I found a link online. This is one of my favorite spice blends ever -- I could wear it behind each ear. Just a sprinkle on any simple meat or vegetable (squeeze fresh lime on cucumber spears, sprinkle with salt and this -- heaven):
Zatar, available at Middle Eastern food markets. The blends vary (buy a couple!) but often consist of marjoram, sumac, cumin and sesame seeds. I stir it into Greek yogurt with olive oil, cucumbers, scallions and chopped tomatoes, then eat it on pita bread. Divine. Or brush bread with olive oil, sprinkle on the Zatar, and brown in the oven.
I love Durkee's- Six Pepper Blend. I buy it in bulk at Sams Club. Great for grilling Steak,hamburgers,chicken etc...
When I have fresh herbs in the garden, a simple salt can be made by putting canning salt or Kosher salt and equal amounts of fresh herb in a blender or food processor. My favorite is simply dill weed and salt. Good on eggs and in soups.
PENZY'S seasoned salt.
i use it along with paprika to roast fava beans.
(if you have smoked paprika, to use along with it, that's even better)
SPIKE seasoned salt.
i use it along with other spices when i make my "cream" sauce by whirling silken tofu in my blender