I have a serious thing for smokey, hot Cajun Spice. But because store-bought versions vary wildly, I always make my own.
Recipes for Cajun Spice are all over the place, but paprika is always the star, with black and white pepper, and chile pepper playing strong supporting roles.
Most versions include onion and garlic powder, but I’m not partial to either. Much better to add fresh garlic and onion to the dish if and when it makes sense. Salt is another ingredient I leave out of the basic mix. It can be added later to fit the needs of the dish. As for herbs, you’ll almost always see oregano and thyme, and sometimes a few others as well.
This blend has just the right amount of heat for most palates, but may be too hot for some. While not flaming hot, it does have a discernible kick.
I also love the touch of smoke lent by the smoked paprika and smoked black peppercorns. But of course, it’s fine to use whatever paprika and peppercorns you have on hand.
10 Ways to Use Smokin’ Hot Cajun Spice
- Whisk into vegetable oil, and then brush over skewered prawns before grilling.
- Whisk into homemade ranch salad dressing.
- Make Spicy Ciabatta & Cornbread Stuffing with Italian Sausage, Wild Mushrooms & Fresh Herbs, substituting Smokin’ Hot Cajun Spice for the Seasoning Mix.
- Toss potato wedges with melted butter to coat, and then dust with Smokin’ Hot Cajun Spice and salt. Roast at 400ºF, turning occasionally, until tender.
- Add to meatball mixtures.
- Make Cupid Crunch (Cracker Jacks for Lovers), substituting Smokin’ Hot Cajun Spice for Aztec Spice, and pecans for peanuts.
- Combine with salt and sprinkle over hot popcorn.
- Combine butter and Smokin’ Hot Cajun Spice and rub over and under the skin of a whole chicken before roasting.
- Coat fish filets with Smokin’ Hot Cajun Spice and sauté in melted butter or olive oil.
- Make Toasted Hazelnut, Honey & Garam Masala Brittle, substituting Smokin’ Hot Cajun Spice for Garam Masala and pecans for hazelnuts.
Smokin’ Hot Cajun Spice
Cajun Spice is often used as a rub for beef, pork, poultry, and fish. A dish with this treatment is typically labeled “blackened.” Popularized by Chef Paul Prudhomme, blackening infuses meat or fish with caramelized spices. The spice coating darkens as it caramelizes but should not be black. If it’s black, it’s burnt.
4 teaspoons smoked sweet paprika
2 teaspoons smoked black peppercorns
1 teaspoon white peppercorns
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (this amount is HOT; cut in half if you are not sure of your eaters)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
- Combine all ingredients in a small spice grinder (or coffee grinder reserved for spices).
- Pulse to pulverize the spices.
- Store in an airtight container in a cool location.
Makes scant ¼ cup.
More LunaCafe Spice Blends
Copyright Susan S. Bradley 2014. All rights reserved.