Recently, I held a contest for a pair of tickets to attend Winnipeg’s 10th Annual Mardi Gras party. Along with that prize, a Cajun spice blend would be sent to a lucky à la Claude reader for sharing a Friday the 13th kitchen mishap moment… I’ve prepared the blend, sent it off and now you can see how I put it all together (along with a few ideas of what to use it with!).
Cajun Spice Blend
- 5 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
Stir all ingredients in a small bowl to blend.
DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 month ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
Now that you’ve put together a great, spicy Cajun blend… what to do with it? Well, it will easily pair with most proteins. Rub the blend on a whole chicken or pieces, sprinkled onto pork chops or rubbed into tenderloin, dredged over turkey legs (I’m salivating already!) – but easiest and quickest to execute… seafood. Toss some peeled and deveined shrimp or some thick pieces of cod with the blend, place onto a baking dish and then under the broiler.
Here is another gallery of my two most current adventures with this spice blend: spatchcock chicken; roasted tomatoes and plump shrimp!
A spatchcock chicken is one that has the backbone removed and flattened before cooking. The bird cooks very quickly and with equally crisped skin. I decided to cook two birds this time around – the cooked meat is perfect for sandwiches or leftovers. Using a pair of kitchen shears, I cut along both sides of the backbone to remove it. With thumb-pressure on the outer breast, I pulled the thighs and legs outward to fully flatten the chickens. A generous sprinkle and rub of the spice blend went on both birds and they lay on separate baking sheets. I placed halved baby potatoes under one chicken which transformed the little fleshy nuggets into crispy skins with soft, pillowy centers. The three of us devoured what should have fed a family of 5!
A few days later, faced with the decision to make a quick dinner, I tossed some peeled shrimp with the spice blend and added some grape tomatoes before the pan went under the broiler. I really enjoy slightly roasted tomatoes – the taste brings me back to old England with their full English breakfasts. A side of creamy polenta – the perfect foil to whatever you’d like to blend into it or rather have on hand! I think I had some cheese leftover from an entertaining board.
The spice blend is not for the faint of heart – nor should one expect any less with something named Cajun!