I enjoy spices. In another life, which would involve a certainty of more taxes, red tape, leases and the not entirely remote possibility of bankruptcy…as these brick and mortar things often do, I will own a spice shop. So it is a short lived fantasy that ends in despair but the shelves will be filled with spice bins and my favorite olive oils and a precious smattering of only the kitchen talismans and tools that one truly needs. There will be rolling pins and my favorite cookbooks. There will be a shelf of heirloom dried beans and a freezer containing pig lard and duck fat for pie crusts and such. I will have a bit of coffee just so you can come in and get comfortable and chat with me about your favorite ingredients and dishes.
And we will play in the spice bins and create mixes. And it will be fun.
By the by, don’t tell me I’m a pessimist. We are all horrible about shopping at Amazon and the little cute shops do fail…and I’m too happily busy at just this moment to pencil in a belly flop.
But, now that I’ve started thinking about it, I think I’ll keep thinking about it. Someday…maybe…but my job as a lawyer conditioned me to think of all the downsides to anything first. As I’ve explained before, I’m in recovery from that whole episode and getting much better. A man I recently met, a dyed in the wool industrialist who was not so conditioned, told me that he routinely has to lecture his lawyers and employees never to lead with “you can’t…” but to lead with “here is how, despite the challenges, you can….” He didn’t like people dreaming up why things couldn’t or shouldn’t be done. He liked people to think of how to do things and then dealt with the risks. I like that. I’m working on that. So, maybe someday I actually will open the spice shop…oh, and the indie bookstore, oh, and write that novel….
Onward, this is a Cajun spice mix. At least that is the closest thing I can pin it to. It is salty and a little kicky and I created it to put in bean soup. The soup goes like this…butter and salt pork melting and rendering, then onions popping and turning just golden and translucent, chicken stock, black beans, simmer forever, add 1 tablespoon of the spice mix, taste (perhaps add more), toss in cut up sausage, warm, and serve with rice. No recipe necessary…but one might materialize soon anyway. Now I’ve used this mix in several variations of the spicy bean soup and I love it. But I also will be using it on chicken and all manner of other meals. It is my new “always ready to go” spice mix. My sincere apologies to any real Cajuns who think something is missing here. Please speak up. I don’t want to be culturally insensitive like the non-Texans who create “Texas Chili” recipes that have beans in them…speaking of beans.
|Cajun Spice Mix...great for black bean soup|| |
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- Place the spices in a resealable bag or jar and shake to combine.
NOTE: For other uses, you will need to determine what your “heat tolerance” is. If you are directly seasoning something, you might prefer 1/2 teaspoon or cayenne for your mix. I think that works great for seasoning meat. Also, some will rather scale back on the salt. Feel free!
Other handy spice mixes on PIE: