Peppery and sweet, this salt-free Blackened Seasoning embraces classic Cajun flavors in a versatile blend that’s not just for blackening. It combines sweetness and heat from paprika and cayenne with aromatic garlic and onion and the grounded pungency of mustard, black pepper, and cumin. It also has a herbaceous spark of bitter oregano and grassy thyme, floral bay leaf, and briskly bitter celery seed, creating a roller coaster of a blend that bursts joyfully onto the plate, exciting and unpredictable.
To seal in the juices of the meat by forming a spicy crust you need to use lots of heat. Use a cast-iron pan for blackening, since it will stand up best to prolonged, high heat. If cooking space is limited, pre-heat your pan on an outside grill on high heat for 30 minutes, or put in a 450°F oven until your stovetop is ready to use. Then:
Keep your food cool as butter or oil sticks better
Keep your filets about ½" thick
Make enough butter and spice mixture to evenly coat all your filets
Dredge your meat in the butter and spices and place immediately into the prepared skillet
Cook, uncovered, until the underside looks charred, about 2 minutes. Turn the filets over and again pour 1 teaspoon of butter on top; cook until done, about 2 minutes more
For best results use 1-2 tablespoons of Blackened Seasoning per cup of butter.
This technique works for fish, chicken, beef, lamb, and seafood, as well as sturdy vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower. You can also use this as a basic Cajun spice blend that works with grilled chicken or shrimp. Add to grilled eggplant or portobello tops for a vegetarian twist on a Cajun cookout. Toss with vinegar-based potato salad, or mix into a cheesy corn bake. Roast onions and tomatoes with Blackened Seasoning for a spicy ragout, or go full-on Southern and mix Blackened Seasoning into the breading for fried green tomatoes.
Ingredients: paprika, garlic, yellow mustard, onion, black pepper, oregano, cumin, cayenne, thyme, bay leaves and celery seed.