I’ll be honest with you, I’m not from down south. My wife’s uncle did marry a Southern Belle, but I really haven’t learned any of the trade secrets. Well, except for what Tony Chachere’s is: damn good but chock full of salt! Although it tastes great in small doses, you can’t rely on it to be an all around Cajun seasoning mix unless you want to seriously up your salt intake.
Thus, my mandate to replicate Cajun spice. From scratch, this is as close as I can approximate the flavour of Cajun spice while living in Japan. Back in Canada, I used to love adding some ground chipotle powder to this mix for that hit of smokey spice, but the heavens above Japan haven’t heeded my prayers as of yet.
This spice works great for Cajun blackened chicken. It also makes some mean fresh-cut hash-browns. Of course, you may need to play with the measurements to suit your taste. I just eyeball it now. I’ll leave you with some recipe suggestions in the usage section down below. They won’t be detailed though. I believe in you!
- 1 Tbs paprika
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp ground white pepper
- 1 tsp dried onion flakes
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp celery powder
So now you have this awesome spice, but what should you do with it? Really, the question is “what shouldn’t you do with it?”
Currently, I don’t have a BBQ in Japan, but if you like, this spice goes great on some boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Just baste them with a bit of oil, generously rub some spice in, preheat your grill like you would for any other chicken, and cook it until it is just about cooked all the way through on both sides. Then, crank up the heat and blacken the suckers!
Optionally, if you live in Japan, use your fish oven! If you don’t have one, cut the chicken into thin-ish strips and pan fry them in some vegetable oil, making sure you start the blackening process by cranking the heat just before they’re cooked all the way through.
In both of these scenarios, just like you would with a good steak, use the back of a fork to feel for the firmness of the chicken. If you pierce the meat, all the sealed in juices will flow out and you’ll be left with tinder dry meat.
This recipe goes great with some homemade Caesar salad with freshly shredded Parmesan and some gnocchi with fresh pesto. Those recipes are forthcoming!
These are amazing by themselves, but even better served up next to some homemade, smoked bacon. That’s right: homemade, smoked bacon.
First, you’ll want to scrub the skin clean as you’re going to be eating it! Next, dry bake your potatoes whole with the skins on in an oven. Once they’ve finished, let them cool for a while before coarsely dicing or slicing them. If you want to, you can slice up some red onion and garlic as well. You can even use left over baked potatoes from the night before!
Okay, now that everything is prepped, pour a couple tablespoons of oil into a pan, heat it up, and add the potatoes. After they’re in there, generously sprinkle the Cajun seasoning over top. Give them a quick stir and then let the cooking process begin. Don’t stir them too frequently or they won’t crisp up. Halfway through the cooking process, add the onion and garlic. If you want, you can up the salt just a bit, but don’t overdo it!
Use your Cajun fresh-cut hash-browns to create the most delectable breakfast burritos imaginable. Try making them with some bacon, cheese, scrambled eggs, sliced avocado, salsa, and sour cream or unsweetened yoghurt.