I’ve always been a big fan of Creole flavors–they’re spicy and complicated. However, if you’ve ever bought a pre-made bottle of something that purports being Creole seasoning from the grocery store (save your money and don’t!), you’ve probably been turned off to it (maybe it’s just me). More often than not, the store-bought stuff amounts to nothing more complex than very bland, very salty red stuff–blech.
This is a very simple seasoning to prepare and is something I always have handy in large amounts. Its good for rubbing into meats and also a great way to give some punch to any breading/bread crumbs when you fry foods. I tend to rub it into steaks, drum sticks, chicken breast, and use it in many of my breadings.
The paprika gives a great color, the sugar gives a little carmelization, the various peppers provide varying levels of heat and flavor, and the rest just gives those earthy spices that make this seasoning so interesting. Also, you’ll notice I did not include any salt. I’d recommend you try this as is before mixing in any salt, or better yet, just keep the salt out. You can always add it on a per-recipe basis.
Gather up the following dried spices:
- 1/4 cup paprika (and you can mix this up with smoked paprika, sweet hungarian paprika, etc)
- 1/4 cup garlic powder/granulated garlic
- 1/8 cup onion powder/granulated onion
- 1/8 cup ground thyme
- 1/8 cup dried oregano
- 1/8 cup dried basil
- 1.5 Tbs black pepper
- 1 Tbs sugar
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
Simply mix all of these together well and store in an airtight container.
This makes a little over a cup’s worth of seasoning. You may want to scale up since this will go quicker than you think!
If you’re ever in the mood to mix this up, some substitions/additions to consider:
- smoked paprika (the smoky flavor would probably be overpowering, so I wouldn’t recommend a complete substitution)
- sweet hungarian paprika
- light brown sugar (for a deeper, darker sweetness)
- dried mint (for a little more complex sweetness)
- celery seeds (spiciness–note, this spice has nothing to do with celery stalks)
- chili powder (darker, more heat)