The world of spices is a vast and wonderful one, filled with endless possibilities for flavor. Today, we're going to be delving into one particular spice mix that has become increasingly popular in recent years: blackening seasoning. This unique blend of spices can be used in a variety of ways to add depth and flavor to your cooking. So let's take a closer look at blackening seasoning and find out everything there is to know about it.
What is Blackened Seasoning?
Blackened seasoning, also known as blackening spice or blackening seasoning, is a spice blend typically used to coat meat or seafood before cooking. The result is a deeply flavorful and slightly spicy dish that is perfect for those who enjoy bold flavors. But what exactly goes into blackening seasoning? Let's take a closer look.
- Blackening seasoning typically contains paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, thyme, cayenne pepper, and black pepper.
- There are regional variations of the blend which may also include white pepper, red pepper flakes, mustard seeds, celery seeds, and brown sugar.
- The ratios of the spices can be adjusted to customize the seasoning to personal taste preferences.
Origin of Blackening Seasoning
- Blackening spice gets its name from the cooking method that is most commonly associated with it: blackening.
- This technique was developed in the 1980s by chef Paul Prudhomme and involves cooking meats or seafood in a very hot skillet until the exterior is charred and blistered.
- One of the most famous dishes to come out of New Orleans cuisine is blackened redfish, which was popularized by chef Paul Prudhomme himself.
- If you're looking for something a little bit different, try using blackening seasoning as a dry rub for grilled chicken or steak.
Blackened Seasoning vs Cajun
Both Louisiana-born spices have their roots in Creole cuisine, but there are some subtle (and not so subtle) differences between the two.
Blackened Seasoning: A Quintessential Louisiana Spice
- This blend of spices is essential in any self-respecting Creole dish, and it can be used to add a bit of zing to just about anything.
- The spice blend typically contains paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and dried oregano. Some variations also include salt, thyme, and onion powder.
- As you can see, there's a bit of heat in this spice blend thanks to the cayenne pepper. But don't worry, it's not so hot that it'll blow your head off—just enough to give your dish a nice little kick.
Cajun Seasoning: Spicier Than its Blackened Counterpart
- If Blackened seasoning is all about the heat, then Cajun seasoning is all about turning up the heat even more.
- This spice blend takes everything that's good about Blackened seasoning and ramps it up a notch (or two).
- In addition to the usual suspects like paprika and garlic powder, blackened seasoning also contains chili powder and ground mustard.
- These extra ingredients give the spice blend an extra level of depth and complexity. And of course, there's even more cayenne pepper for an extra bit of heat. So if you're looking to turn up the heat in your dishes, cajun seasoning is the way to go.
What is Blackened Seasoning Used For?
It's the perfect seasoning for fish, chicken, steak, potato salad, grilled vegetables, and so much more!
- Fish: Season your favorite fish fillets with blackened seasoning and pan-fry them in olive oil over medium-high heat. Serve with roasted potatoes and steamed veggies for a complete meal.
- Chicken: Season chicken breasts with blackened seasoning and grill them over indirect heat until cooked through. Serve with a side of rice and beans or a green salad.
- Steak: Season steak with homemade spice blends and grill it over direct heat until it reaches the desired level of doneness. Slice and serve with your favorite sides.
- Potato salad: Mix blackened spice into your favorite potato salad recipe for a little extra flavor. Or, simply season boiled potatoes with the spice blend and dress them with olive oil and vinegar.
- Grilled vegetables: Toss your favorite veggies (e.g., zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms) with the blackened spice mix and olive oil. Grill over direct heat until tender. Serve as a side dish or add them to your favorite grain bowl recipe.
Blackened Seasoning Substitutes
One of the great things about cooking is that there are always substitutes for ingredients that you may not have on hand. This is especially true when it comes to spices and seasonings. So, if you find yourself out of seasoning blend, never fear! Here are three substitutes that will give your dish a similar flavor profile.
- Cajun Seasoning: Cajun spice mix is a great substitute for blackened seasoning because it has a similar spice level and depth of flavor. Cajun seasoning typically contains paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, thyme, and black pepper. This blend of spices will give your dish a spicy, smoky flavor that is sure to please.
- Creole Seasoning: Creole seasoning is another perfect substitute for blackened seasoning. Like Cajun seasoning, it has a similar spice level and depth of flavor. Additionally, Creole seasoning often contains sweet and smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and dried herbs like basil, oregano, and thyme. So if you're looking for a substitution that will be virtually indistinguishable from blackened seasoning, Creole seasoning is your best bet.
- Old Bay Seasoning: Old Bay seasoning is a great all-purpose seasoning that can be used as a substitute for seasoning mix in a pinch. While it doesn't have quite the same level of spice as Cajun or Creole seasonings, it does have a nice balance of salty and savory flavors that will complement any dish. Old Bay typically contains celery salt, bay leaves, mustard seed, paprika, cinnamon, and cloves—all of which work together to create a unique flavor profile that is sure to add interest to your dish.
People Also Ask [FAQs]
Blackened seasoning can be mild to moderately spicy depending on the spices and herbs used in the blend.
Yes, this Blackened Seasoning recipe is naturally gluten-free as there is no sugar added. It contains no wheat, barley, or rye which are the main sources of gluten in a typical diet.
Wrap Up: Homemade Blackened Seasoning
- Love bold flavors? Then you'll love this seasoning mix! This zesty blend of spices can be used in many different ways to add depth and flavor to your cooking.
- We also covered the difference between blackened and Cajun seasoning. Both of these Louisiana-born spices are essential in any self-respecting Creole dish, but they each have their own unique flavor profile that makes them ideal for different dishes.
- Whether you use it as a dry rub, a coating for meat or seafood, or simply use this blackened seasoning mix recipe to season your rice and vegetables, there are endless possibilities for how you can incorporate it into your kitchen repertoire.
Homemade Blackened Seasoning Recipe for Fish
- Mix together the paprika (or smoked paprika), cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, ground black and white pepper, cumin powder, dried thyme, dried oregano, and salt in a bowl.
- To use, simply rub the seasoning onto your fish fillets.
- Then cook either under the grill or in a frying pan for a few minutes on each side, until the fish is cooked through.
- For an extra smoky flavor, try cooking your fish over a charcoal grill. This will add an additional layer of flavor to your meal.
- Use more cayenne pepper for a spicier blend.
- Store your spice mix in an airtight container.