For most of us, blackened seasoning is one of those spice mixtures that is shrouded in mystery. In our own kitchens we might be able to put together a decent barbecue sauce or even a respectable curry, but blackened fish is a dish we order in a restaurant and blackened seasoning is something we buy in the store. It need not be that way; you can make your own delicious mixture with a few basic ingredients.

Blackened Cooking

Blackened cooking is a Cajun-style method in which foods are rubbed with spices, dipped in butter and then cooked over high heat in a red-hot pan until charred. The juices are sealed in and your smoke detector is sounding off. But it is worth it.

Chef Prudhomme’s Recipe

Chef Paul Prudhomme, whose specialty is Cajun cuisine, has a recipe for blackened seasoning that he uses on fish, meat and chicken. To make it, mix together 1 tbsp. of sweet paprika, 2 1/2 tsp. of salt, 1 tsp. each of onion powder, garlic powder and cayenne pepper, 3/4 tsp. of freshly ground white pepper and an equal amount of freshly ground black pepper, and 1/2 tsp. each of dried thyme and dried oregano leaves. Dip your fish, meat or chicken in melted butter, coat it with the seasoning mix and cook over high heat. If you like your food a little spicier, increase the cayenne pepper. Store any leftover seasoning in your refrigerator.

Mais, c’est bon! (But this is good!)

If you are feeling more adventurous, make your own mixture by starting with the basic ingredients and improvising. Similar to barbecue sauce and curry, blackened seasoning is not a defined recipe, rather it is a mixture of spices that each cook uses in proportions that appeal to her taste buds. Begin with 1 tsp. of cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp. of salt, 1/4 tsp. of garlic powder and 1/4 tsp. of onion powder. Optional additions include paprika, chili powder, dried basil, freshly ground white or black pepper, celery salt or dried thyme. Since these spices fit well together, you need not worry about creating an unsavory blend.