When I make my marvelous Shrimp Po’ Boys (adapted from Tyler Florence) I always take a minute to whip up extra of this little spice mixture used in those Po’ Boys. I call it Hot & Smokin’ Po’ Boy Spice. Actually, I don’t limit this spice mixture to just Po’ Boys; I’ve started mixing it up even when I am not making them and started using it on all kinds of things. I like it so much it’s kinda become a signature “house” seasoning at my place.
This spice is very simple with only a handful of ingredients. a little onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and two peppers, cayenne and plain old black pepper. And the mixture seems almost too simple to publish or post (or to rave about) which I do. Almost, except that Hot & Smokin’ Po’ Boy Spice has one of my Stealth Ingredients, smoked paprika. The smoked paprika gives this simple little mixture of such depth.
About Hot & Smokin’ Po’ Boy Spice:
Even though it shares a lot of the same ingredients as many other Creole and Cajun blends, including mine, without the herbs that add an earthiness to those more complex blends, this Po’ Boy seasoning rings out clear and true in or on anything it’s used on. And of course, that smoked paprika just accents the cayenne beautifully with just a bit of a bite and a subtle smokiness.
You might want to increase this recipe and keep it in a jar with a shaker, just to have it on hand. Just use the clickable option in the recipe, below, and it will work out the amounts and if that’s not enough, sub in tablespoons for the measurements that are in teaspoons. Don’t make too much at a time or keep for too long, though because there aren’t any preservatives or anti-caking agents in this blend and the hotter spices can diminish with time.
Sometimes I’ll mix up a quantity and keep part of it on hand with what I think of as my “working” spices that I use often. The rest goes into a tightly lidded jar in a dark, cool cabinet where it stays fresher, longer. If you’re curious about that dark, cool cabinet, that means one not above the stove or fridge if possible; both give off heat. And by dark, maybe not in a pantry or cabinet that is constantly opened, exposing the spices to light.
Using this Spice Blend:
This really IS marvelously sprinkled in the breading for that shrimp for those Po’ Boys. Don’t stop there though! Try it in the breading for just about anything fried from fish to chicken to vegetables like zucchini. It gives a little zip (or a lot if you use more) to just about anything breaded and fried.
Once you taste this, once you have a jar of it in your cupboard, you might find yourself inspired to try it on all kinds of things. Nothing you’re making will be “safe!” You’ll probably want to shake it over grilled items, use it on french fries or baked potato wedges, and FYI, a pinch or two in Hollandaise sauce is magical. A little mixed up with mayo and/or sour cream makes a marvelous, quickie dipping or “come back” sauce for fries or onion rings.
Saving Money on Hot & Smokin’ Po’ Boy Spice:
There are times you absolutely need the best quality ingredients in a mix, and here freshly ground black pepper and a good quality smoked paprika really do make a big difference.
As for the garlic and onion powder, I look for the basic common spices like these in larger jars or in jugs, especially ones I know I’ll go through in my blends and rubs. If you can pick them up in a bulk size, you’ll save a little money on them. I rarely visit the spice aisle any longer and for some of these larger jugs, I don’t even visit the grocery. Check your buyer’s club if you’re a member.
Do check the produce area for packets if your store carries them. They’re usually a great value and that’s a fabulous way to pick up common spices like cayenne in this recipe that might not normally be used in large quantities. Generally, you’ll find them at a much better price than bottled or jarred spices or herbs, and if you crunch the numbers, they’re usually less than even the little “bargain” jars that run a dollar, each.
While some stores might have a bulk area where you can buy just the amount of spice you need, for the most part, you’ll be paying more for spices that way and it can be very difficult to crunch the numbers, at least without a calculator. The only time I would ever consider buying this way is when I know it’s less expensive per ounce or if the spice or herb that I’m buying is a one-off; something I’ll likely never use again or possibly one I just am curious about and want to try in a small quantity, only.
Hot & Smokin’ Po’ Boy Spice
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 1 1/2 tablespoons 1x
- Category: Spices & Herbs
- Cuisine: American
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Mix together, store in an airtight container.
I like about 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
You may wish to double or triple and put in a jar with a shaker to use on all kinds of things.
Keywords: Cajun & Creole, Po' boy, Spice & Herb Blends, Tyler Florence