The early 1980’s. Oh my gosh, I had the time of my life. Young, single, making some pretty good money, I couldn’t have been happier traipsing around downtown Denver in dresses (with shoulder pads – now that style went overboard!) and high heels. I was lucky I had a job that was pretty well protected from the recession. And I was lucky that my friends and I ventured into a little basement restaurant that served up jazzy blues and just about anything you could want that was blackened. I fell in love! And nobody knew more about that New Orlean’s style of cooking than Paul Prudhomme, so here’s the famous Paul Prudhomme’s Blackened Seasoning Spice.
Paul Prudhomme was an interesting cat. He had quite a career, starting out with a failed hamburger joint and later in life, stepped down from the famed Commander’s Palace (which he turned into a world-class destination) to run his own restaurant, thereby paving the way for Emeril Lagasse.
About Paul Prudhomme’s Blackened Seasoning Spice:
In his younger days, Prudhomme is said to have made bags of spice mixes and would give them away. Later in life, he launched his own line of seasonings (Chef Paul Prudhomme Magic Seasoning Blends) which included his signature Blackened Redfish seasoning. This is that same seasoning.
This seasoning has a good bit of zing, but it’s not so hot, especially by today’s standards, that most people would have an issue with it. I’ve noticed the heat dissipates a bit over time; items made with this just aren’t as spicey, say, the next day.
How to Use Paul Prudhomme’s Blackened Seasoning Spice:
When Paul Prudhomme put the recipe for Redfish in his cookbook, he gave instructions to use a lot of butter. He dipped the fish in butter before spicing, then used melted butter on both sides as it cooked, then he served it with butter. I just skip that step when I use his seasonings. A quick rub with a little olive oil, and then the seasoning works for me.
And while you can use this seasoning on Redfish, it’s fantastic with other things, too. I actually have one of Paul Prudhomme’s recipes already on my site, Honey Glazed Cajun Baked Ham, although instead of using his commercial blend, used my own…next time, I’ll use this spice blend since it’s his.
Here are 12 other delicious ways to use Cajun blackening seasoning:
- Blackened Fish: Coat fish fillets, such as salmon or catfish, in Cajun blackening seasoning before pan-searing or grilling for a crispy, flavorful crust.
- Blackened Chicken: Rub Cajun blackening seasoning onto chicken breasts or thighs and cook them in a skillet or on the grill for a spicy and smoky taste.
- Blackened Shrimp: Toss peeled and deveined shrimp with Cajun blackening seasoning, then sauté or grill until they’re beautifully blackened and bursting with flavor.
- Blackened Steak: Rub Cajun blackening seasoning on a juicy steak and cook it on a hot grill or in a skillet to create a spicy crust on the outside.
- Blackened Tofu: Coat tofu slices or cubes with Cajun blackening seasoning and pan-fry until crispy for a delicious vegan option.
- Blackened Vegetables: Mix Cajun blackening seasoning with olive oil, toss it with your favorite vegetables, and roast them in the oven for a zesty side dish.
- Blackened Burgers: Incorporate Cajun blackening seasoning into ground beef before shaping it into patties and grilling or pan-frying for a flavorful burger.
- Blackened Potatoes: Sprinkle Cajun blackening seasoning on roasted or grilled potatoes to add a spicy twist to this classic side dish.
- Blackened Pasta: Mix Cajun blackening seasoning with your favorite pasta sauce for a fiery and aromatic kick to your spaghetti, penne, or other pasta dishes.
- Blackened Rice: Cook rice with a pinch of Cajun blackening seasoning to infuse it with a smoky and spicy flavor.
- Blackened Soups and Stews: Add a dash of Cajun blackening seasoning to your gumbo, jambalaya, or other hearty soups and stews for an extra layer of taste.
- Blackened Seafood Tacos: Sprinkle Cajun blackening seasoning on grilled or sautéed seafood (shrimp, fish, or scallops), and serve them in warm tortillas with your favorite taco toppings.
I think my fave way to use this seasoning mix is on chicken, particularly my Grilled Blackened Cajun Chicken and I recently made that in a largish quantity, just so I’d have enough for some meal prepping. It’s the perfect thing to use to spin off a few other recipes.
Remember, you can easily adjust the amount of heat in your Blackening spice and you can use it in a larger or smaller amount according to your preference for heat. Enjoy experimenting with these flavorful ways to use Cajun blackening seasoning in your favorite dishes!
Making & Storing Blackening Spice:
If you have a well-stocked spice cupboard, you’ll have no problem tossing together this seasoning mix. The one thing that you may not have is the white pepper. Other than that, it’s just common spices. It’s the amount of the hot ones that give this such a spicy kick.
I want to talk about the white pepper in this blend because it’s an item that may not be in everyone’s pantry. This is a great spice to use if you make any Chinese food; it’s essential (IMHO.) This is one of the spices that will give you that “aha” moment when you taste it in Chinese food. White pepper really doesn’t taste like black pepper. It’s a great candidate to buy in whole form (it keeps forever that way) and grind for the freshest flavor, but if it’s a spice you feel you would never use again it might be a candidate for buying the specified amount from a measure your own bulk jar.
Like all spices and herbs, store your seasoning in an airtight container in a dark, cool place. Over a stove, refrigerator or dishwasher is not ideal.
Variations on Blackening Spice:
While this recipe calls for Cayenne, I hafta admit sometimes I like to add in something just a little spicier, a little Habanero powder maybe, or a little Aleppo pepper (but admittedly my spice cupboard is overflowing and getting a little outlandish! And that’s just more reason to mix up my own blends.) And sometimes, I’ll toss in smoked paprika instead of the commoner sweet paprika called for in the recipe.
One thing I do always do when I make this blackening seasoning? I cut back on the salt. By a full teaspoon. Hey, you can always add more but you can’t take away! Made with the full amount of salt, anything made with this seasoning will definitely have a zingy, salty taste.
Saving Money on Paul Prudhomme’s Blackened Seasoning Spice:
There are times when you absolutely need the best quality ingredients in a mix, and there are times when savvy shopping can save you a bit of hard-earned cash. Making your own spice mixes is one of those times.
- Buy in Bulk: Purchase the dried herbs and spices in bulk or larger containers to save money. Often, larger quantities are more cost-effective than smaller amounts. This is especially true in items most used, and for standard “American” cooking, some of the most used items are paprika, onion, and garlic powder. These are building blocks for many spice blends as well as rubs for barbecue or grilling.
- Grow Your Own: Consider growing some of the herbs, like oregano, parsley, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, mint, oregano, and basil, in your garden or in pots. This not only saves money but also provides you with fresh herbs whenever you need them and with the exception of basil, these all dry beautifully at the end of the season. If you plan right you may be able to bring herbs inside to overwinter. Generally, the cost of a plant is about the same amount as a small packet or bundle of herbs from the refrigerated section of the produce department.
- Buy Whole Spices: Seldom used spices (this works for chiles, too) can be bought in whole form if available. Most will keep for literally years in a glass jar, tightly lidded, in a cool, dark cupboard. Grind as needed and you’ll never have to toss old jars that have lost their oomph. If a spice will not break down to a powdery substance, shake it through a small strainer.
- Check in Different Areas: Check various areas of the store: You will almost always find dried spices and herbs in the baking aisle, but check any “ethnic” areas as well as the produce aisle. Many groceries sell dried spices and herbs in cellophane packets near the produce.
- Shop Around: Do check your big box stores for surprising deals. Also if you have access to any markets, especially Asian, Middle Eastern, and Latino markets, they may have stellar pricing and may have items not found in a regular chain grocery.
- Watch Sales: Spice sales do happen sporadically throughout the year, but generally, most producers offer specials, sales, coupons, and Catalinas in the Spring. Watch for them. A Catalina, if you are not familiar, is a piece of paper that is generated when an item is bought. That slip of paper will key you in on current or future sales (maybe unadvertised otherwise.)
- Be Wary: There’s a lot of advice online to buy spices in very small amounts from measure-your-own bulk jars. To buy all spices and herbs this way is generally insanely expensive. Consider this only if a one-off spice or herb is needed.
- Skip Expensive Brands: Don’t be swayed by fancy packaging or expensive brands. Check the ingredients and opt for the most affordable options available. Be wary of items sold in large bins for $1.00 for a small jar. They may or may not be cost-effective compared to buying in bulk, for instance.
- Know Your Spices & Herbs: While this covers buying spices and herbs, know how long they are good for and how to store them properly. Never toss spices or herbs after a year on the advice of a celebrity chef. I’ve written extensively on these subjects. Follow the link below.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post on Paul Prudhomme’s Blackened Seasoning Spice! If you make this zippy spice blend, I’d love it if you’d check back and let me know how you like it and how you use it. And if you’d share this post, that would be great, too! If you would like to see more of my spice & herb blends, check out Spice, Herb & Flavor Packet Substitutes. I’m always adding as I go along!
Take care all, and happy cooking!
Paul Prudhomme’s Blackened Seasoning Spice
This is it, the original Paul Prudhomme’s Blackened Seasoning Spice; this Cajun seasoning made the New Orlean’s chef famous.
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: about 1/2 cup 1x
- Category: Spice & Herb Blends
- Cuisine: Cajun & Creole
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 ½ teaspoons salt (suggest 1 1/2 teaspoons salt)
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon white pepper
- ½ teaspoon thyme leaves
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
Mix together and store in a tightly lidded jar in a cool, dark cupboard.
Keywords: Cajun & Creole, Commander's Palace, New Orleans, Paul Prudhomme, Spice & Herb Blends
I’m happy to announce that this week I will be cohosting at Fiesta Friday #286 with Laurena @ Life Diet Health. I almost always post my recipes at Fiesta Friday; if you click over, you’ll see lots of photos of recipes and a few other items. Just click on one and you’ll zip over to that blogger’s site. It’s a fun way to see the week’s recipes from many bloggers all in one place.