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Seasoning the Cajun Way!

When folks think of Cajun cuisine, the first thing that comes to mind is food so hot that your mouth feels like it is engulfed in flames! Although Cajuns, as well as many of us from the warmer states, employ chilies and hot sauces in our regional cuisines, one of the distinguishing characteristics of true Cajun cuisine is the subtle piquancy that draws us to the simplicity of its many flavorful dishes.

One of the secrets of Cajun cuisine is its clever use of herbs and seasonings. These blends, often handed down through the generations are the foundation of each and every dish. Then just pass around the hot sauce to add some extra heat! For those of us that do not have a Cajun Auntie or Granny, there are many wonderful commercially prepared seasoning blends and hot sauces available at supermarkets and corner grocery stores.

Dry Seasoning Blends

You can also make your own dry seasoning blends. To get you started, try one of my recipes from my personal recipe box! Just click on the Seasoning Blends link below for links to all of my seasoning blend recipes or paste one of the URLs listed under the blend description into your browser's address bar to go directly to one of my favorite recipes!

Basic Chicken Seasoning
This basic seasoning is great for chicken or for seasoning soups, gravies, or gumbos.
http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art45799.asp

Classic Cajun Seasoning Blend
Full of herbs and spices and just the right amount of heat!
http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art45800.asp

Blackened Fish Blend
If you love blackened fish, then you are sure to love this blend.
http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art45797.asp

Cajun Dry Rub Seasoning
I use this for roasts, steaks, most all grilled meats, roasted potatoes, and more!
http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art43503.asp

Bayou Blend Seasoning
One of my favorite commercially prepared seasonings is Bayou Blend Seasoning. This unique blend of herbs and spices has just the right amount of heat. I especially love the slight smoky flavor the cumin adds. I also like that this is salt free which allows me to control the amount of salt added to the food I am preparing.

http://store.poshgourmet.com/mb101.html

Cajun Style Hot Sauces & Pepper Sauces

One of the seasonings that folks expect to find in Cajun food is hot sauce. Hot sauce, or pepper sauce, is not used in Cajun cooking as often as folks might think but rather passed around at the table as a condiment to be added at the discretion of the dinner!

The selection of pepper sauces available today is staggering! Many are just plain hot too hot, in fact, to add any real flavor to the dish. I have never made my own liquid hot sauce but I do have a few that I enjoy. Most are readily available.

Swamp Scum Sauce

Everyone that knows me knows that this is one of my favorites. It is a swampy looking sauce full of all sorts of secret ingredients from our "friend" Larry in Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana. Like Larry's Bayou Blend dry seasoning, Swamp Scum Sauce has a bit of a smoky taste and just the right amount of heat. This is my favorite for dishes like Red Beans and Rice or when I make Remoulade. I also use it on fried chicken!

http://store.poshgourmet.com/mb101.html

Trappy's Louisiana Hot Sauce (Original Recipe)

This is the one I reach for when I make Nachos or Tacos. It is not a Mexican style, but I like with the cheddar cheese topping! I also use it on/in egg dishes, red beans and rice, etc. Trappy's has a lot of vinegar in it and a medium heat making it perfect to mix with Ranch Dressing for a spicy vegetable dip or salad dressing.

Available in supermarkets and grocery stores.

Trappey's Indi-Pep West Indian Style Pepper Sauce

I like the garlicky flavor of this hot sauce. It is hotter than the Louisiana and with a different flavor profile. Adds a nice, spicy flavor along with the heat.

Available in supermarkets and grocery stores.



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