Here’s the second spice mix in my series of homemade seasoning blends. The first one was Roasted Chicken Seasoning, which is actually a good all-purpose seasoning with poultry and pork. Now I’ve moved onto a fish seasoning for seafood. This is my version of Old Bay seasoning, which was inspired by an about.com recipe. I removed the salt-containing spices in their recipe and altered some of the proportions of some of the spices and/or herbs to my taste. I first used this when making some trout that I crusted with macadamia nuts. I won’t be posting that recipe for now because it was one of those cases where is tasted a lot better than it looked. The nuts wouldn’t stick to the fillets, so I scooped them out of the pan on top of each serving of fish. The taste was amazing, but the look left something to be desired. If I figure out a more manageable way to make that recipe that does not compromise the flavor, I will post it.
The good thing about this spice blend is that it is salt-free, so you can control the amount of salt that goes into the recipe. The allspice, cardamom, and cloves go well with the sweet flavor of fish, but I bet this recipe would make an awesome brisket rub too!
To help me make this mix, I used a coffee grinder that I’ve devoted to be used only for spice mix making. I got this earlier in the year when the United grocery stores in my town were doing a sticker collection event where if you collected a certain number of sticker you could receive Grundig kitchen supplies.
The one tragedy that occurred with this recipe is that the container I held it in broke. It was one of my brand new spice jars from World Market. You might have heard about my tough morning on my facebook post, but here’s the story again: I was preparing a pork loin to go in my crockpot, and as I was putting the spices away the jar holding this spice mix fell off the shelf, and in a freak accident landed on the rim of the crockpot, then the backsplash of my counter, and then broke on the countertop. There was a hole in the side of the jar and the spices poured out. At least the pork loin wasn’t harmed…I had just finished preparing it and I was afraid it would be ruined by glass but it was totally fine upon my inspection because the jar hit the outer edge of the crock and not the inside rim….thankfully! While I was cleaning up the mess, I realized that my arm hurt and it was then that I noticed a needle-like shard of glass sticking out of my arm. It’s weird how the mess was pretty well contained in a pile of spice and a few pieces of glass but nothing major, yet I still ended up with a cut. I don’t know how that one happened. So, to conclude the story I lost my spices and spice jar, but I know I will make this mix again because it was delicious! I can’t wait to sprinkle it on some shrimp and grill them!
Homemade Salt-Free Old Bay-Style Seasoning
1 tbsp ground bay leaves*
2 tsp celery seeds
2 tsp sweet or smoked paprika
2 tsp dried parsley
1 1/2 tsp ground mustard seeds
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp white pepper
1/8 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne pepper)
1/8 ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1. *I ground the bay leaves myself. I used about 10 dried leaves, or half a jar, and placed them in a coffee grinder I use just for the purpose of spice grinding. I ground them until they were mainly fine pieces, but because I planned to give the grind one final spin in the coffee grinder I didn’t worry about large pieces. If you have pre-ground bay leaves you can skip this step.
2. Blend all the spices in a small bowl. Return them to the coffee grinder or mini chopper and pulse about 3 times to mix and crush the larger spices. Store in a sealed container in a cool, dry place.