Cajun Spice Blend

Paprika peppers

Everyone seems to love the flavours of Cajun dishes. Cajun chicken is a particular favourite, but the flavours work well on just about any meat, fish or vegetables too. I experimented with many mixes of herbs and spices before finding that this blend really hits the spot.

This spice mix has a mild heat.

Simply mix the seasoning with a little oil to make a loose paste, rub it onto your chicken, vegetable kebabs, chops or fish – whatever you fancy – then leave it to marinate for up to an hour. Cook in the usual way – roast, grill, barbecue or fry. Allow 1 teaspoon of the spice mix per portion.

2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp cayenne chilli powder
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
2 ½ tsp paprika
½ tsp salt

Mix all of the ingredients together and store in a spice jar until needed.

Pizza Seasoning

Mixed herbs lr

Whether you are making your own pizza from scratch or cooking a shop bought one, finishing it off with the right seasoning makes all the difference. Just sprinkle a generous pinch – at least half a teaspoon – of my seasoning mix over your pizza before you cook it and you will be amazed at how much better it tastes.

This seasoning mix is dead easy to make. Simply mix all of the ingredients together and store it in a spice jar where it will keep well for ages.

4 tsp dried basil
4 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried marjoram
½ tsp dried sage
2 tsp ground black pepper

Chicken Fajitas

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Serves 2 to 4, depending how hungry you are!

Fajitas are a firm favourite of lovers of Mexican food. This recipe is for chicken but it’s just as good with strips of fillet steak (or rump steak if you don’t mind chewing!).

The spice mix in this recipe has a mild heat. Any left-over spice mix will keep well for ages in a sealed spice jar.

For the fajita spice blend…
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp cayenne chilli powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 ½ tsp paprika
½ tsp salt

For the finished dish…
2 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 large sweet peppers (1 red and 1 green) cored, deseeded and thinly sliced
2 red onions, thinly sliced
8 soft flour tortillas (wraps)
Optional to serve: guacamole, soured cream and/or salsa.

Simply rub a little oil onto the chicken breasts then rub on a generous amount of the fajita spice blend and leave to marinate for up to an hour. Then bake in a moderate oven (180c) until cooked through. Leave to cool slightly, then cut into thin slices.

Meanwhile, heat some oil and stir-fry some thinly sliced red and green peppers and red onions until just starting to soften. Sprinkle with some fajita spice blend, stir and remove from the heat.

Serve the chicken, peppers and onions in soft flour tortillas adding guacamole, soured cream and/or salsa according to taste.

Jamaican Jerk Seasoning

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Like my Blackening Spice, my recipe for Jamaican Jerk Seasoning is one of my first blends and is still one of my favourites. Everyone loves this delicious recipe. It works on any meat, fish or poultry but is particularly good on chicken and pork.

This spice mix has a medium heat.

Simply mix the seasoning with a little oil to make a loose paste, rub it onto your chicken, steak, lamb chops, pork chops, sausages, fish – whatever you fancy – then leave it to marinate for up to an hour. Then cook in the usual way – roast, grill, barbecue or fry. Allow 1 teaspoon of the spice mix per portion.

If you’re cooking chicken wings, thighs or legs, it’s always worth cooking more than you need because they taste so good cold – perfect for picnics!

1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried thyme
¼ tsp ground black pepper
¾ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp cumin powder
¾ tsp cayenne
½ tsp onion powder
1 tsp paprika
¼ tsp salt

Mix all of the ingredients together and store in a spice jar until needed.

Hungry Gaucho Beef Rub

Thyme low resThis is one of LW’s top three seasoning blends. She loves to griddle a well-seasoned, juicy rib eye steak, cooking it to just about medium.

First she seasons the steak with my Hungry Gaucho Beef Rub, then allows it to stand out of the fridge to bring it to room temperature. This takes about 20 to 30 minutes. She heats up the griddle pan before placing the steak in it. She cooks the steak for several minutes, turning it occasionally. The idea is to get the steak nicely seared on the outside but still juicy on the inside. Once it is cooked, she takes the pan off the heat and lets the steak rest in it for several minutes. All she needs to go with it is a green salad or some fries.

This spice mix has a mild-to-medium heat and is easy to use. Simply mix the seasoning with a little oil to make a loose paste, rub it onto your beef – a steak, joint or burger, whatever you fancy – then leave it to marinate for up to an hour. Cook it in the usual way – griddle, grill, barbecue or roast. Allow 1 teaspoon of the spice mix per portion.

1 tsp dried thyme
¾ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp cayenne
½ tsp cumin powder
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp mustard seed powder
1 ½ tsp paprika
¾ tsp salt

Mix all of the ingredients together and store in a spice jar until needed.

(P.S. Although I created this spice mix to season beef, the mix itself is vegan and vegetarian and can be used to season vegetables for frying, roasting, grilling or barbequing.)

Schooner Wharf Fish Rub

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I have named this fish rub in honour of our favourite bar in Key West – Schooner Wharf Bar. If you want a bar right by the water’s edge that is lively and fun and has real pirates (with chains and parrots, honestly), look no further.

We love all sorts of fish and shellfish and very often the best way to appreciate it is to keep it simple. Sometimes though, we like to add other exciting flavours and that’s where my Schooner Wharf Fish Rub comes in. It enhances rather than masks the flavour of the fish and will keep you coming back for more.

This spice mix has a mild heat. Allow one teaspoon of the rub per portion, so if you are cooking for four, use four teaspoons of the rub. This recipe makes eight teaspoons in all and it will happily keep for ages stored in a spice jar.

Sumac adds a sour note. If you can’t get hold of it, just leave it out and instead add a squeeze of lemon juice to the fish before cooking.

Simply mix the rub with a little oil to make a loose paste and then rub it onto your fish – white fish, salmon, prawns, whatever you fancy – then leave it to marinate in the fridge for up to an hour. Then cook in the usual way – roast, grill, barbecue or fry.

½ tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground fenugreek
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp mustard powder
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp sumac
½ tsp salt

Bonza BBQ Seasoning

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My recipe for Bonza BBQ Seasoning is a mix of herbs and spices that is an ideal flavouring for all BBQ foods. With a medium heat and strong flavours it is perfect for outdoor grilling.

Mix together a generous amount of Bonza BBQ Seasoning with a little oil to make a loose paste. Then simply rub it onto your chicken, steak, lamb chops, pork chops, sausages, fish, vegetables – whatever you fancy – and leave it to marinate for up to an hour. Then chuck it on the Barbecue and have a feast!  (Weather permitting, that is.  If you are enjoying a typical English summer’s day, you may be better off grilling it indoors or baking it in the oven!)

1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp cayenne chilli powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp salt

Mix all of the ingredients together and store in a spice jar until needed.

Hubba Hubba Blackening Spice

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This is a great all-purpose rub. It has a rich flavour with a medium heat. If you like you can make it less or more hot by adjusting the amount of cayenne chilli powder. It is good on all sorts of meats, poultry, fish and vegetables.

Simply mix together all of the ingredients and store in a spice jar until needed. This recipe makes 8 teaspoons in all. I like to use a generous amount of this rub, typically 1 teaspoon per portion.

½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried thyme
1 ½ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp cayenne chilli powder
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
2 ½ tsp paprika
1 tsp salt

Madras Curry Powder Medium

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This is a great all-purpose Indian curry powder. It has a rich flavour with a medium heat. You can make it less or more hot by adjusting the amount of cayenne chilli powder.

Simply mix together all of the ingredients and store in a spice jar until needed. This recipe makes 10 teaspoons in all. I generally allow one heaped teaspoon per person when making a curry, so this recipe should give you enough curry powder for eight servings.

½ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp ground cardamom
1 ½ tsp cayenne chilli powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 ½ tsp ground fenugreek
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground brown mustard seeds
2 tsp ground turmeric