While this recipe is ultimately about blackened salmon, make no mistake ... this spice blend and method is absolutely fantastic on just about everything. Try tossing some shrimp in a little melted butter and then this spice blend. Sauté over ludicrously high heat, to scorch the outside butter and spiced, then eat! The same would be true with a chicken thigh. Coat it with melted butter, salt, pepper and this spice blend. Best chicken thigh ever! If I recommended popcorn (I don't)
, I'd recommend dusting it with melted butter and then THIS spice blend. DELICIOUS!
Blackening is a Cajun method of cooking (which is, itself, a blend of French, native American, Caribbean, Spanish, Italian and African influences)
. The central idea is that "the item" is coated with whole melted butter and a mixture of spices. This "item" is cooked over very high heat, which heats the fat in the butter, browning the milk solids and frying the spices, until they are essentially "charred". People don't like to hear the word "burnt", but ... carbon is being created. There is a bit of burning, but not so much that it's a burnt flavor. It is, in fact, just a heavy deepening of the flavors, bringing a slightly bitter edge to spicy and aromatic blend of herbs, chilies and spices. Burn it, but ... don't BURN IT.
Most blackening spice blends tend to be made with dry spices. I tend to believe it's because they're made in bulk in most restaurants, added to just about everything in the kitchen and have an incredibly long shelf life. This makes a lot of sense, but in a world where I can go to the local farmer's market or even a standard grocery store and pick up an amazing selection of fresh herbs and spices, I'm going to add a few of this, just to brighten it up!
Give this spice blend a shot. It just takes an extra minute or two to make, but the end flavors are OUT OF THIS WORLD!
I added a small amount of erythritol to this. The miniscule little boost of "sweet" helps round this out, but if you can't get your hands on some ... don't worry about it. It's not crucial to the dish ... it's just a personal preference.
Served with Smothered Cabbage