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Cajun-Creole Pantry

Your Recipe Source to stock your Pantry the easy way. Let us show you how. Many helpful items.

For a complete list of spices and how to use them, see our spice section.

I remember when I first ventured out on my own. There were so many things to buy to stock the pantry.
Condiments:
Honey, hot pepper sauce (Tabasco), ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard (yellow,
Dijon)
Vegetable oil
Olives: black and pimento-stuffed green
Soy sauce: regular or reduced sodium
Vinegar: cider, red and white wine
Worcestershire sauce

Spices, seasonings and herbal mixes:
Basil, bay leaf, black pepper, cayenne pepper, chili powder, ground cinnamon, cloves, dill weed, garlic powder, ginger, nutmeg, onion powder, oregano, paprika, rosemary, sage, salt, tarragon and thyme.
Italian seasoning, sloppy Joe mix, taco seasoning mix
 
Pasta, grains and breads:
Fetuccini and spaghetti noodles
Bread crumbs
Cornmeal
Oatmeal
Rice: long-grain white; long-grain or instant brown

Canned, dried or bottled goods:
Beans, such as pinto, kidney and black varieties
Dried fruits: dark raisins, apricots, dates
Canned soup: mushroom, chicken, beef and vegetable broths
Canned tomatoes, diced whole tomatoes, tomato paste and tomato sauce  Canned tuna
Nuts: almonds, walnuts pecans and unsalted peanuts

Dry basics:
Baking powder and baking soda
Cornstarch
Unsweetened cocoa
Coffee
Flour: all-purpose plain and cake flour
Sugar: white granulated, 10-x powdered, light and dark brown

With these basic items stocked in your pantry, you can assemble a variety of meals and baked goods without having to shop at the store every other day.

CAJUN SEASONING:  No list of spice blends would be complete without a Cajun mix

CAJUN SEASONING:  No list of spice blends would be complete without a Cajun mix. Cajun-style cooking has become very popular, but often the spice ingredients are not listed with the recipes. As with all blends, the pre-mixed products are quite expensive so make your own. From what I have been able to determine, although some of the spices in Cajun Seasoning are common to all brands, there are others that differ according to the manufacturer's preference. The common ingredients are: paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper, oregano and thyme. Other ingredients include, but are not limited to: celery, sugar, turmeric, cumin, bay leaf, mace, cardamon, basil, marjoram and rosemary.

Chili Powder:  Chili powder should not be confused with dried or powdered chiles. It is a blend, consisting mostly of powdered chiles, with other spices and herbs included. Unfortunately, many packaged chili powders also contain too much salt and not enough of the other spices for my taste. The ingredients in a basic chili powder are: ground chiles and/or cayenne pepper, ground cumin, garlic powder and oregano. Crushed hot peppers could be used in place of, or in addition to, powdered chile.

Crab Boil:  The spices used in a crab boil are similar to pickling spice. It is used for boiling shrimp, lobster, crayfish and crab. The ingredients are: mustard seed, peppercorns, cloves, allspice, coriander, bay leaves, ginger, dill seed and caraway seed. For a hotter blend, add some crushed hot peppers.

The basics for Crab Broil 
The basic recipe:
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon whole cloves
2 teaspoons whole allspice
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
2 teaspoons dill seeds
5 dried bay leaves
1 small piece dried ginger

Curry Powder:  There are so many different types of curry powders and pastes, hot or mild, depending on the country or the dish. I am not going to get into all of that since I have read about, but have no experience using them. I will deal with the curry powder that most of us can purchase in our grocery stores. The ingredients are: turmeric, coriander, cumin, fenugreek, ginger, nutmeg, fennel, cinnamon, cardamon, cloves, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Use whole spices, if available, and grind in a mini-processor or coffee grinder. My recipe includes some whole and some ground spices.

The basics for Curry Powder
The basic recipe:
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon ground cardamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
Black pepper to taste
Grind the coriander and fennel seeds with the bay leaf. Makes about 2 tablespoons.

Pickling Spice:  Pickling spice is most often used for canning pickles, but in some other dishes as well. The ingredients are: cinnamon, mustard seed, bay leaves, allspice, dill seed, cloves, ginger, peppercorns, coriander, juniper berries, mace, and cardamon. For a hotter mix, add some crushed hot peppers.

The basics for Pickling Spice
The basic recipe:
2 cinnamon sticks, broken
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon whole allspice
1 teaspoon juniper berries
1 teaspoon crumbled whole mace
1 teaspoon dill seeds
4 dried bay leaves
1 small piece dried ginger

Poultry Seasoning:  I have never cared for poultry seasoning, maybe because it is often used in excessive amounts and in some foods to substitute other flavor that is missing. A good example is the crab cakes served in many restaurants that taste more like poultry stuffing than crab. That's because there is very little crab in the mixture. However, I often use the 3 herbs in combination that are most prominent in poultry seasoning: rosemary, sage and thyme. Other ingredients include: savory, marjoram, dill, allspice and ginger.

The basics for Poultry Seasoning
The basic recipe:
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme

Pumpkin Pie Spice:  The spices in pumpklin pie spice can be used in all sorts of baking, as well as some main or side dishes. Try it in a pumpkin stew or baked winter squash. The ingredients are: cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, mace, ginger and cloves.

The basics for Pumpkin Pie Spice
The basic recipe:
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Taco Seasoning:  I really do object to the sodium content in most packaged taco seasonings. And many of them contain MSG. Making your own is very simple. The ingredients are: cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, paprika, allspice, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Flour is often added as a thickening agent.

The basics for Taco Seasoning
The basic recipe:
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste