Thursday

Make Your Own Old Bay Seasoning Blend

One of the most well known of the crab seasoning blends, Old Bay Seasoning sold by McCormick & Company (and others), is a household staple in many parts of the United States.

It is less dependent on salt than some other popular seasonings – but delivers good flavor. Prepare a shaker full of goodness by creating your own Old Bay Seasoning mixture. Here's how.

Old Bay Seasoning Recipe

6 bay leaves (ground fine)
2 tsp. celery salt
1-1/2 tsp ground mustard
1-1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp red pepper
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground mace
1/4 tsp ground cardamom

Grind bay leaves fine. Add the remaining spices. Store in a container with a tight fitting lid.

When I prepare this blend, I also add one teaspoon of salt and one teaspoon of ground parsley. I always like to add something to make recipes my own. You'll find many of these Old Bay type recipes around. At one time, this basic blend was very popular and a number of manufacturers were making it. The main difference seems to be the proportion of celery salt and red pepper to the rest of the mixture. Mine is heavy on red pepper and light on celery salt. I also like to use chipotle pepper for the red pepper ingredient. It's sweet and has a nice smoky bite. Homemade Old Bay seasoning should stay fresh and viable for three to six months when stored properly.

Special Note: I'm into spices, so I keep a number of varieties whole and grind them as needed in a coffee grinder, with a rasp, or in a mini food processor. You can certainly do the same. If you start with whole seeds, the end result will be more flavorful and stay flavorful longer, too.

If you like the idea of making your own blended seasonings. You might be interested in blending up some:

Bouquet Garni
Herbes De Provence
Creole Blend

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