Recipes for Spice Mixes

The Blends

Chili: A secret blend of ground peppers, cinnamon, and celery seed.

Blackening: Ground red and black pepper, hot paprika, garlic, and herbs

Jerk: Paprika, multiple kinds of red and black pepper, garlic, onion, herbs, cinnamon, cloves, and sugar

Curry: Tumeric, cumin, coriander, cardamom, black pepper, and other spices

 

(Note: Where the below recipes call for oil, olive oil doesn’t really work–its flavor is all wrong. Vegetable, canola, soy, and peanut oils all work well.)

 

Jed’s Chili

Ingredients:

  • 1 to 1.5 lb ground beef, other meat, or meat substitute
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cans diced tomatoes (the regular-sized cans, not the big ones; I like to have one can be fire-roasted and at least one of the others be the kind with chopped green chilis)
  • Optional: 2 cans beans (I usually go with 1 can dark red kidneys and 1 can light red, but do what makes you happy)
  • Optional: 1/2 cup of bell pepper strips
  • Optional: 1 small can chipotles in adobo sauce (may be called chipotles in tomato sauce)
  • 4 tbsp Chili spice blend

Instructions:

  1. Put all the ingredients except the chipotles in a crock pot.
  2. If you want mild chili, don’t add the chipotles at all; medium, add the sauce the chipotles came in but not the actual peppers; hot, chop in 1-2 chipotles; very hot, chop in all the chipotles
  3. Cook in the crock pot on low about 4 hours

or…

  1. In large saucepan or wok, combine onion, ~1.5 lb ground beef or other meat/meat substitute, and 1 tbsp Chili spice blend. (If using meat substitute or very lean meat, you may need to spray the pan first or add a little oil.)
  2. Cook on medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until meat is brown and onions are translucent around edges.
  3. Add tomatoes, beans (if desired), and remaining 3 tbsp of spice blend.
  4. If you want mild chili, don’t add the chipotles at all; medium, add the sauce the chipotles came in but not the actual peppers; hot, chop in 1-2 chipotles; very hot, chop in all the chipotles
  5. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, then decrease temperature to low and simmer for 1/2 hour.

Serve with rice, pasta, or cornbread, and cheese if you like.

 

Blackened Chicken/Fish/Whatever

Ingredients:

  • 1 to 1.5 lbs chicken breasts, fish fillets, or whatever
  • Optional: 1 stick butter
  • 2-3 tbsp Blackening spice blend

Traditional:

  1. Melt the butter, then add spice blend and mix into a paste.
  2. Coat the meat in the paste.
  3. Pan-fry the meat until done.

Less Likely to Cause Heart Attack Variant:

  1. Dust meat with spice blend and (if desired) a pinch of salt.
  2. Bake or broil until cooked.

Blackened Chicken Alfredo

Ingredients:

  • 1 to 1.5 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1-2 tbsp oil
  • Alfredo sauce
  • Broccoli
  • Pasta
  • Blackening spice blend

Instructions:

  1. Dust chicken with spice blend.
  2. In a large saucepan, saute chicken in oil until cooked.
  3. Add alfredo sauce. Cook on medium heat, stirring frequently, until it begins to bubble.

Serve over pasta and steamed broccoli.

 

Jerk Chicken/Pork/Whatever

Ingredients

  • 1 to 1.5 lbs chicken, pork, or other meat
  • Lemon or lime juice
  • 2-3 tbsp Jerk spice blend

Traditional Instructions:

  1. Coat meat in spice blend.
  2. Fry in oil until cooked.
  3. Add a squirt of lemon or lime juice.

How I do it:

  1. Coat meat in spice blend.
  2. Add a squirt of lemon or lime juice.
  3. Optional: marinate it like that for 1/2 hour to an hour.
  4. Bake until cooked.

The traditional version is best over rice, and you’ll probably want something creamy to help with the spiciness. Goes great with collard greens, mustard greens, or steamed kale as a side!

I like making wraps out of my version, with lettuce or other raw greens, tomato, and just a touch of jam or honey.

 

Chicken Tikka

Ingredients:

  • 1 to 1.5 lbs chicken breast
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon juice or plain Greek yogurt
  • 2-3 tbsp Curry spice blend

Instructions:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl or ziploc bag
  2. Marinate 1/2 hour to 1 day
  3. Pan-fry or bake until cooked

Chicken Curry

Ingredients:

  • 1 to 1.5 lbs chicken breast, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, sliced very thin
  • 2 cups chopped vegetables–potatoes (I recommend cooking them most of the way before starting), cauliflower, carrots, bell peppers, tomatoes, and peas (not chopped) all work well; mushrooms very much do not
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3-4 tbsp Curry spice blend

Instructions:

  1. Spread the onion across the bottom of a large saucepan or wok, and add enough oil to just barely cover it.
  2. Cover and cook on low heat until the onion is completely translucent and very soft (you do not want it to caramelize). This is onion oil, and can be stored for several days in an airtight container in the fridge, if you like.
  3. If desired, marinate the chicken as in the chicken tikka recipe, or just coat it in 2 tbsp of the spice blend.
  4. Cook the chicken, stirring frequently, on medium-high heat in the onion oil until it is cooked through.
  5. Add the vegetables, 1/4 cup of the yogurt, and the remaining spice blend. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are cooked.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining yogurt

Serve over rice and/or with naan.