Being mother and wife to cajun creole spice lovers, I’m always on the lookout for good spice blends for my bayou boys. I came late in life to the joys of McCormick Old Bay Seasoning, but now I sing their praises. Old Bay Seasoning is delicious and contains none of the monosodium glutamate common in so many other seasoning mixes. Buy old McCormick Old Bay in the distinctive yellow and blue can. Old Bay Seasoning has been around for 60 years. McCormick Old Bay is perfect for seasoning for crab boils, clam bakes, lobster, oysters, shrimp, crawfish and other muscles and crustacean cooking. Old Bay is delicious on all kinds of fish. McCormick Old Bay makes gumbo, jambalaya and stews stand up and dance the tango.
If you a little Old Bay now and then, the 16 ounce (one pound) box is a good buy at $6 retail. But if you grill or cook a lot fish and seafood, or enjoy a good lobster, crab, shrimp and crawfish boil, you need to make your own recipe. Here’s the spices you will need. I’ve included the spice ratios you’ll need to follow to make larger batches of Old Bay:
1 T. bay (laurel) leaves crushed to powder with mortar and pestle or spice roller (ratio- 1:1)
1 t. salt (ratio 1:3)
1 t. celery salt (ratio 1:3)
1 and 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard (1:5)
1 t. coarse ground black pepper (ratio 1:3)
1 t. paprika (ratio 1:3)
1/2 t. crushed celery seed (ratio 1:6)
1/2 t. ground nutmeg (ratio 1:6)
1/2 t. dry ginger (ratio 1:6)
1/4 t. allspice (pimento) (ratio 1:12)
1/4 t. cloves (ratio 1:12)
1/4 crushed red pepper flakes (ratio 1:12)
1/8 t. mace (ratio 1: 24)
1/8 t. cinnamon (ratio 1: 24)
1/8 t.cardamom (ratio 1: 24)
You can tweak these ratios to your own preference. Like a hotter spice? Up the red pepper flakes. Like a more spicy blend? Up the cloves and ginger. Blend spices thoroughly and store in an air-tight container.
Don’t limit your enjoyment of Old Bay Seasoning to fish and seafood. Old Bay makes a delicious meat rub and works great to season rice, potatoes, pasta and cooked vegetables.
My family loves cooked rice, shrimp, carrots and broccoli with butter and Old Bay seasoning. For more great recipes, see me at the blogs listed.