It was a particularly good Ask The Chef segment today. Marlon Hornsby, Executive Chef with the Cayman Sinclair group on the Northshore called in. He had taken my instructions very seriously, and called with a detailed list of ways a person can improve their home-cooking game. And his recipe is one I have always wanted - making your own creole seasoning.
Marlon outlined the steps toward great home cooking. Back to basics: it starts with a well-stocked pantry. This sounds like something so obvious everyone should have it. Tom chimed in that the best way to stock a pantry is to unstock it of everything before. Marlon was unconvinced that a wholesale purge of the entire pantry was necessary, but he did outline his list of essentials.
A good oil, which prompted a long discussion about quality oils vs. “junk” oils.
A good salt, and his preference is always Kosher salt. When I asked about sea salt he reminded me that all salt begins with the sea.
Pepper, though he didn’t elaborate on the kind.
Creole Seasoning, preferably Paul Prudhomme’s, though he sometimes makes his own. (Recipe below.)
Base, chicken and beef on hand for speed. Tom has always railed against this, and I am puzzled why all recipes that call for chicken stock don’t first begin with throwing a few chicken bones in water while other preparations are made. While I admit he’s right about busy people, I’m surprised to hear a chef say that.
Youtube, and yes, he was very serious, marveling about the fact that there is a video on youtube that can teach you to do anything. That’s where he directs his wife when she needs a cooking lesson.
I would have tried the creole seasoning recipe this evening, but we already had a brisket coated in Tony Chachere’s on the Big Green Egg.
When I told this story to ML she got very excited about making creole seasoning, so I’m not the only other one who finds this prospect thrilling.
Combine the following in equal parts:
Granulated onion powder
Granulated garlic powder
Paprika (and we did have the requisite conversation about whether it is pronounced pa PRE ka or PAP ri ka)
If you are making a seafood seasoning he suggests using herbs like tarragon and dill.