Essence Unmixed
Essence is a spice combination created by one of my all time favorite celebrity chefs, Emeril Lagasse, and it includes all my favorite things. When you combine paprika, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, and thyme together you’re gonna have a mouth party. Perhaps it’s why he says, “BAM!” and adds Essence to his recipes with flourish. Or at least he did on Emeril Live. I like to think he does it in his kitchen at home too. Anyway, I use this seasoning mixture a lot in marinades, whenever something needs that extra oomph, and always in my breading process for veal and chicken parm. This recipe makes 2/3 of a cup according to the Food Network Website so make sure you have an airtight container to store it in. A washed out salsa jar works nicely.

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme

Directions: Mix thoroughly.

My directions: put everything in your jar and make it like one of those pretty sand art things you made as a kid, put the lid on, and do what you always wanted to do with the sand art and shake it like crazy. Or maybe that was just me.

Essence once combined.
Essence once combined.

Like I said, I use this mixture constantly and I think it’s worth having on hand. I don’t always measure exactly and since I’m a spice hound I tend to add heaping tablespoons of cayenne and paprika. Side note: The paprika and cayenne in this make it an absolute bitch to clean up when you spaz out and knock the jar off the counter. It gets everywhere and you’ll be sneezing the whole time you try to clean. Try not to spill your jar.


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