You know, I keep probably 30 or more spices in my kitchen cupboard right next to the stove. And I use pretty much all of them at least from time to time. I can whip up a pretty good spice blend just by rummaging around with an idea in mind of how I want a flavor to develop. Want to know how Cheap Bastid can whip up a pretty good spice blend? It’s easy. I’ve whipped up enough bad spice blends to have finally figured out what works and why. Failure. Yep, that’s the great educator.
Anyway, the more I’ve cooked the more I’ve come back to absolute basics. All those TV chefs—whether it’s Tom Colicchio or Robert Irvine or whoever—seem to come back to the same basic, salt and pepper.
A few years back, my daughter gave me a shaker of a spice blend she used and bought from a shop where she lived in Missouri. It was fantastic. But it was also a bit expensive. I loved using it and wanted more but looked at it and what was in it and said to myself: “Self, you can make this.” Of course I could and it’s what I call my Basic Blend. Here’s the real simple, quick, Cheap Bastid recipe:
Recipe: Cheap Bastids Basic Spice Blend
Summary: This is my “go-to” blend of spices and it’s both cheap and simple to do at home.
- 1 part “chunky salt” Kosher or Sea Salt
- 1 part dried “minced” garlic
- 1 part cracked black peppercorns
- Mix all 3 ingredients well and put in a big shaker.
Preparation time: 5 minute(s)
My rating 5 stars: ★★★★★ 1 review(s)
There. It’s that simple. Except… (there’s always an “except” isn’t there?)
I make mine with about 1/3 cup of each ingredient. And what I should do is take the black pepper and reduce it by a tablespoon, just to ease up a bit on the heat. And speaking of the black pepper, you want the peppercorns cracked not ground.
Here’s an easy way to crack it: Put a couple of tablespoons of peppercorn into a resealable plastic bag and seal it. Now take your French rolling pin or even a meat mallet and gently tap all over to crack (not pulverize or grind) the peppercorns. It’ll take a bit but it’s worth it. I’ve tried the spice/coffee grinder thing with this but you get too many uncracked peppercorns and too much of it ground fine.
I use this on everything! It’s especially good on food you’re grilling. If I’m doing a roast that will be sliced I put it on heavy but if I’m doing steak or chops, I go pretty easy on it. I peel back the skin on chicken and shake it underneath directly on the meat.
And, best of all it’s cheap. How cheap? About $2 for a cup which will last me 6-8 months at least. (You can get all the ingredients at the dollar store).
The simple things are the best aren’t they?
That’s the Cheap Bastid Way: Eat Good. Eat Cheap. Be Grateful!