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Homemade "Mexican" style dry seasoning


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I've always bought the little packets and now think I may try homemade.   Mrs. Wages had a good one but I don't like the others.
Last night I tried a new recipe - chicken quesadillas.   They were awesome but the spice mix/rub for chicken was a little bland.  Don't want super hot but something with just a little heat.

What spices do you suggest?  Will combine and toss with chicken before pan frying.  The recipe yesterday called for oregano.   I don't think of that spice for Mexican.   Is that common?

***  Would prefer to stay away from salts.

Black pepper 1/8 t.
Paprika  ?
Chili powder OR cayenne pepper ?  Both?  Other?

 

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This is what I use. It makes a fair amount, but we make tacos frequently and I use it for seasoning beans and chicken with it. You can adjust spice up or down as you'd like and eliminate the salt. If you're not using it for tacos, I would also remove the corn starch. I also frequently toss in some chipotle powder for smokiness.

IMG_20200824_131334987.jpg

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This is not dry, but it is delicious!  You can mix it up in a cup with an immersion blender, throw your chicken breasts in a bag or tupperware with the sauce mixed up and let it marinate.  Then bake it all in the oven.  You can shred the chicken and use it in tacos, quessidillas, taco salad, etc. I have wondered if you could cook the chicken in an instant pot maybe with a little broth in the bottom after marinating and I am going to try that one of these days. 

Oh - and it's better than Chipotle IMO - it's a "copycat" recipe. You can order bulk dried ancho chili powder.  It lasts forever, I have been working through the same container the past year.  

https://www.culinaryhill.com/chipotle-chicken/

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Our favorite. 

We put it on Tilapia, chicken, and pork, pan fried or grilled.This is enough for a few fillets, pork chops, or chicken breasts.  I make a bigger batch and keep it on hand already mixed.

1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano

When the meat is cooked squeeze lime juice over it.

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52 minutes ago, sheryl said:

I've always bought the little packets and now think I may try homemade.   Mrs. Wages had a good one but I don't like the others.
Last night I tried a new recipe - chicken quesadillas.   They were awesome but the spice mix/rub for chicken was a little bland.  Don't want super hot but something with just a little heat.

What spices do you suggest?  Will combine and toss with chicken before pan frying.  The recipe yesterday called for oregano.   I don't think of that spice for Mexican.   Is that common?

***  Would prefer to stay away from salts.

Black pepper 1/8 t.
Paprika  ?
Chili powder OR cayenne pepper ?  Both?  Other?

 

The oregano in a Mexican seasoning recipe is not regular oregano but Mexican oregano. It has a completely different flavor than the regular stuff since it belongs to a different plant family. You can use the regular oregano in place of the Mexican oregano, but it will not have the intended flavor.

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I don't measure but I use a combo of paprika, smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper.  Sometimes I use Aleppo pepper or ancho chili powder instead of the cayenne.   A lot of chili powder has salt, so you may want to check to see if yours does.  I use a small pinch of anything spicy, a pinch of salt, and maybe a teaspoon of everything else.  We don't like super spicy food, so you may want more than a small pinch of cayenne (or whatever pepper you use). 

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28 minutes ago, Clear Creek said:

The oregano in a Mexican seasoning recipe is not regular oregano but Mexican oregano. It has a completely different flavor than the regular stuff since it belongs to a different plant family. You can use the regular oregano in place of the Mexican oregano, but it will not have the intended flavor.

Is Cuban oregano the same as Mexican oregano? Cuban oregano isn't actually in the oregano family, but it smells really good!

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30 minutes ago, LuvToRead said:

A lot of chili powder has salt

I didn't know that, so I went to check on the chili powder I'd purchased from Costco. Its McCormick Gourmet chili powder has salt listed as its 3rd ingredient! I've been trying to be aware of how much salt is in the food dh eats per the doctor's order, but I would never have thought about my chili powder. Thank you!

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1 minute ago, wilrunner said:

I didn't know that, so I went to check on the chili powder I'd purchased from Costco. Its McCormick Gourmet chili powder has salt listed as its 3rd ingredient! I've been trying to be aware of how much salt is in the food dh eats per the doctor's order, but I would never have thought about my chili powder. Thank you!

You're welcome! 

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Dh got instructions to lower his sodium intake 5 or 6 years ago. I got Dick Logue's 500 Low Sodium Recipes book at that time, and the Taco Seasoning Mix is what I use most. I triple the amounts to have enough for a couple more dinners. I would say as written it makes enough for one recipe. To triple, just change every "teaspoon" to "tablespoon", and wing it when trying to measure 1/4 tablespoon! I've added garlic salt to this before or when cooking with it. I've removed the flour when I needed to make it gluten free for others, but that kicks up the spice level a bit. When making tacos, I use 3 Tbs. of this (a package from the store is about 4 Tbs) and 2/3 cup water.

Mexican Seasoning

2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp all-purpose flour
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
 

 

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OK, thanks everyone.   Sorry I'm not responding to each one individually.  

So, wilrunner, that recipe looks awesome.   The one from your book!  Thanks!

This is what I used:

·        1/8 teaspoon chili powder         used

       pinch cayenne powder

·        1/2 teaspoon paprika           used

·        1 teaspoon garlic powder     (did NOT use; instead used fresh minced garlic in EVOO)

·        1/2 teaspoon ground cumin   (did not have any so didn't use.  what does it taste like?)

·        1/2 teaspoon dried oregano  (used but used reg.  Did not know there was Mexican Oregano)

·        1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt     (did NOT use)

·        1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper     (1/8 t.)

Edited by sheryl
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4 hours ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

Our favorite. 

We put it on Tilapia, chicken, and pork, pan fried or grilled.This is enough for a few fillets, pork chops, or chicken breasts.  I make a bigger batch and keep it on hand already mixed.

1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano

When the meat is cooked squeeze lime juice over it.

that's pretty much what I used and I did squeeze fresh lime

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4 hours ago, Clear Creek said:

The oregano in a Mexican seasoning recipe is not regular oregano but Mexican oregano. It has a completely different flavor than the regular stuff since it belongs to a different plant family. You can use the regular oregano in place of the Mexican oregano, but it will not have the intended flavor.

Thanks!  I had no clue there was Mexican Oregano.    Now on to the search....

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4 hours ago, LuvToRead said:

I don't measure but I use a combo of paprika, smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper.  Sometimes I use Aleppo pepper or ancho chili powder instead of the cayenne.   A lot of chili powder has salt, so you may want to check to see if yours does.  I use a small pinch of anything spicy, a pinch of salt, and maybe a teaspoon of everything else.  We don't like super spicy food, so you may want more than a small pinch of cayenne (or whatever pepper you use). 

Like your pepper suggestions.    All they all powders?

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4 hours ago, wilrunner said:

Is Cuban oregano the same as Mexican oregano? Cuban oregano isn't actually in the oregano family, but it smells really good!

Google says no. Cuban oregano is supposed to have a menthol flavor (it is also called Mexican mint), while Mexican oregano is in the verbena family. I think it is funny that they are both called oregano when neither is in the oregano family, lol.

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1 minute ago, Clear Creek said:

Google says no. Cuban oregano is supposed to have a menthol flavor (it is also called Mexican mint), while Mexican oregano is in the verbena family. I think it is funny that they are both called oregano when neither is in the oregano family, lol.

I think I'm going to see if I can find some Mexican Oregano next spring for my garden. I've just used regular (Italian?) oregano in my taco seasoning. Thanks for looking that up!

 

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Just now, sheryl said:

Like your pepper suggestions.    All they all powders?

The Aleppo I have are flakes and the ancho is a powder.  I tend to buy them from spice specialty stores when I have the opportunity.  I like Aleppo because it doesn't blow your head off but they are spicier than Jalapenos.    They are  both milder than cayenne.

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4 minutes ago, LuvToRead said:

The Aleppo I have are flakes and the ancho is a powder.  I tend to buy them from spice specialty stores when I have the opportunity.  I like Aleppo because it doesn't blow your head off but they are spicier than Jalapenos.    They are  both milder than cayenne.

Thanks for that tip!  🙂  How much do you use for 1 lb chicken?

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7 minutes ago, wilrunner said:

I think I'm going to see if I can find some Mexican Oregano next spring for my garden. I've just used regular (Italian?) oregano in my taco seasoning. Thanks for looking that up!

 

Yum, fresh.  But, I believe rule of thumb is to use "more" fresh

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3 minutes ago, sheryl said:

Yum, fresh.  But, I believe rule of thumb is to use "more" fresh

I would probably grow it, then dry it to put in my seasoning mix. I might see if I can find some now or this fall, plant it, and wait for spring. That's usually the recommendation for later planting here. It's too hot during the summer to plant, so we plant in the fall, let the roots take hold, and see our bounty from perennials in the spring before it gets hot again.

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1 hour ago, sheryl said:

Thanks for that tip!  🙂  How much do you use for 1 lb chicken?

A quarter of a teaspoon???? 

 We don't love spicy but prefer a subtle warmth.  I don't measure so I can't say for sure.  Sorry I can't be more precise!   

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7 hours ago, LuvToRead said:

I don't measure but I use a combo of paprika, smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper.  Sometimes I use Aleppo pepper or ancho chili powder instead of the cayenne.   A lot of chili powder has salt, so you may want to check to see if yours does.  I use a small pinch of anything spicy, a pinch of salt, and maybe a teaspoon of everything else.  We don't like super spicy food, so you may want more than a small pinch of cayenne (or whatever pepper you use). 

Different chili powders can have vastly different tastes.  I recently bought something other then Gebhardt's Chili Powder and none of my TexMex tasted right.

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1 hour ago, Katy said:

Chili powder, cilantro, cumin, garlic powder (smoked?), onion powder, parsley, smoked paprika, oregano, salt, pepper.

Thanks to everyone!

Y'all pretty much have the same recipe with a few variations.

Katy,  I use chili powder and many other spices in my chili but for this mix I'm eyeballing "maybe" more cayenne.   Luvtoread uses some interesting peppers/spices and I need to remember to look for Mexican Oregano!

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