This mix is what I reach for if I’m making Southwestern, Tex-Mex, or Mexican-style recipes. I have to make a new batch every four to six months, depending on how much I’m cooking. I like to buy spices and dried herbs in bulk at my local spice shop (Savory Spice here in Bend), Natural Grocers, or online at Thrive Market. It’s always cheaper than buying them in jars at the supermarket, and they tend to be fresher (especially at specialty spice shops). Of course, you can buy premade seasoning mixes from those vendors as well, but you’ll save a little money and have more control over the ingredients by making your own.
The amounts of mix added vary with different dishes; start with a teaspoon or two (for smaller things like dips and dressings), a tablespoon (for rubs and taco meat), or two tablespoons (for chilis and soups), and add more as needed.
~ Toss it in chili or soup.
~ Use it as a rub on meat or fish before grilling or searing.
~ Add a burst of flavor to beans, dips, and dressings.
I’ve included some links to old recipes that were written before I came up with this handy mix. I assure you, you can use it in place of the spices listed.
Adjust the heat with more cayenne to your taste and be sure and add some salt. If you aren’t a cilantro fan, it may be omitted or substituted with dried parsley.
(makes about 3/4 cup, double or triple it if you so desire)
1/4 cup dried ground ancho chiles
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 tablespoons granulated garlic
2 tablespoons dried Mexican Oregano
1 tablespoon dried cilantro
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Combine all of the ingredients and store the mix in a small mason jar or another air-tight container.