It’s Gold!

spiceSalt used to be good as gold. Or at least it was traded as currency in ancient civilizations. Now it’s cheap and plentiful. We couldn’t survive without salt in our diet. Like most things that are good for us, too much can be deadly…even sodium.

Recently, I picked up a spice mix at a swanky Texas market, a mix from a company based out of Boulder, Colorado. Now, I know most commercial spice mixes contain salt, and most are too salty, which is why I normally create my own blends. But this one was called orange pepper and salt was the third ingredient (U.S. food labeling laws require companies to list ingredients in order, by weight, beginning with the heaviest weight.)

Many prepared spice ingredient lists begin with salt. But I thought this one might not be too salty since salt was third. I was wrong. Now, if I had just sprinkled a whisper of this salty, orange pepper combination on my chicken breasts, I might not have noticed so much.

But I like to coat my protein in spice mixes for a full-on flavor blast, and I loved the idea of a peppery orange crust on my seared chicken. The dang thing was so salty, I’m sure it raised my blood pressure on the spot. I still like the idea of the orange pepper combination, so I’ve created my own blend (that does have a touch of salt, but not enough empty the coffers at Morton’s.)

Gwen’s Peppery Orange Spice Blend
Makes 1/4 cup

2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper (coarse grind)
1 tablespoon freshly ground white pepper (coarse grind)
1 tablespoon dried orange peel
1 teaspoon dried lemon peel
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Stir all ingredients together and store in an airtight container. Recipe easily doubles. Use on chicken, turkey, or even fish.

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