Marilyn's Essence

Marilyn's Essence

Marilyn's Essence

Years ago we were making an Emeril Lagasse recipe that called for what he calls Essence or Bayou Blast.

Boy does it blast. Knocks your socks right off. I do like a little spice, but even my friends who like spicy food couldn’t tolerate it. Sorry Emeril!

I’ve adapted his spice mix recipe, leaving out the a bit of the heat, and I add it to a lot of my dishes – stews, meatloaf, sauces, soups. It makes so many dishes taste just a little bit better.

I was trying to figure out what to call it, giving credit to Emeril. My assistant Cadhla said I should simply call it Marilyn’s Essence. So here it is.

  • 2 1⁄2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne

Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Blend well.

Can be stored in an airtight container in your spice cabinet for up to 3 months.


If you’d like some kick add ½ teaspoon cayenne to the mix.

I will often double or even quadruple this recipe and keep it on hand, ready for whatever I feel like adding it to. Enjoy!