Sunday, February 26, 2006

Dr. John Philpott's Cajun 12 Spice Powder is the Best

It’s Carnival. The big party for us was thrown by the Baltimore Blues Society at Rosedale American Legion Hall, where we danced last night away to Big Joe and the Dynaflos and then Roy Carrier. Come Fat Tuesday, no music that hot will be playing around Baltimore. On the food end, the local New Orleans restaurants should be hopping, but we’re confident that nothing they serve will be seasoned with a mix of spices that works better than this one.

If only I could locate Dr. John Philpott, who created it. Cajun 12 Spice Powder is the principal seasoning for his Cajun conch, turtle, or abalone soup that we're in the process of preparing. Look tomorrow for the recipe and photo. John was a big fan of our Denzer’s "Carolina Conch" Chowder and Denzer’s Queen Conch Chowder before we sold the business to a company that didn't keep it together. He and I used to speak frequently by phone to the point of becoming friends, although we never met face to face. He often mailed me copies of his recipes, never sharing that he was using them to author a cookbook entitled Gourmet Meals that Will Melt in Your Mouth. It's available now at .

I didn't learn of John's dental problems until he sent me a copy of his book. He wrote it expressly for people experiencing a similar hell. I wont go into the particulars, except to say that in our conversations, John focused on his exotic culinary passions without ever mentioning what had been going on in the dentist's chair.

Regardless of its dental theme, every recipe I’ve tried from John’s book has been delicious. And if you’re cooking Cajun---or Creole for that matter---don't count on coming up with a mix more likely to enhance the end product than what follows.

1 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon Chinese mustard
1 tablespoon gumbo file
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon thyme
1 tablespoon white pepper
½ tablespoon ground bay leaf
½ tablespoon ground horseradish (wasabi)
½ tablespoon Hungarian paprika
½ tablespoon cayenne

Mix in a bowl and store in a 1 cup storage container until needed.

From Meals That Will Melt in Your Mouth by John Philpot, RP Publishing, Inc., Salem VA, 1999