The unmistakable flavor of Old Bay seasoning is the key ingredient in so many seafood dishes, north and south, as well as west, of the Chesapeake Bay, particularly anything to do with crab and crayfish.
But phooey for me, there are a few ingredients in this classic blend that I am allergic to, so because I knew that I wanted to get this amazing blend of seasonings into my kitchen, I came up with my own version.
The first thing I did with it was to make the New Bay Sweet Potato Fries. It was a very good first thing to do. But don’t expect them to get super crispy – sweet potato fries have a hard time doing that. But what they lack in crispness they make up for in soulful flavor and warm color.
But get ready because you’re going to have some fun with your New Bay Seasoning (and you’ll have some left after this recipe to play with).
Try using this blend in:
• Crab cakes, of course
• Added to flour and used as a coating for fried or baked seafood, fish, or chicken. Dip the item in beaten egg or milk first.
• Added to jambalya, gumbo, and other Creole or Cajun dishes
• Blended with sour cream or mayonnaise for a fast and easy dip for cooked shrimp
• Mashed into potatoes, or cauliflower puree
• Added to scrambled eggs
• Sprinkled over olive oil brushed pitas, baked, and cut into triangles for appetizers or snacks.
• Added to egg salad and deviled eggs
• Used as a rub for fish, seafood, chicken, or pork – think pork loin, kebabs, whole roast chicken or pieces (over or under the skin)
Sweet Potato Fries with New Bay Seasoning
- 1 tablespoon celery salt
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 tablespoons vegetable canola or peanut oil
- Coarse or kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 4 sweet potatoes peeled and cut into sticks about ¼ in wide in each direction (see Cooking Tip)
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- In a clean jar with a lid (see Note) combine the celery salt, paprika, dry mustard, cinnamon, allspice, cayenne, black pepper, ginger and cloves. Shake well to thoroughly combine.
- Place the sweet potatoes on two separate rimmed baking sheets (line the baking sheet with parchment of you have it). Make sure there is enough room so that the fries can all have space between them as they cook (this is why you need two baking sheets). Drizzle the oil evenly over the sweet potatoes, and toss to coat the potatoes with the oil. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of the seasoning blend over the fries on each of the baking sheets, and toss again to make sure the sweet potato fries are evenly coated with the spice mixture. Spread out the potatoes so there is a little bit of pan visible between each of the fries.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then use a spatula to flip the fries around and switch the baking sheets so that the bottom one ends up baking on top. Bake for another 8 to 12 minutes until they are lightly browned in spots and very tender. They won’t get super crispy; sweet potato fries have a hard time doing that. Serve hot.
Cooking Tip:Do not worry about perfect sticks. You are not entering a French fry making contest. The easiest way to get nice long fries, however, is to peel the potatoes, cut them lengthwise into ¼-inch slabs, then stack up a few of those at a time and cut them into ¼-inch thick sticks.
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