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Chef's Corner - McCormicks is doin' it the Old Bay Way

Janet Pole | Interrobang | Lifestyles | August 29th, 2005



For this week's Chef's Corner, applause goes out to McCormick's, the venerable institution down by the Western Fair Grounds --- they make a spice that is called Old Bay which is my version of crack cocaine. If you cannot find it, here is the cheater's version I got off the net:

Faux Old Bay

1 tablespoon ground bayleaves

2 1/2 teaspoons celecery salt

1 1/2 tsp. ground mustard seed

2/3 tsp. grond nutmeg

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

1/2 tsp.ground ginger

1/2 tsp.paprika

1/2 tsp.red/cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp. gound mace

1/2 tsp. ground cardoman seeds

Combine and store in an air-tight container in a cool-dry place.

Note: It's not quite the same, but it'll get things going in the right direction. ( I adore it on corn on the cob, goat cheese mashed potatoes, feta omelettes, salmon, devilled eggs, popcorn, --- yes, Chef Kerr, I can hear you retching right now!) But NOTHING beats a good, old fashioned Mary Land Crabe boil.

Their website www.mccormicks.com was the source for these recipes as it seems it is “Old Bay Month” on their site …. And there is some mighty fine eats to be found there. (Sign up for their monthly newsletter --- it sends great recipes, especially around Superbowl time!)

Old Bay Backyard Burgers

1 pound lean ground chicken, turkey, or beef

1 large egg (to help bind meat together)

2 teaspoons OLD BAY® Seasoning

Combine ground chicken, turkey or beef with Old Bay. Mix it up and shake your money-maker while doing this. (Anyone who does not understand this term, see Professor Robert McGregor of the Tourism and Hospitality for a demonstration ---- he is sooooo good at it! Shape into four patties. Broil or grill until burgers are well-done, turning once.

BBQ Chicken the Old Bay Way

1 cup ketchup

1/4 cup cider vinegar

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons OLD BAY® Seasoning

1 teaspoon Mustard powder

1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder

3 1/2 lbs bone-in chicken

vegetable oil

Combine all barbecue sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Simmer over low heat 10 minutes. Remove from heat.


Lightly brush chicken pieces with oil. Sprinkle generously with Old Bay. Then Grill chicken over hot coals about 40 minutes, turning often. During last 10 minutes of grilling, brush chicken with barbecue sauce. Serve with additional barbecue sauce on the side.

Cilantro Vegetable Soup

1/2 c minced fresh cilantro

1 cup mincedonion

2 Tablespoons butter or vegetable oil

5 cups vegetable or chicken broth

4 cups water

1 bag of frozen mixed vegetables

2 large peeled and cubed potatoes

1 cup dried green lentils

2 dashes hot sauce

1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro

In a large pot, saute the cilantro, and onion in the butter until soft. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot and bring to a boil and simmuner until the potatoes and lentils are soft but not mushy. I recommend the use of cilantro because unlike curly parsley, it has a more “gracefully flavourful taste whereas the curly leaf parsley is more sharp and pungent.
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