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I Love This Spice Mix So Much I Travel With It

Always trust bean people when it comes to spices.

10/26/2020 6:30:00 PM

It’s great, it’s easy, and it’ll also immediately get a Steve Miller Band song stuck in your head. What else can you ask for in a spice mix?

Always trust bean people when it comes to spices.

. As in, yes, the Steve Miller Band song “The Joker.” I am not a huge Steve Miller Band fan, but I trust a bean person, so I ordered some. It arrived in a screw-top jar—already a point in their favor, since the impossible tiny plastic screens that come in most spice jars drive me nuts.  I tested it out on a pot of

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Rancho Gordo cranberry beansthat I had added nothing to but a little salt, bay leaf, and sauteed onion, and was immediately impressed. Midnight Toker brought all the things that I usually add to my pot of beans—a little heat, a little smokiness, a little sweetness—all in one shot. 

When I looked at the ingredients, it made sense. Midnight Toker’s mixture included Aleppo pepper, smoked paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder. It was sort of like a powdered, condensed version ofred chile sauce.When I can’t deal with putting together the more fulsome version of the chile sauce, I end up reaching for Midnight Toker. It’s a great bean addition, but it’s also welcome on sauteed vegetables, or on a fried egg, or sprinkled on fish or chicken. This summer, when I took a long, fraught road trip with quarantines on either end to see my new little nephew, I brought along my jar of Midnight Toker along with my pinch-tin of Maldon salt. I ended up filling my brother and sister-in-law’s freezer with breakfast burritos seasoned with Midnight Toker. It’s great, it’s easy, and it’ll also immediately get a Steve Miller Band song stuck in your head. What else can you ask for in a spice mix?

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