Monday, April 25, 2011

There's the rub

"...ay, there's the rub:
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause.."

My deepest thanks to The Bard, who provides the inspiration for today's post, and my liberally paraphrased excepts from Hamlet's soliloquy.

Today, my third (and hopefully not final) post for friends who cook and eat alone on this mortal coil.  Below are four more recipes you can quickly assemble and have on hand in your pantry so that you can put together an "outrageous fortune" of a meal, taking arms against your sea of cooking troubles, and by opposing, end them.  Applause!  Encore!  Show carried over!

These are dry rub recipes; i.e., dry spice and herb mixtures that you can use to season all manner of things, including vegetables, meats and fish.  I also have a secret technique: buy your meat fresh, season generously with your choice of rub and then wrap well and freeze until ready to cook.  You'll get deeply seasoned meat, ready to be grilled, roasted or broiled.  And away we go...

Jim Tabb's Barbecue Rub

    From Southern Living July 2005, courtesy of Jim Tabb.  Killer good on pork and also on chicken.  I like to cover an entire Boston butt pork roast, put it on my electric rotisserie, set it and forget it.  You'll  get a roast that is outstandingly tender and beautifully seasoned. 
1 1/4 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup granulated garlic
1/4 cup paprika
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground red pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon lemon pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Combine all ingredients.  Store in an airtight container.  When ready to use, season pork or chicken generously and let stand for about 30 minutes before cooking.   Makes about 3 cups.

Elizabeth Karmel's Chicago Steakhouse Rub

2 Tbs. dry mustard
4 tsp. granulated garlic
4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
2 tsp. sweet smoked Spanish paprika
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. cayenne

Combine all ingredients and store airtight in a jar.  When ready to use, coat both sides of steak generously with rub; allow to stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes before grilling.  Makes about 1/2 cup.

Shirttail Cajun Cousin Chicken Wing Rub

This mixture is great on both chicken and pork, and it's an excellent rub to use on a whole chicken that you grill on a half-full can of beer (remember that technique?)

2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. curry powder
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 tsp. cajun seasoning (such as Tony Chachere's or Zatarain's)  OR an equal amount of Penzey's BBQ 3000
1 tsp. salt, optional (if I use Penzey's seasoning, I use salt)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Combine all ingredients well and store airtight.  If you're making chicken wings, they are even better if seasoned overnight.  I toss mine into a large (recycled) Ziploc bag and massage until everybody's happy.  Be generous with the seasoning.

My Friend David's Father's All-Purpose Rub

  Great on pork, chicken and fish...

1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbs. ground ginger
2 Tbs. ground coriander
2 Tbs. onion powder
2 Tbs. garlic powder
2 Tbs. kosher salt
2 Tbs. cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients and store airtight.  Makes about 1 cup.  Sprinkle generously on fish, or rub well into meat.


I hope you'll enjoy using these dry rubs as much as I do.  What dreams may come!

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