Seeking Spice Rubs
I'm trying to zest up a diet which relies heavily on plain low fat protein by adding some spice rubs, but I'm at a loss for ideas.
I use mainly skinless boneless chicken breasts, turkey breasts and lean cuts of pork and beef and bake or broil them. I was hoping to use the spice rubs to add flavor without any fat or sugars...any ideas for good combinations?
Here's a good and highly versatile spice rub. I don't see why you couldn't try it on chicken or turkey, but I first developed it for pork chops.
Spice Rub for Pork, Lamb, or Beef
I find this works especially well with pork, but lamb enjoys the deepened flavor this blend provides, and beef steaks get more robust. Cumin and coriander seeds, along with cardamom pods, are available in Middle Eastern markets, but increasingly at supermarkets as well. Toasting the seeds, pods, and peppercorns is a crucial step. If you don’t have a spice grinder, convert a well-cleaned coffee grinder for the purpose (buy a new coffee grinder). You may control the heat of this by raising or lowering the quantity of peppercorns.
In a dry, small, sturdy skillet, lightly toast until quite fragrant, 4-5 minutes, shaking pan, over low heat:
1 tablespoon black peppercorns (see note above)
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cardamom pods
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
Grind to a fairly fine powder in a spice grinder, in batches if necessary, with:
3 whole cloves
2 2-3’’ crushed cinnamon sticks (to equal about 2 teaspoons)
2 teaspoons brown sugar
Blend thoroughly. Rub on rinsed-and-dried, lightly salted meat. Let rest at least 20 minutes at room temperature, and up to two hours for maximum flavor. You may not want to overwhelm the meat, however, so experiment with timing to suit yourself.
Stored in a tightly sealed glass jar, the blend will keep a good six months, but the sooner you use it, the better. This recipe makes about 10 tablespoons, so you’ll be making fresh batches fairly often, if I know you.
Emerill has a couple of serviceable rubs: Essence and South-West Rub. The recipes are on the Food Network site. I make up a batch and keep it in a shaker for weekday meals of chicken breast, pork etc.
A standard rub for Southern BBQ contains brown sugar, cayenne, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. I like to add thyme and sage.
I second the Essence -- don't know what's in it but a friend made me a homemade batch for Christmas and it all got used.
Also, the brand found in SuperTarget, signature steak rub (in the meat case) is great on steaks, esp on the grill.
Get Steven Raichlen's book "Sauces, Rubs and Marinades". It's full of good recipes for all kinds of ways to spice up your meals. I got it originally for barbecue rubs and sauces but it has so much more. I made mole poblano from it, also Jamaican jerk seasoning - there are many other recipes in the book I've bookmarked because they sound so good. I really think it's a great resource. And the recipes are well written and so far everything works.
I'm definitely trying all of the recipes others are posting here!
I made a decent rub the other night for b/s chicken, then used it a couple of days later on some pork chops. I even threw a pinch into some collard greens.
1/2t Garlic powder
1/2t Onion powder
1/4t Dark chili powder (I measured this one heavy)
1/4t smoked hot paprika
2t dried thyme
1t black pepper
Really very simple, not too hot, but just enough zing and smoke to make simple chicken happy. I salt all my food independant of other flavors.
As far as pre-made blends are concerned, I like The Spice House blends because they contain very little salt so I can use them with abandon without abusing the palates of my dining companions- I particularly like ther Back of the Yards garlic pepper rub, the Billygoat seasoning rub, and the Lakeshore Drive Seasoning rub (yeah, I'm from Chicago!)
For quick and easy, I love Montreal Steak seasoning- though usually salty, the blend of spices is jsut right for any meat I throw at it. McCormick makes a surprisingly good version- especially the one in the mini-grinder bottles.