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.