Thursday, June 15, 2006

Meat rub Spice-O-Rama

My husband and I are big grillers. We grill everything, especially meat. But there's really only so many times that you can eat plain grilled meat without getting bored. I don't always have time for marinades, since I usually pull something out of the freezer in the morning as I'm heading out the door (and want to start cooking almost immediately after getting home). So I started playing with some spice combinations and have come up with some good meat rubs.

Paprika-based rub
1T ground Hungarian paprika
1/2T ground mustard
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 clove minced garlic - I am such a cheat. I have a super duper garlic press that I got for a wedding present; it's got a mincer and slicer
1/4 tsp pepper - I use white pepper, because I don't actually like black pepper
1 tsp salt, to taste

Mix all spices together, and rub to desired flavor on raw meat. Any excess can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days.

I've found that the one above is particularly good on pork. As a matter of fact, it's a knockoff of a recipe I found in my George Forman cookbook. . .shhh, don't tell the big guy!

Another favorite, for chicken:

Rub some bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts down with some extra-virgin olive oil and set aside.
While the grill is heating up, mince up some garlic (about 2 cloves for two breasts) and some fresh basil (to taste). Insert about 3/4 the spices under the skin of the breasts and put on the grill. The rest of the spices taste fantastic over some quartered red potatoes (wrap the combo in tin foil and stick those on the grill, also). The skin of the chicken can be removed prior to eating, to cut down on calories and fat.

For those of you that don't use outdoor grills, the top recipe can also be cooked on a tabletop grill. The chicken one can be baked in a 350 oven for about 35 minutes.

In addendum to Jackie's vegetables post, I like to grill asparagus, too. I do it like Ted from Queer Eye, by making little asparagus "rafts" with bamboo skewers, like so:

I baste them with olive oil, rub a little minced garlic on the top, and sprinkle with white pepper. I grill them on the top rack, away from the flame until the tips are drying, but the skin is still semi-tough. I've found that the insides of the stems soften quite nicely using this method.

Take that, Bobby Flay!

(just kidding, Bobby. You know I love you!)


Rachel said...

This looks really good!!

lincolnzoe said...

Sounds good!

We are also big grillers and I have a time saver for you. When we get back from the grocery store we open the meat and put it in zip locks with marinade and then freeze so when we are ready to use it, we just pull it out and let it defrost with the marinade and it's ready to go when we get home from work.

Allison said...

Mm, asparagus. I'm always looking for new ways to make that stuff, because I love it so but broiled with olive oil and salt can only go on for so long. Also, the paprika rub sounds wonderful, I'm all het up to try that soon. Thank you!

Jackie said...

Ooh, I like these rub ideas - we haven't been doing as much grilling as we used to (because we live on the third floor of our building and can't just tote the Baby-Q outside on a whim anymore) but you're definitely tempting me to go out and have a barbecue this weekend.

Real Simple did a feature a couple months ago on how to spice up roast chicken; they had something like six recipes for rubs and marinades. I was thinking I might try those out soon too... maybe a sequel? ;)

I like the idea of pre-marinating the meat before freezing too! We usually separate out our chicken breasts, but it makes *so* much sense to take that second step - just never occurred to me.