Have you been to your local food swap yet? No? Well get on it. Food swaps are popping up across the country (and the globe – there’s even one for you, Londoners). They are a place where you can bring your favorite recipe or new creation to share with others and come home with a number of new things to try. Our local swap is at our amazing local market – averaging two times per month on Sunday mornings. The swaps have different themes, but anything homemade, handcrafted or home grown is swappable. This week’s theme was BBQ – who can’t escape at least one of those during the 4th of July holiday weekend?
I knew instantly what I wanted to share with my fellow swappers. We use this spice rub or a variation all the time. So much that I’m pretty sure Jon is sick of it by now. We’ve used it as a flavor profile for brining chicken, for grilling really any protein, and even when roasting vegetables. We’ve even used it on bacon (see below) – which you absolutely must try. Joel uses his dehydrator to make his own powders and salts for his rub. Though we’re not there yet, good quality spices do make a huge difference here. [Check out World Spice, Penzey’s or even your local co-op – all good choices.] The flavors in our rub are smoky and savory (dare I say umami-y?) because we aren’t really into scorching heat. We also dont use any celery because frankly we just don’t get along. Make adjustments as you see fit. Try not to use it on everything.
SK Favorite Spice Rub
2 parts smoked paprika/pimentón
2 parts curry powder
2 parts garlic powder
2 parts onion powder
2 parts dried minced garlic
1 part fresh ground pepper
1 part cinnamon (Vietnamese is my favorite)
1 part cayenne pepper
You’ll notice there’s no salt in this. I find salt to be a really personal flavor – you know exactly how much of it you want. So add salt into the mix – or don’t. Up to you. If you are new to a low salt diet (ahem, Dad) this kind of spice rub may be your new best friend.
1. You really should toast the spices before cooking with them. It makes a world of difference. A few minutes in a dry saute pan or in the toaster oven is all you need – toast until you can smell the spices. That’s it.
2. Add 2 parts dark brown sugar for a sweet rub. We love to dredge thick cut bacon in the sweet rub and then pan fry for ultimate decadence. It makes an amazing crust. You just have to pay close attention to the heat and you may have to cook the bacon at a lower temperature to render out the fat without burning the spices. Haven’t tried it yet, but I imagine it would make for amazing BLTs. (Note: if you use the sugar, add it to the rub after you toast the spices, otherwise you get a sticky mess!)
3. Add the rub to olive oil and citrus of choice to make a marinade. I think it would be great with lime and seafood for the grill. Fish tacos anyone?