On the topic of "meat rubs"... I must thank my mother who taught me many years ago about "the meat spices." By this, she meant the four basic spices used on just about any meat which is: salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika
. In recent years, I have become more interested in using these basic spices, as well as many others in my every-day cooking. And, I now have some more time to get into all of those great recipes which I now have in a fairly extensive recipe book collection. Even with these great new cookbooks, I still go to "the cooking Bible," (which has always been, "The Joy of Cooking" by Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker) first and read up on the basics of cooking just about anything. Then I look at the new and more recent variations on a theme.
So, getting back to "meat rubs," I use a variation of two recipes from Daisy Martinez's book (Daisy Cooks!). In her book, she has two basic meat rub recipes, a wet meat rub (adobo mojado) and a dry one (adobo seco), and both for meats and poultry. The wet meat rub is essentially garlic cloves, sea or kosher salt, black peppercorns, oregano, olive oil and white wine vinegar. (Obviously, you must grind up the dry ingredients into a paste and then mix in the wet oil and vinegar.
The dry rub is more of a Spanish extension of "the meat spices" my mom taught to me, in that we have:
6 tbsp salt
3 tbsp onion powder
3 tbsp garlic powder
3 tbsp ground black pepper (I use coarse ground black pepper)
1+1/2 tsp ground oregano
(and to this list I add sweet Hungarian paprika)
I make this meat rub up in advance and then dispense it in a small spice shaker. I used this meat rub for making beer-can chicken after marinating the chickens in a marinade of Italian dressing, 1 cup water, 3 cups red cider vinegar, bay leaves, the juice of one lemon, and a few smashed garlic cloves.
I also make her "achiote oil" which is virgin olive oil brought to medium heat with achiote (annato seeds). Once the oil turns a bright red and starts to "twinkle" as Daisy describes it, the seeds are strained out of the oil and you can use this oil to brown chicken, add extra color and flavor to Spanish yellow rice, etc.
Let's just say that my spice rack has grown with age to include a whole variety of spices that I now use just about every day in my cooking. All of these spices and ethnic cooking techniques come together to make for some wonderful and tasty meals, whether it is from the grill, in the pan, or in the oven.
I'm just lovin' it!