Latin Spice Dry Rub

Wow.  The last few days I kept whining to Fritz that I thought I had a cold coming on, because my throat was a little scratchy and I had a headache and blah blah blah.  Then last night I went to bed happy and feelin’ better and BAM! I wake up this morning feeling like I was run over by a truck.  Twice.

Alright, it’s not that bad.  No fever (I don’t think), but just overall yuckiness and the worst part is that I have absolutely no energy.  It’s a bummer because I’ve done so well the last few weeks eating right and working out way better, and feeling (and seeing!) the results.  With school starting up again, I knew it’d be hard to keep motivated until I establish new habits.  I went to the gym this morning and felt like I was slogging through waist-high mud with fifty-pound ankle weights.  I guess I have to really let myself rest and not beat myself up for missing gym days, even though I already feel let down.

On a brighter note, I have a grr-eight recipe for you–and it’s a piece of cake.  Every once in a while, when I’m feeling lazy, I take out a big chunk of meat from the freezer and make Fritz do all the dinner work out on the grill, while I just make some veggies.  I grew up slathering my meat in BBQ sauce (not ’cause my family did, just ’cause I liked it like that), but now my taste has refined (somewhat) and I like to actually taste the grill, spiciness, and meat itself.

And that’s why I love dry rubs!

Latin Spice Dry Rub  (from America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook)

  • 2 T ground cumin
  • 2 T chili powder
  • 1 T coriander
  • 1 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t red pepper flakes

Toss all the spices in a small Tupperware container and shake it up!  This makes enough for a few meals (if your family consists of two people, that is), so make sure to not contaminate the leftover with raw meat so you can save it for later.

I made the rub initially for pork chops, and we used the leftovers on a giant steak my dad gave us last time we were home (thanks Dad!).  Delicious on both.

Now, normally Fritz just tosses the meat on the grill, checks it a few times, and takes it off when he thinks it’s probably done.  Since we had such beautiful pork chops, we decided to do it the right way. 

Turn the grill up to very high, close the lid, and heat the grill for about fifteen minutes (don’t skip this!).  Meanwhile, dry the chops, add a touch of salt and pepper, and then rub in the…rub (that’s why they call it that).  Use about a T per portion, and since our chops were huge, we used 1/4 of the recipe on each one.  If you can, turn half the grill down to medium. 

so close...yet so far

Grill the pork chops over the hotter part of the grill, covered, for about six minutes or until they are browned on both sides.  Move them over to the cooler part of the grill and continue, covered, until the center reaches a temperature of 135 degrees on a meat thermometer (a little less than ten minutes, flipping them halfway).  Move the pork chops to a platter, tent with foil, and let rest until the internal temperature reaches 145-150 degrees (another five to ten minutes).

Then eat.

Taking the time to do it right is so worth it.  Fritz and I couldn’t believe how juicy these pork chops were!  By far the best we’ve ever had.

Seriously.

Oh!  As an aside, I made cupcakes last night for Fritz’s friend’s birthday.  He brought them into school today for the dental students.

Definitely not blog-worthy as far as cupcake recipes go (I thought the yellow cake recipe I used ended up tasting a little like cornbread, and the frosting left a lot to be desired), but I can’t spend a whole evening baking 50 cupcakes and then not even mention it.  Hopefully just the sight of so many treats is enough to brighten the day of the baby dentists.

Lastly (I have so much to say today), I saw on Freshly Pressed a post about taco-stuffed zucchini.  I didn’t read the recipe, but the idea inspired me, and I have ground turkey and two green squashes in the fridge, so I thought I might try it.  I’ll let you know how that goes.

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