Tag Archives: Dry Rub

Cocoa Cumin Steak

That’s right.  I made a steak for dinner tonight.

Fritz was in carnivore heaven.

This is an awesome dry rub recipe that I found in America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook over a year ago, and I could have sworn I already blogged about it because it is just so darn good.  Imagine my surprise when I discovered that I had not.  And because of that, I owe you an apology.

It was downright mean to withhold this recipe from you.  Cruel and unusual punishment.  I’m sorry I did that to you.

So next time you are making a steak, and you aren’t sure what to put on it, try this dry rub.  And even though it may sound weird, trust me on this.

Cocoa Cumin Dry Rub Printable Recipe Card

  • 1 T cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 1 T freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 4 t ground cumin
  • 2 t ground allspice

Combine all the spices in a plastic or glass container–it’ll make enough for two or three steaks, so if you plan on using it twice, make sure that you don’t touch the raw meat and then touch the spice.  No diseases or bacteria, please.

Pat the steak dry with a paper towel and rub in the spices.

Grill over high heat for a few minutes until both sides are browned and grill-marked, then move over to medium heat for the remainder of the time.  I wanted it done medium-well, so I grilled it for another 12-15 minutes.

This steak is perfect as is.  No sauces, salt, or other fancy-smancy doohickeys needed.

I served it with a plain and simple green salad with blueberries and chocolate balsamic vinegar.

You might have noticed a little chocolate theme goin’ on here.  I did that on purpose.

Fritz’s sister is here visiting for the weekend, so tomorrow will probably involve lots of girly chat and possibly a haircut, which I desperately, desperately need.  Hopefully I’ll also have more time to play with the new lens.  Sayonara!


Filed under Spice Mixes

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.


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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Filed under Entrees

Three-Pepper Dry Rub

When I have a busy week at school, and I feel like Fritz is fading away because he hasn’t had enough “man food” for the last few days, my favorite thing to do is take a giant steak out of the freezer (thanks, Dad!…again) and make a dry rub.  This is amazing for multiple reasons: 1) The steak lasts for three days of Fritz-happy leftovers; 2) Fritz grills it, so there’s less work for me; and 3) A dry rub takes me about three minutes to put together but it makes the steak taste gourmet.  Basically this is just a win-win situation all around.

One of my favorite dry rubs is a cocoa-cumin mix (if you want to try it, it consists of cocoa powder, cumin, salt and black pepper in whatever ratio you like best), but I wanted to try something different so this time I went with a three-pepper dry rub.

Three-Pepper Dry Rub (from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook)


  • 1 T black pepper
  • 1 T white pepper
  • 1 1/2 t coriander
  • 1 1/2 t cumin
  • 1/2 t red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 t cinnamon


Combine the spices into a tupperware (this is enough for two steaks, so save some for next time!).  Dry the steak with a paper towel, and rub the spices into the meat with your fingers.  Grill it the way you like it!


Another thing that I love lately is New Hope Mills (go here for their website).  If you live in the Syracuse area, you need to head over to Auburn now and buy everything in the store.  Sadly, I have yet to find an equivalent place in Long Island.  I went to Whole Foods yesterday to get some baking goods and they had one shelf of overpriced flours and other baking goodies.  A sad situation.  If anyone knows of a place like that near me, pleeeease let me know.

Last time I was in Syracuse visiting the family, mom took me on a New Hope Mills shopping spree and we decided to try something new: Quinoa.


Quinoa is cooked like rice (I use 1 C broth and 1 C water to every 1 C quinoa), and can be seasoned any way you can imagine.  However, it has a really cool texture when cooked, and contains a higher protein content and a full set of essential amino acids.  It is gluten-free, high in iron, magnesium, and a good source of fiber.   You should really just try it.

A quick recipe idea for you to try: brown a minced onion in a T of olive oil, and add 1 C quinoa, 1 T curry powder, and salt and pepper to taste.  Cook until fragrant, then add 1 C chicken broth and 1 C water.  Cover and simmer until tender (the quinoa “uncurls” when it is fully cooked).  Add 1/2 C raisins and serve up!


Filed under Entrees, Side Dishes