Grilling season is still here and though I sometimes feel I am the one that’s on the grill-it has been so hot outside-usually it’s just a piece of chicken or fish. I’m always looking for new ways to liven up my food and boy-have I got one for you! This Berbere spice rub and marinade is perfect for seafood, pork, beef, lamb and chicken. Not only that, but it would be great on corn and squash. Rubbed on eggplant, this would take the cake. That just about covers everything, does it not? I even mix it with a bit of mayo and use it on a spread as a sandwich. This stuff really rocks. I love the lemony taste of the coriander, the ginger punches it up, and the garlic and chilies make this outstanding. It is spicy and full of flavor but it is spicy in the not so “hot on the tongue” kind of way.
Whole Foods is thinking marinades and rubs and they can even do it for you. The meat counter has a variety of rubs to choose from; just take your pick. So when to do a rub or a marinade? Marinades are liquid and contain a tenderizer such as wine, vinegar, or citrus juice. Rubs are merely to add flavor and this one sure does. It can also be used as a marinade by adding more oil to the recipe or even some water or beer. It does contain some lemon juice so if you use it on seafood you wouldn’t want it to sit to long before grilling, or the juice may cook it for you. I make it as a rub so that it can be kept in the fridge and stored. However it usually doesn’t last long!
Berbere spice has origins in North Africa. It is used in Ethiopia and Morocco and each cook has their own version. I left out the fenugreek and the cardamom because I don’t often have those spices on hand. I did punch up the chilies and used a combo of Urfa and Aleppo. If you can’t find them, feel free to use some red chile flakes. I also added in some smoked paprika because everything on the grill tastes better with it-IMO! Coriander is another spice that I don’t use often enough. It really adds depth in any seasoning mixture and gives a great lemony taste. Try this recipe and introduce yourself to some new spices. You won’t be sorry.
Makes: About 1 1/2 cups
Time to Make: About 20 minutes
Adapted From Steven Raichlen, The BBQ Bible
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 t freshly ground black pepper
2 T chopped fresh ginger (I used the kind in a tube)
3 T mild paprika
1 T smoked paprika
1 T ground coriander
1/2 t Urfa chilies
1/2 t Aleppo chilies
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground allspice
1/8 t ground cloves
3 t coarse salt
1 t honey
1/2 c olive oil
1/4 c fresh lemon juice or 1 lemon squeezed
Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree to a smooth paste. Taste for salt and pepper. Store in fridge. This should be enough to rub or marinate about 2 1/2 to 3 lbs of seafood, poultry or meat. (I am planning in making shrimp, pineapple and pepper kebabs tonight and this will be on them!)
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