Archive for the ‘Marinades & Dry Rubs’ Category


Basic Marinade

November 21, 2013

After many years of  trial and error, this is my go to marinade for steak and beef  roasts. Most I tried seemed to skimp on flavor, relying heavily on salts or too much  soy sauce. By adding more dried seasoning you  can really boost  your marinades, and cut back on salts. Whether grilled, broiled, or cooked in a flash on your Foreman, you can always count on this marinade to tenderize and flavor even the most difficult of meats. I primarily use this for red  meats, but is certainly compatible with chicken and pork.

1/2 C. soy sauce

1/4 C. Olive Oil

1 lemon, juice and zest

2 T. Worcestershire sauce

2 cloves garlic. minced

1 T. dried parsley

1 T. dried basil

1/2 t. black pepper

1/8 t. red pepper flakes (optional heat)


Whisk all ingredients together.  I really like the little containers that my Chinese take out provides. They seal well for turning and shaking, and most things fit  in them. It also saves me from having to mix in a bowl and them put into a Ziploc. One less thing to wash, and no worries of piercing the bag if I am marinating something with a bone. A tip  on that…put your bagged meat in a bowl. If it accidentally leaks, you don’t have a huge mess  to clean, or a waste of all the ingredients. For roasts you will need a larger vessel.


Add your meats to the marinade, coating all sides well. Because there is so much flavor in the marinade it infuses into the meat in less time.  I recommend a minimum of one hour, and up to overnight for roasts.


Cocoa Smokey Ribs

November 12, 2010

While reading my work forums I came across an inquiry about a dry rub made with cocoa powder.  One of the ingredients was ancho chili powder. Always looking for a new rub I went on my quest for ancho powder. Dried ancho powder was nowhere to be found-so if this happens to you just substitute the ancho for Mexican chili powder. My trial with these was made with that, and they were truly a new kick to ribs,especially with my addition of a scant tablespoon of ground coffee.Double the pleasure! Ancho chili has a coco-ey coffee taste so this was perfect.However I wasn’t giving up my quest for ancho powderand a few other kicks I thought the rub could use.though I came up with a lovely bag of dried anchos.As with sun dried tomatoes,these were still a bit “moist”. I seeded them,and put them in the grinder but they needed a more powdery texture. Into the oven at 150 for 20 minutes,back into the grinder and I had it.

Now onto these ribs -one of the best rubs you will ever try,especially if  you have an affinity for chocolate.

  • 2 racks baby back ribs,rinsed and dried well
  • 2 T. cocoa powder
  • 1/4 C. brown sugar
  • 1/8 C. smoked paprika
  • 1 T. finely ground coffee
  • 1/2 t. black pepper11 T. kosher salt
  • 1 T.  ancho chili powder (or Mexican,less if you don’t want them too spicey)
  • 1/2 T. cumin
  • 1/2 t. ginger
  • 1/2 t. coriander


Line a baking sheet with foil. Cover with a length of plastic wrap double the length of the ribs.Lay one rack on the wrap,meaty side up. Using about a quarter of the rub cover the meat well, and press it well into the meat. Turn the rack over and cover the bones,making sure to get the rub along the sides too.Wrap tightly in plastic.

 Repeat with the rest of the rub on the other rack. Lay one rack on top of the other and cover tightly with foil.


Refrigerate a minimum of three hours and preferably overnight. Before cooking allow enough time for them to come to room temperature,approximately an hour.

 Ready to hit the heat!

Heat oven to 250 degrees, bake covered for 3 1/2 hours.Raise temp to 300 degrees.Uncover and cook another hour.

 Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes before cutting into riblets.

Finger licking good as an appetizer,the main course,tailgating or half time.

We enjoyed them with Cucumber Dill Slaw and Mandarin Baked Beans.


Salmon With Coriander Crust

November 6, 2010
Admitedly coriander was not in my cabinet. It is just not a spice I have a lot of use for- or so I thought. I tried it on some Wild Alaskan Salmon recently and will be looking into some other recipes using it. If you love salmon, the coriander is a nice change and a great compliment to it. Like coriander,tumeric  is a spice used is Southeast Asian and Indian cooking. Baked jasmine rice with carmelized onions is the perfect side for this, as the seasonings are made for each other.(if you aren’t a salmon fan, tuna or swordfish will work as well.I happen to love salmon,especially the Wild Alaskan)
  • 3 T. ground coriander
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • 1 & 1/2 t. black pepper
  • 4 salmon filets (approx 6 oz. each)
  • 2 T. olive oil

Combine coriander,salt and pepper.Coat both sides of the fish.Press on the coating to make sure it adheres which will result in a nice crust.Don’t forget to wash your hands well!

Pre- heat your frying pan on medium -high for 3-4 minutes.(Always pre- heat your frying pan before putting oil in) our oil in pan,then add fish skin side up.Cook about 3-4 minutes ,then turn over and cook 3-4 minutes more.Internal temp should be 145 and fish should flake easily but not fall apart!

The coriander really accents the beautiful color of the salmon.

Remove from the pan and serve withbaked jasmine rice with carmelized onions.Petite peas with sauted porcini mushrooms and shredded carrot, a bit of butter and  garlic salt to taste complete this meal.


Sassy Short Ribs of Beef

November 4, 2010

I have never made short ribs,in fact I don’t think I have ever tasted them! They bring back wonderful memories though, as they were one my Dad’s favorite meals.Dad and I had different tastes in meat- he liked the first cut of prime rib, medium well.I prefered the middle cut,cooked only until the “moo” was gone.So anything slow cooked, stewed and most soups were not on my childhood menu.My tastes have changed and though when I eat a grilled steak it is dark pink inside,I love a rich stew and hearty soups.

After seeing these beautiful ribs in the store,I decided to create a short rib recipe for my Dad, as I do not have the recipe my Mom used. He loved heat on his meat,so I have kicked it up a bit with a dry rub,left on overnight.This is a keeper. The flavors of the rub married beautiful with the cooking liquid and the juices of the beef.Now I understand why my Dad loved them so much. Wish you could come to dinner tonight Daddy. I miss you.

Approx.2.5 lbs.beef short ribs(about 10 beautiful meaty bones with just the right amount of fat)

The Dry Rub

1/3 C. Brown sugar

2 T.Paprika

1 T.Garlic salt

1 T McCormick Steak Grill

1 t. Coriander

1 t. Cumin

1 t. Ginger

1/2 t. Black pepper

1/4 t. Cayenne pepper

Mix together.This is enough for ten ribs. Dry the ribs well with a paper towel.Deeply massage the rub into the meat on each bone.

Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap.Then wrap again in foil.Press the foil to be close to the meat. Refrigerate overnight. The next day take the meat out.While it is coming to room temperature,prepare the liquid for the crock pot.

The Stock

2 C. Beef Broth ( reserve 1/2 C. for pan deglazing)

1 C.  “good” Cabernet or Merlot (reserve 1/4 C. for pan deglazing)

2 T. apple cider or red wine vinegar

2 T. Ketchup (that means Heinz!)

1 T. Worcerstershire Sauce

1 T. Brown Sugar

1/2 t. Coriander

1/2 t. Cumin

Mix well.Add to the crockpot and bring to a boil and turn off.While cooling, dry the ribs well.Heat a saute pan until a speck of water sizzles in it.Then add your ribs one at a time. Try to get a good carmel color on all sides.

Remove ribs from pan and put them in liquid in crockpot. Deglaze pan with remaining broth and wine. Bring to rapid boil and pour over ribs in crock pot. Cook on low for 6 hours for 10 ribs. When done cooking remove the ribs carefully.(I use min tongs )The meat will fall off of most of the bones,but for a nice presentation try to keep some of them intact.

This next step is optional, and adds some time. I feel that removing the fat from the cooking liquid is a vital and healthier step. Allow juices to cool a bit,then pour into a bowl and refrigerate.If you are in a hurry put it in the freezer. but don’t forget about it! Remove when fat hardens.Spoon fat off of top. After looking at it congealed aren’t you glad you took removed it? This leaves you with a velvety, almost non-fat broth.If you like you can thicken with flour or corn starch, but to maintain a gluten free and less caloric gravy, I left it as is.

Return liquid to crock pot and  and add:

10 whole Crimini mushrooms

6 oz. container of fresh raspberries

The raspberries are optional,giving a hint of flavor and natural sweetness, allowing to cut back on the brown sugar.Cook on high  20 minutes,til raspberrries are very soft. Add ribs back in just to heat through..

Serve family style with farfelle (bow shaped pasta)  and poppy seeds.Add a  salad, and bread if you like to make sure you get every bit of this tantalizing broth.