Dry, There's the Rub: Two Simple Recipes to Prepare for BBQ Season

The young man and the sea creature: Courtland and pulpo. Where's the rub?
The young man and the sea creature: Courtland and pulpo. Where's the rub?
Courtesy of the chef

After we posted this week's Wine Guy Explains Wine Things, in which Lou Amdur suggested several terrific wines for barbecue season, we couldn't get barbecue off our mind. Lou mentioned his love of using a dry rub, aka spice rub, to flavor Memphis-style ribs. And when we were on the phone with Nate Courtland, a young chef in NYC who has cooked at Union Square and Esca, barbecue was the topic. Just for Squid Ink, he provided suggestions for two simple rubs that he loves to use:

"Okay, Margs," he said, "just off the top of my head ... "

Nate Courtland's Herb-and-Spice Dry Rub

2 tablespoons fennel seeds (toasted)

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

1 tablespoon chile flakes

1/2 bunch fresh thyme (chopped or crushed in mortar)

1/2 bunch fresh rosemary (chopped)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons ground black pepper

Combine the toasted fennel seeds, coriander seeds, chile flakes, chopped thyme and rosemary, cinnamon and black pepper. Rub the mixture onto the meat of your choice and cover with plastic.

"I would leave the dry rub on for at least 2 or 3 hours," Nate says, "but if you wanna leave it on overnight just refrigerate."

"We also do a nice rub where I'm at now -- Al Di La -- where we cook whole garlic cloves in olive oil until soft, then puree the cloves with some of the oil and combine chopped thyme, rosemary and sage. We leave that rub on overnight. With the oil left from cooking the garlic you can make awesome dressings or use it for sauteing whatever...soo good!"

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