The sun is out today and it is absolutely beautiful, I mean beautiful. Today is the hottest day of the year. Whoop, whoop, whoop, whoop. I had planned to cook today and do a bit of cleaning, so as soon as I finish typing this, I’m going to rush through my chores, cook and then head out. We don’t get that much sun in my part of the world and I’m not going to be stuck at home on a day like this.
If you are having a gorgeous day too, why don’t you try making barbecue? You can invite a few friends over, trust me they’ll come. Who doesn’t like free food, especially when it is free barbecued meat. Or you could simply treat yourself and your family. You don’t even need to have the outdoor barbecue machine. Someone like me who lives in a flat barbecues regularly, and the result is just as great. yes it may not have the added flavour of charcoal, but you use what you have to get what you need. The ultimate to a good barbecue is not the use of a charcoal but the spice rub. Oven or outdoor barbecue, you need to get your spice rub right, or all the charcoal in the world will not save it from tasting bland. For those who have not been using their oven’s properly, or only for cakes, I wrote a post months ago about updating your oven use. Meats, fish, chicken, seafood, fruits, there is nothing your oven can’t help you with and it is the simplest form of cooking. If you want to read about more productive uses for your oven, click HERE.
Back to the issue of a spice rub. There are many spice rubs on the market, but I just love making my own. After spending hours watching the Food Network show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives with Guy Fieri, and seeing the restaurants make their own unique spice rubs for their meats, fish and seafood, I was inspired to make my own. It is still w work in progress, and some days when I grill an idea suddenly pops in my head and I amend it or I am sanding in the spice aisle at the supermarket, and some spice jumps out at me and I pick it up. Some day soon, I am going to patent this recipe and sell it in bottles or jars, so get on it now while it is still free. Lol.
Dooney’s Kitchen Rub comprises of:
Dry Pepper – cayenne pepper
Jumbo Seasoning – you can use Knorr Chicken cubes
Onion Powder or granules
Crushed bay leaves
Suya spice – optional: if you have otherwise the ingredients above will do just fine
Groundnut paste – blend ground nuts and mix with olive oil and sugar
Black pepper corns
Lemon juice – particularly when cooking fish or seafood
All purpose seasoning
Blended Cameroon pepper
You may be thinking that’s a lot, trust me it is not even near the amount of some of those diners on Guy Fieri’s show. If you have access to all the ingredients, use it or simply pick and choose. Sometimes, I pick and choose based on what I am grilling. You can make a dry spice rub comprising of only dry ingredients, or you can make a wet and stick spice rub. Again, it is up to you, and what you are grilling.
Another secret to great barbecued meats is marinading. It is not enough to use a fantastic spice rub if you don’t give the meats time to absorb all the flavours. On the Triple D show, I have heard some chefs marinade for 36 or 48 hours. The acidity of some of the ingredients also breaks down the flesh of the meat, making it juicy and tender and quick to grill. With fish and seafood of course, you only marinade for 30 – 45 minutes at the most, otherwise you will cook it raw. Yes, you can cook fish without taking it anywhere near a heat source.
Another tip, please please clean your oven or grill regularly. If you are having a smokey oven problem, you either buy an oven cleaning agent, which involves laying on the chemical on the sides of the oven and the grill rods, let it soak overnight and simply wipe clean with sponge and water. Those things work magic. If you don’t have any oven cleaning chemicals, please don’t use bleach. Make a paste with lemon juice, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. That’s it. It will get rid of the grime, and hardened deposits, leaving your oven smelling fresh and clean. Also do not use a scouring sponge to clean your oven, so that you don’t scrape off some of the coating.
So, oven cleaned, meat marinaded, get to grilling. Here are pictures of the last time I grilled spare ribs. I used a combination of wet and dry spice rub. I applied the wet on first, and let it marinade four hours. Shortly before I put it in the oven, I sprinkled on a dry spice rub, so it was seasoned twice, and I ended up with eat the meat, lick the bone and chew the bone deliciousness.
I always add thickly sliced onions and pepper (green or red), so they can caramelise on the meats while grilling, thereby adding more flavour.
Just before it enters the oven, drizzle some oil over it
place in the oven, turn the dial on to grill at 250 degrees, and go sit down with your friends and family and sip on cold drinks. At intervals, open the oven and turn the meats over, so as to cook and crisp up both sides.
Here’s your barbecue. Let me leave you with plenty pictures, so it will get your juices flowing, and tempt you to go get your barbecue game on. Have a lovely weekend people, enjoy the sun, enjoy your friends and family.