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Food for Thought: Learn the basics of making your own dry rub for meat

Staff Writer
Washington County News

TIP OF THE WEEK

If you are looking to put some more flavor into your grilling this summer, adding a dry rub to your meat will help you put more flavor into your meat of choice without having any additional sauces. Although creating a dry rub might seem like a job for professionals, creating your own signature flavor is easy once you understand the basics of a dry rub.

Here are some tips for creating your own dry rub, according to Charbroil.com:

Base for making a dry rub

- Salt: Salt should make up about half of your mix. Along with adding flavor, salt also pulls moisture from the outer part of the meat, which develops a seared crust to hold the rest of the moisture in. Give salt a 10-part measurement (i.e., if 1 part = 1 tablespoon, then start with 10 tablespoons of salt).

- Sugar: Sweetness creates balance, but too much sugar may leave the meat slimy. Use 3 parts brown sugar to the 10 parts salt. If using white sugar, use only 2 parts.

- After the salt and sugar, add 6-8 parts total of all other spices. This provides you with a half salt/half “the rest” ratio.

Spices for making a dry rub

- Be generous: Garlic powder, onion powder, paprika.

- Be sparing: All spice, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, nutmeg.

- Know your herbs: Any dried herbs will work with your rub, but keep in mind that dried herbs taste different than fresh.

Know your peppers: Chili powder (mild heat, southwest flavor), ancho chili powder (medium heat, slightly sweet raisin-like flavor), chipotle chili powder (high spice, smokey flavor), cayenne pepper (used to add heat) and black pepper (medium heat, used almost universally in tandem with chili powders listed above).

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EASY RECIPE

Cast Iron Pound Cake

Serves: 12-16

Ingredients

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus additional softened butter, for greasing the pan Pinch salt

3 cups sugar

6 large eggs, at room temperature

3 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons vanilla

Steps

Place a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 12-inch cast iron skillet with the softened butter.

Place the room temperature butter and salt in a large mixing bowl, and beat with an electric mixer on medium-low speed until the mixture is creamy, about 1 minute. Add the sugar, gradually, while beating on medium-low. Increase the mixer speed to medium once all the sugar has been incorporated, and beat until pale in color, about 1 minute. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the eggs, one at a time. Beat until each egg is throughly incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

With the mixer still on low speed, add one-third of the flour, followed by half of the cream, mixing until combined. Mix in another third of the flour, followed by the remaining cream, and then the remaining flour. Mix in the vanilla and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Turn the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the rubber spatula.

Bake the cake until the top is golden brown and crackly, 65 to 70 minutes. Remove the pan to a wire rack to cool at least 1 hour.

Run a knife around the edges of the pan, give the pan a good shake, then invert the cake once, then again, so that the cake rests right-side up on the rack. Let it cool on the rack at least 1 hour before serving. (To store, wrap in aluminum foil or place in a cake saver, and store for up to five days. Alternatively, wrap in foil and freeze for up to six months.)

DRINK

Light drinking could help preserve brain function

According to a new study conducted by the University of Georgia, light to moderate drinking may preserve brain function in older age. Researchers found that those who had a drink or two a day tended to perform better on cognitive tests over time compared to non-drinkers. The study also found the optimal amount of drinks per week was between 10 and 14 drinks.

FUN FACT

Lima beans

Raw lima beans can be deadly because they contain lethal amounts of cyanide in them. Cooking them thoroughly makes them safe for consumption.