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Southwestern Mustard Rub with Homemade Garlic Salt

by Cheryl Forberg, RD on July 24, 2012

The advantage of a wet rub, such as this, is that it really sticks to your food. You don’t have to use this mustard rub on meat (it’s quite nice on grilled veggies, such as a hearty squash or a portobello), but if you are cooking meat, lightly scoring it first will help the flavors penetrate. Be sure to apply the rub at least 15 minutes before cooking and up to several hours before, depending on how thick the meat is and how robust the rub flavor is. Leftover rub keeps refrigerated for about 2 weeks.

Southwestern Mustard Rub

Makes 1 1/4 cups, enough for 4 rubs

1 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/4 cup crumbled dried lime zest (see note)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon Garlic Salt (see below)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Note: Dried orange, lemon, or lime zest can be made simply at home. Using a vegetable peeler, removing the zest only (the colored outer layer) and not the white pith underneath. Spread on a plate to dry for several days until brittle. Store in an airtight container.

Per 1 rub (5 tablespoons): 80 calories, 0 g total fat (0 g saturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 1760 mg sodium, 15 g total carbohydrates (0 g sugars), 2 g fiber, 1 g protein

Garlic Salt

Store-purchased garlic salt can’t compare with the flavor of this fresh version. It’s delicious sprinkled on so many things and is a primary ingredient in other seasonings and rubs, such as the Southwestern Mustard Rub above. Because this recipe requires some time to prepare, I like to make a large batch. It also makes a great gift packaged in a pretty bottle with a homemade label.

Makes 1 1/2 cups

1 1/3 cups coarse sea salt
2/3 cup garlic cloves, peeled but whole

Preheat the oven to 170°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Pour the salt into a food processor. With the machine running, add the garlic cloves through the feed tube and process until the mixture is transformed into a paste, scraping down the sides as necessary.

Transfer the garlic paste to the parchment-lined pan and spread out somewhat. Cover with a sheet of plastic wrap cut to the same size as the baking pan. Using a rolling pin, try to flatten the paste out to a thin even layer. Remove the plastic.

Place the garlic paste in the oven and leave it there for about 1 hour 30 minutes. The goal is to dry out the paste but not cook it, which will change the flavor. You may turn off oven and leave the garlic in overnight to be sure the paste is dry enough.

Return the completely dried paste to a food processor and process to a uniform fine consistency. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Per teaspoon: 0 calories, 0 g total fat (0 g saturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 1680 mg sodium, 0 g total carbohydrates (0 g sugars), 0 g fiber, 0 g protein

You can find this recipe and much more in Flavor First (Rodale).