Oh dear. Apparently I have a recent affinity for rubs. It isn't that they are new to me, but most likely because I find them 1. tasty, 2. efficient, and 3. perfect little gifts. They are tasty because they add layers of flavor to any number of proteins. Or you can toss a teaspoon or two of a spice rub into some olive oil to make a quick marinade or baste.
And they are absolutely efficient---perhaps my biggest gravitational pull toward rubs. You can make a big batch of rub and use it multiple times, for a large number of dinners. In other words: a one time effort gives you results many times over. But it doesn't end there. Once you make your rub, you can use it to make dinners in advance, like my recipe for easy as steak 1-2-3.
Instead of sending a thank you card, I like to deliver gifts from my kitchen, like a jar of homemade jam. Instead of emailing a get-well, pass along a blend of Latin Spice or Coffee Cardamom Rub. On other occasions, I have brought chocolate covered spoons for a holiday lunch, my Italian herb blend to my mom 'just because' and bags of granola for each family at a big 'ole reunion.
Great flavor, good smarts and a pile of giving. I think that is what I love to knead together in my kitchen. It isn't just about the good food or making it look easy (both of which I love)---it is most importantly about sharing. Sharing a meal, a good moment, just being together [insert cheesy 80's song: these are the times to remember, the times we hold onto]. Kitchen gifts extend the gratitude, elongate the care, and/or grant a much needed gesture.
Life has hardship, frustration, circumstance. Bad things happen to good people. Bad people happen to good things. I am finding more and more that a very good way to say I care, to offer comfort, to extend appreciation or TO GIVE A GOOD RUB is through food. I love taking something made with my hands---and placing them in yours.
...this is a simple rub, and any white fish will be happy for the embellishment. It makes for great tacos:
Whitefish Taco RUB 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt 1 tsp ground cumin 1/4 tsp dried oregano pinch each garlic powder, black pepper, cayenne 2/3 pounds mahi mahi
Multiply it by a bunch if making more. And if going for tacos, consider adding the cabbage slaw:
Red Cabbage Slaw 1/4 cup rice vinegar 1 T sugar 2 T veg oil 1/4 head red cabbage 1/4 cup cilantro 1 large carrot, shredded coarse Salt & Black Pepper