At its most basic, a rub is a collection of herbs, spices, and seasonings. It's a simple way to enhance flavor and give food a lovely, crunchy crust. Each rub recipe is paired with a different food and suggestions are given for easy accompaniments to round out a meal.
Be bold -- experiment! Rubs are like condiments and sauces. A rub recipe for pork chops may also be great on poultry or fish. The pairings of rubs and entrees are just an entry point.
To achieve a scrumptious Southwestern kick, the pork ribs are smeared with a peppery rub and slathered with a zippy barbecue sauce. Then they're grilled over mesquite chips for a great smoke flavor.
Remember, rubs are like condiments and sauces. While a recipe may call for ribs, the rub may also be great on poultry or fish too!
Lamb chops, rubbed with fennel, garlic, and aromatic coriander and cumin, bring the flavors of the Mediterranean to your table.
If you have only spice seeds, not ground spices, that's fine. Just crush spice on a hard surface with the bottom of a skillet, in a clean coffee grinder, in a mini food processor, or with a mortar and pestle.
Rubs are often thought of for grilled foods. As this recipe shows, rubs are great for roasted foods, too. Time is the secret ingredient; as the hours pass, the spice rub imbues the meat with flavor.