Sunday, June 28, 2009

Dust to Dust

I'm pretty sure I laid this one on you somewhere back there in previous blog posts but this seemed to be a good time to -- uhmm -- dust it off and bring it out again. Remember, last night I promised to tell you about Magic Dust. Yes, I know this cartoon is about happy dust but little green Miss Thang is a funnier illustration than a photo of a pile of mixed spices. Trust me on that.

Mike Mills, billed as a champion BBQ pit master and restaurateur, came up with this blend of spices and shares the recipe with the rest of us. The neat thing about it is its versatility. Often used as a dry rub on fish, fowl or red meats, it works equally well on just about any vegetable you can name and is a handy seasoning for all sorts of casserole or combination dishes. As noted yesterday, I like to sprinkle it on melted cheese -- and it doesn't much matter what the cheese has been melted on, the seasoning enhances it.

1/2 cup paprika
1/4 cup kosher salt, finely ground
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons mustard powder
1/4 cup chili powder
1/4 cup ground cumin
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
1/4 cup granulated garlic
2 tablespoons cayenne

Mix all the spices together thoroughly and store in tightly covered container. If you want it hotter, add more mustard and/or black pepper, 1 tablespoon at a time, up to 1/4 cup each. Personally, I found the above measurements to be just warm enough for general purposes -- although I am using the extra hot Coleman's mustard powder. I stored the bulk of the mix in an empty Kraft ground Parmesan container and filled a smaller glass spice bottle with a shaker top for table use.

I've learned a couple of things since starting this kick of making my own assorted mixes. For instance, I'm getting pretty good at saving plastic and glass containers, especially if they have shaker tops, for possible use as homemade mix storage. I've also learned to keep a roll of scotch tape handy to stick labels on the containers once I fill them. That's because, to my dismay, I have discovered some mixes look so much like each other that I don't have a clue which is what. I have a couple of mystery mixes in the kitchen right this minute -- mixes that I was blissfully sure I'd be able to identify with one eye tied behind my back. Hah!

The good news is, I can always offload them in a soup without doing any damage to my taste buds. The bad news is, if I really, REALLY like the result, I won't know what I have to mix up to do it again. Back to the drawing board, Igor. Yes, master.


John Bailey said...

That's so close to my magic spice mix it's frightening, Dee. Bet you can't guess which ingredient on yours I refuse?

kate et jim said...

This sounds like it would spice things up, eh?

(I'll bet John leaves out the sugar?)

bonnie said...

I don't have kosher salt, will sea salt due?

Dee said...

John, I'm betting it's the cayenne you leave out. Chili powder isn't usually all that hot.

Kate, it's just a really nice all-purpose seasoning -- any heat is barely noticeable with those measurements.

Bonnie, either kosher or sea salt works. So does table salt, actually, but because of its smaller grain, you'd only use half as much.

Maggie said...