Yes, I know. I tempted you all with a new feature and then didn’t post it. Well, I did say it would be a feature once a month. Here it is.
Fennel Fusion Spice Rub
4 tablespoons fennel seeds
3 tablespoons coriander seeds
3 tablespoons mustard seeds
2 tablespoons peppercorns
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
3.5 tablespoons kosher salt
Put the fennel, coriander, mustard, cumin seeds and peppercorns in a heavy pan over medium heat. Toast the seeds, tossing them around frequently. When you start to smell them, they are probably ready. Pour into a bowl or on a plate and let them cool. Then pop them in the spice grinder add the salt and blend. I like my spice rub a bit on the chunkier side, but do what ever your preference is. Give them a shake once or twice while grinding to distribute the seeds better. If you don’t let them cool first, you will have spice butter, trust me, I was in a hurry once. Store in a tightly sealed glass jar where ever you store your spices.
I owe the inspiration for this rub to Michael Chiarello and his fennel spice rub. I tried it and then began tweaking it for my tastes and needs. After much tweaking it has evolved into a completely different rub.
This rub is fabulous on a pork loin or chicken, grilled or roasted. I think it would be great on nice firm tofu too. I also use it in this dish, which is when I was first introduced to the original spice rub. However, for my veggies, I use fennel – the veg not the seed, onion and carrot. Toss them in the rub with chopped pancetta, roast until almost caramelized, add a drained and rinsed can of Great Northern White Beans, and top with Parmesan cheese. I coat the spice rub on chicken thighs, sautee them until golden brown, and then add them to the top of the cassoulet for the final baking – at the same time as the beans are added.
Similar ingredients, different dish and cooking methods.
I hope you mix up a batch of Fennel Fusion soon and enjoy it as much as I do.