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Cooking with JoJo: Wake up the taste buds with this espresso rub

Joey Morasse • May 15, 2018 at 8:28 PM

Summer is here, and with the arrival of warmer temperatures, whether you’re lakeside or poolside, the best meals are made on the grill. I am always searching for ways to change things up from the norm. 

A grilled steak or chicken with a simple spice blend is great, but I wanted something with more depth, and the following recipe is an amazing blend of two of my favorite ingredients, ancho chile and espresso. 

Prepared the night before, place this dry rub on your meat of choice, in this case, pork tenderloin. The salt will draw out the juices of the meat and turn this rub into a delicious paste that will form an incredible crust as it grills. Served alongside your favorite grilled sides such as corn on the cob or summer squash, this rub will turn your normal grilling experience into a great summer memory.

What you’ll need:

• ¼ cup ancho chile flakes.

• 1/3 cup Café Bustelo Cuban espresso found in most grocery stores.

• 3 tsp. garlic powder.

• 1 tbsp. course salt.

• 1 tbsp. black pepper.

• 1 tbsp. onion powder.

• 1 tbsp. smoked paprika.

• 2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted.

After mixing all the dry ingredients together, coat the meat with the melted coconut oil. This not only helps the rub to stick, but it also adds a nice balance to the sweet chile and bitter espresso. For best results, do this the night before. 

An hour before grilling, take the meat out of the fridge and allow the meat to come to room temperature. Placing a cold piece of meat on a hot grill will make the fibers tense up, which makes for a tough bite, and it will also cook unevenly. 

To get a good crust, the hotter the grill, the better. Sear the meat on all sides for two to three minutes to form a nice char. If you’re using gas, turn the temperature down afterwards to low, and close the lid to allow slow cooking, checking every four to five minutes. If you’re using charcoal, always have a spot on the grill that hot coals aren’t under for indirect cooking. 

Once your meat is done to your liking, remove it and let it rest for up to five minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. Grab a knife, pour your favorite beverage, put your toes in the water and enjoy.

Cooking since he could pull a chair up to the stove at 5 years old, Joey Morasse, of Lebanon, is the owner and operator of JoJo’s Barbecue and Catering. He is also a personal chef and offers in-home cooking classes.


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