Tex-Mex Meat Rub

Tex-Mex Meat Rub

As I’ve said so many times the secret to well seasoned meat dishes start with the meat rub or seasoning.  The same holds true for one of my favorite types of cuisine, Mexican or Tex-Mex.

Whether you’re making fajitas, steaks, or taco and burrito filling if you’re filling that tortilla with any type of meat you’re going to need a meat rub.  That’s where my Tex-Mex Meat Rub comes in handy.

I usually make a large batch, large meaning enough to fill a pint sized Mason Jar, to season chicken, beef, and even seafood for any kind to Tex-Mex dish I want to make.  That way I don’t have to make the mix every time I feel like having flautas or nachos or whatever.  I always have enough to rub on my meats; assuming I don’t forget to replenish the jar!

This Tex-Mex Meat Rub is super easy to whip up and makes your meat filling taste incredible!  I use just enough pepper in it to give the meat a little kick, but you can adjust the “hotness” according to your preference just by increasing or decreasing the amount of pepper powder you use.  Once you’re done just store the rub in a sealed jar and place it in a cool dry place, like your pantry.  The Tex-Mex Meat Rub should keep about 3 months, if you can manage not to use it all the first week!

To use the rub you’ll need 1 Tbs. of Tex-Mex Meat per pound of meat.  Make a paste with it by adding it to 1 Tbs. Olive Oil and 1/2 Tbs. Apple Cider Vinegar.  This is enough to season 3 large chicken breasts.

Rub the paste all over your meat then place the meat in a covered dish or ziplock bag in the fridge.  Let the meat marinate in the rub for at least an hour but no more than 24 hours.  Overnight works great!

Depending on the dish you are trying to create you can either slice the meat into strips for fajitas or leave it whole and shred after cooking.  Then cook the meat the way you want, fry, grill, bake, or in an Instant Pot!

Use the seasoned meat for nachos, fajitas, burritos, tacos, or whatever you like.

 

Tex-Mex Meat Rub
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Tex-Mex Meat Rub
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Ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl
  2. Transfer to jar with a tight lid
  3. Tighten the lid and store in a cool dry place
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Stuffed Peppers for Two

Stuffed Peppers for Two

My husband likes stuffed peppers, but my original recipe made too many servings. I cut it down to accommodate just the two of us. It helps to use a small casserole dish so the peppers won’t tip over while they bake. For color,This recipe is easy enough for family yet fancy enough for company.

Trying new recipes is one of my favorite hobbies. It’s also the most gratifying. What could beat the smiles and compliments of the ones you love?I serve steamed carrots to round out the meal perfectly.

 

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Click here for Stuffed Peppers for Two recipe enjoy!

Ingredients

2 medium green peppers
1/2 pound ground beef
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce, divided
1/4 cup uncooked instant rice
3 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 tablespoon chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 large egg, beaten

Directions

1. Cut tops off peppers and discard; remove seeds. Blanch peppers in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water; set aside.
2. In a bowl, combine beef, 1/4 cup tomato sauce, rice, 2 tablespoons cheese, onion, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and egg; mix well. Stuff the peppers; place in an ungreased 1-1/2-qt. baking dish. Pour the remaining tomato sauce over peppers. Cover and bake at 350° for 45-60 minutes or until meat is no longer pink and peppers are tender.
3. Sprinkle with remaining cheese; return to the oven for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Nutrition Facts

1 stuffed pepper: 405 calories, 20g fat (9g saturated fat), 193mg cholesterol, 1277mg sodium, 25g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 3g fiber), 32g protein.

Stuffed Peppers for Two
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Stuffed Peppers for Two
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Homemade Shawarma Spice Mix

Homemade Shawarma Spice Mix

Shawarma is a typical Middle Eastern street food that’s sold on street corner kiosks, fast food joints, and restaurants in Middle Eastern countries and beyond.

It’s sort of similar to the Greek Gyro but is seasoned with different spices and allowed to marinate for at least a few hours.  It’s usually cooked very much like the Turkish Doner Kebab which is a cone of mixed meats (beef, lamb, and chicken) cooked on a vertical spit.  Typically it’s served as a Shawarma Sandwich which is pita bread stuffed with shaved meat, tahini sauce, and fresh and pickled veggies.  It can also be served as a plate with rice, salad, hummus, and pita bread.

Today most Middle Eastern restaurants and fast food places serve specific shawarma meats such as beef or chicken shawarma in a sandwich or as a plate.  Needless to say both are very popular in our family!

But the real secret to Shawarma isn’t the meat or the way it’s cooked.  The secret lies in the spices used.  You can make shawarma in your oven, grill, and even in your Instant Pot.  In fact I always make it in my Instant Pot!  I’m working on an article to share how to make Beef Shawarma in an Instant Pot; but before I can make any type of shawarma using any method I have to season the meat!

I’m actually a big believer in spice rubs.  I make all sorts of rubs for different things such as my Basic BBQ Chicken Rub. I mean sauces are great for adding flavor to meat after it’s cooked, but what really gives meat great flavor are rubs and marinades.  So if you want to make homemade shawarma that tastes like you ordered it from a Middle Eastern restaurant you’ll need this Shawarma Spice Mix.

I usually mix up a large batch; large meaning enough mix to fill a  quart sized Mason Jar.  I store my Shawarma Spice Mix in a sealed jar in my pantry, it stays fresh for about 3 months, assuming you don’t use it all before then!  The spice mix can be used for beef or chicken shawarma and can even be added to other recipes when you’re wanting to add a touch of exotic flavorings.

To use the mix as a marinade for shawarma I use a teaspoon of mix per pound of meat.  Combine the mix with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar, and a pinch of salt then massage it on to the meat.  Place the meat in a ziplock bag and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours but no longer than 24 hours.

So scroll down for the Shawarma Spice Mix recipe!

This post contains affiliate links.

 


Shawarma Spice Mix
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Shawarma Spice Mix
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Mix all spices together in a large bowl
  2. Transfer spice mix to a mason jar
  3. Place jar lid on tightly and store in a cool dry place
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Homemade Corned Beef Hash

Homemade Corned Beef Hash

Corned Beef Hash is one of our favorite breakfast foods; actually we like it anytime of day.  We usually order it at one of our favorite coffee shops and they all serve the canned version.  Mind you we’re good with that, but have you ever had fresh homemade Corned Beef Hash?  Believe me once you do it’s hard to settle for the canned stuff!

Since St. Patrick’s day was just a couple of days ago I’m sure like me you’re wondering what to do with that left over Corned  Beef & Cabbage you had for dinner last Sunday!  Well wonder not more!  Turn it into Corned Beef Hash and serve it for breakfast or even dinner tonight!  I know I will!

Homemade Corned Beef Hash is a great way to use that leftover brisket.  It’s easy, it’s fast, and it’s very yummy!  So let’s make some hash!

By the way it would be an awesome addition to a Mother’s or Father’s Day Breakfast of Brunch!

Ingredients

Left over Corned Beef Brisket (if you don’t have leftovers then cook a brisket in your crock pot or Instant Pot.  Click here for my Instant Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage recipe)

3 – 4 Yukon Gold Potatoes – Peeled, boiled, diced (If you have leftover potatoes from dinner just dice those)

1 Small Onion finely diced

1 Tbs. Minced Garlic

1/2 Tsp. Paprika

1/4 Cup beef broth

Oil for Frying

Directions

Prepare your brisket and potatoes

Heat oil in frying pan

Saute onions until they start to turn translucent

Add garlic and saute until they start to turn brown

Add diced corned beef and potatoes

Sprinkle with paprika and mix well

Spread corned beef mixture evenly in frying pan and smush down with back of your spatula

Pour beef broth over all

Turn down heat and simmer until liquid is mostly gone

Flip corned beef over and smush down again with back of spatula

Cook another 5 minutes or until dry

Serve with hash brown potatoes and fried eggs.

 

 

Homemade Corned Beef Hash
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Homemade Corned Beef Hash
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Prepare brisket and potatoes
  2. Heat oil in frying pan
  3. Saute onions until they turn translucent
  4. Add garlic and saute until garlic starts to brown
  5. Add diced corned beef and potatoes
  6. Sprinkle with paprika and mix well
  7. Spread corned beef mixture evenly in pan and smush down with back of spatula
  8. Pour broth over all and reduce heat
  9. Cook until liquid is almost gone
  10. Flip corned beef over and smush down again with back of spatula
  11. Cook another 5 minutes or until all liquid is gone
  12. Serve with hash brown potatoes and fried eggs.
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Basic BBQ Chicken Rub

Basic BBQ Chicken Rub

Who doesn’t love the sweet tangy taste of Barbecued Chicken? But have you ever wondered how those BBQ joints (as my NYC cousin calls them) make such delicious chicken?  I used to think it was all in the sauce which they slather on quite generously.  But oh how wrong I was!  I tried slathering different brands of barbecue sauces on my grilling chicken; all I got was burned sauce dripping off tasteless chicken!  Restaurant worthy finger licking good barbecued chicken requires 2 things:  BBQ Chicken Rub and really good barbecue sauce.

So really it all begins with a basic BBQ Chicken Rub; by the way in case you were wondering barbecued brisket, ribs, and other meats require a rub too; but I use a slightly different version with different spices.  I generally make a large batch of BBQ Chicken Rub, meaning a batch large enough to fill the 8 oz. mason jar I store it in.  This way I always have some handy, at least that’s the plan, whenever we feel like making barbecued chicken.

You will use about 1/4 of the jar each time you want to grill about 8-9 pieces of chicken.  I know it sounds like a lot, but trust me use the correct amount for some amazing chicken.  To use it you will need to drizzle 2 Tbs. of Olive Oil on the chicken ( I use boneless skinless chicken thighs, but you can use whatever parts you want although it’s best to at least remove the skin before seasoning.)  Then massage the BBQ Chicken Rub on each piece of chicken, be sure you get all sides.  Place the chicken in ziplock bag and allow to rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.  Or better still leave it in the fridge overnight or up to 24 hours.  Remember the longer it rests the more flavoring it will absorb.

If you’ve had the chicken marinating in the fridge for longer than 30 minutes let it rest on the counter for 30 minutes to bring it to room temperature.  Then grill* the chicken until just about 2 minutes before it’s full cooked then brush on barbecue sauce (homemade or your favorite brand) and cook for 1 minute, flip over, brush more sauce on and cook for another minute or until cooked.*  Read Tips on how to Grill Barbecued Chicken below.

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Here’s my recipe for Basic BBQ Chicken Rub.  You can also use it on Turkey and other poultry you want to grill.

Ingredients:

3 Tbs. Paprika

3 Tbs.  Ground Sea Salt

2 1/2 Tbs. Chili Powder

2 1/2 Tbs. Onion Powder

3 Tbs. Garlic Powder

2 1/2 Tbs. Dark Brown Sugar

2 Tsp. Chipotle Chili Powder

2 Tsp. Ground Thyme

2 Tsp.  Ground Black Pepper

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix thoroughly.

Transfer to 8 Oz. Mason Jar and store tightly covered in a dry place.

You can store it in the pantry for about 3 months.  Store in the freezer if you want to keep it fresh longer.

;

* Tips for Grilling Barbecued Chicken

Spray grill with oil and preheat to high heat

Place chicken on the hot grill and cook uncovered for 5 minutes

Flip chicken over and cook another 5 minutes

Cover the grill and turn heat to low to maintain a temperature of about 325º with lid closed

Cook 5 minutes then flip chicken over and cook another 5 minutes with closed lid

Uncover the chicken and baste with barbecue sauce (homemade or your favorite brand)

Cook uncovered for 1 minute then flip chicken over and baste again

Cook uncovered another minute or until chicken temperature registers 165-180º when you insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken (don’t touch the bone)

If chicken is still undone continue to grill with lid down until it reaches the correct temperature.  If you are doing this baste the chicken with barbecue sauce every 3 minutes until done.

Remove cooked chicken from grill and place in a pot.

Baste with more barbecue sauce and cover pot.

Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.  You can serve with a side of barbecue sauce.

Basic BBQ Chicken Rub
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Basic BBQ Chicken Rub
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients in a small bowl anc combine thoroughly
  2. Transfer to an 8 Oz. Mason Jar and cover with a tight lid, store in a dry place
Recipe Notes

This rub will store tightly covered in the pantry for about 3 months.  If you want to store it longer place it in the freezer where it can be stored for 6 months.

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Instant Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage

Instant Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage

corned beef & cabbageHappy St. Patrick’s Day!  Well it will be in a couple of days.  So what’s for dinner on St. Paddy’s Day?  Why Corned Beef & Cabbage of course!

You don’t have to be Irish to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day or love Corned Beef & Cabbage.  I suppose you could say that every year on March 17th.  we’re all Irish, if only for a day!  And you don’t have to wait for St. Patrick’s Day to enjoy some Corned Beef & Cabbage, you can have it any day of the year.  But you might notice that most markets don’t always stock corned beef year round, and if they do it’s very expensive.  So do what I do and pick up several packages of corned beef when they’re on sale around St. Patrick’s Day.  Just toss them in your freezer they’ll keep for months and thaw them out when you feel like having a bit of Irish during the year!

I used to make my Corned Beef & Cabbage in my crock pot, the corned beef part at least.  Then I’d boil the veggies on the stove just before serving.  Believe me you don’t want to cook your cabbage with the brisket in the crock pot; you’ll end up with mush!

Anyway since I got my handy dandy new Instant Pot last Christmas I’ve been making Corned Beef & Cabbage in there!  Now just like you don’t want mushy veggies when you use a crock pot, you don’t toss in the veggies into the Instant Pot with the brisket; but you don’t need to cook them on the stove either (that’s just one more pot to wash in my opinion!)

Today I’ll tell you how to make Corned Beef & Cabbage in your Instant Pot!  Not only do you use just one pot, you can get the meal done in less than 2 hours!  How easy is that?

Not only is making Corned Beef & Cabbage quicker and easier in the Instant Pot, it comes out better too!  We all agreed that the corned beef comes out more tender without falling apart like it does when cooked in a slow cooker.  The meat also comes out with a very nice appealing texture and it’s very tasty too!  So without further ado here’s my recipe for Instant Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage!

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Ingredients

3-4 Lbs. Corned Beef Brisket – you might need 2 packages

Seasoning Packet included in the Brisket

1 Large Onion – Diced

6 Cloves Garlic – Peeled and cut into halves

1 Bottle of Guinness or Dark Beer

6 Yukon Gold Potatoes – Peeled and cut in half

1 Large Head of Cabbage – Cut into large wedges

2 Cups Baby Carrots

Directions

Remove corned beef brisket or briskets from packages and rinse with cold water

Place in Instant Pot Fat side down

Rub contents of seasoning packet or packets on the corned beef brisket

Add Onions & Garlic to the Instant Pot

Pour in beer being careful not to wash seasonings off the brisket

Seal the lid making sure the steam release valve is set to sealing

Set the Instant Pot on Manual and adjust time to 90 minutes

Once the pot turns off let it release the steam naturally for 10 minutes then carefully turn the valve to release the pressure

Open the lid and remove the corned beef brisket from the pot.  Place it on a serving dish and let rest.  Spoon some of the broth over the brisket to keep it from drying.

Leave the remaining broth in pot and place veggies inside.

Seal the lid making sure the valve is back on sealing.

Set the pot on manual and adjust time to 3 minutes.

When the pot turns off carefully manually release the pressure.

Open lid and place veggies on platter with corned beef.

Store left over corned beef in some of the broth to keep it from drying out.

corned beef & cabbage
Instant Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage
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corned beef & cabbage
Instant Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage
Print Recipe
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Remove brisket or briskets from package and rinse with cold water
  2. Place brisket into Instant Pot fat side down
  3. Rub contents of seasoning packet or packets on brisket
  4. Add Onions and Garlic
  5. Carefully pour in Guinness or beer being careful not to wash off seasonings
  6. Secure lid making sure valve is set to sealing position
  7. Turn pot on manual and adjust time to 90 minutes
  8. When pot turns off allow to release steam naturally for 10 minutes
  9. Carefully turn valve to release and let steam out.
  10. Open lid and remove brisket. Place brisket on to serving dish and let rest. Spoon some broth over brisket to keep it from drying out.
  11. Keep remaining broth in pot and place veggies into pot
  12. Seal the lid making sure the valve is back on sealing position
  13. Set pot to manual and adjust time to 3 minutes
  14. When pot turns off carefully release the pressure
  15. Transfer veggies to serving dish and serve
  16. Store leftover brisket with some of the broth to keep it from drying out.
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