No. 30: Fresh Asparagus Salad

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 ½ to 2 lbs. asparagus, not too skinny

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil

  • Fresh lemon juice to taste

  • Rockerbox Garlic Pepper

  • Freshly shaved Parmesan to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  • Cut off the woody bottoms of the asparagus spears and discard

  • Use a vegetable peeler to remove the dark green outer skin of each spear. You should get 3 or 4 ribbons from each one. Set aside. Cut the remaining stalks crosswise into ¼ inch rounds.

  • Combine ribbons, sliced rounds, and tips in a large bowl. Drizzle asparagus with oil, then sprinkle with lemon juice to taste. Season with Garlic Pepper, then top with Parmesan.

This recipe also works with: Original Garlic Dust (add salt), Black Garlic Dust (add salt)

No. 31: Baked Asparagus

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 1-2 Tbsp Olive oil
  • Spice (see below)

For seasoning, choose one:

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 400F
  • Snap off the woody bottoms of the asparagus. (Hold the asparagus stalks, one at a time, near the cut end, and snap it like kindling. Fortunately the asparagus breaks in just the right spot!)
  • Place asparagus in a single layer on a cookie sheet, and drizzle the olive oil over it. Roll it around to make sure all the stalks are evenly coated, then sprinkle with the spice. Bake until tender or crunchy depending upon your preference, about 12 to 20 minutes.

No. 14: Baked Broccoli

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INGREDIENTS:

  • Fresh broccoli, just enough to serve (this recipe isn't great leftover)
  • Olive oil
  • Spice (see below)
  • Optional: freshly grated Parmesan

THIS RECIPE WORKS BEST WITH:

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 400F. 
  • Chop the broccoli into bite-sized pieces, discarding the tough skin on the stalk. Put it in a big mixing bowl.
  • Drizzle the broccoli with olive oil, tossing it around the bowl to coat. You don't want your broccoli swimming in oil - you just want to lightly coat it. Then, sprinkle with your favorite spice until it's well-seasoned. Make sure each floret gets some spice - that's what makes this recipe so delicious.
  • Empty the contents of the mixing bowl onto a baking sheet, spreading the broccoli out into a single layer. 
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes, checking at around 10 minutes to be sure it doesn't burn. If you like it crunchy, take it out just as the florets begin to brown. If you like your broccoli more well done, leave in for another few minutes. You can taste as you go (let it cool for a minute, if you do!)
  • Remove from the oven and toss with freshly grated Parmesan, if you choose.

 

No. 12: Best Tuna Salad

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This tuna salad is a year-round lunchtime favorite of mine. You can make it just a couple minutes, and it's a healthy salad that can be eaten as-is or on bread/toast. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 green apple, skin on, cored and julienned (or diced)
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 can tuna in water
  • 1/4 C mayo
  • 1-1/2 tsp Rockerbox Garlic Pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  • Mix together mayo and Garlic Pepper.
  • Drain the tuna, and mix it into the mayo mixture. 
  • Add the celery & green apple, and serve.

SUBSTITUTION - This recipe also works with Original Garlic Dust; just add 1/2 tsp salt and some fresh black or white pepper, to taste.

No. 4: Garlic Bread

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Tip: The paste that you spread on the bread can be made ahead and stored in your fridge for up to a month. I like to make a few batches of it at once, and then making the garlic bread with dinner is a breeze - half of the above steps are already done!

When you have good garlic powder, making garlic bread is always a breeze. Just mix the powder with a little butter, spread it on bread, and toast it. BUT, if you want to go the extra mile for the PERFECT garlic bread, give this a try:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp Garlic Dust (Roasted or Original)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, grated to paste with a rasp-style grater
  • 1 tsp water
  • 1 loaf supermarket-style Italian bread, halved horizontally

DIRECTIONS:

  • Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position. Heat oven to 450F. Combine garlic dust and water in medium bowl. Add salt, cayenne, and half the butter; set aside.
  • Place remaining butter in a small bowl and microwave, covered, until melted - about 30 seconds. Stir in grated garlic and microwave, covered, until butter bubbles around edges, about 1 minute, stirring halfway through. Add this to the garlic powder-butter mixture. Whisk until a loose paste forms. (If the mixture melts, set it aside and let it solidify before using.)
  • Spread butter mixture evenly on cut sides of bread. Lay bread cut side UP on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until butter mixture seeps into bread, 3-4 minutes. Remove from oven. Flip bread over and gently press baking sheet on top. Return to oven, leaving second sheet on top, and bake until sides are golden and crisp, 4 to 12 minutes, rotating halfway through baking. Cut each half loaf into 8 slices. Serve immediately.

SUBSTITUTION: This recipe also works with: Garlic Pepper (leave out half the salt)

 

No. 10: Easy Pan-seared Chicken

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TIPS: 

-  Use vegetable oil or canola oil for pan-searing, because they have a high smoke point. That means the oil won't burn as quickly, which is what you need when you're trying to cook meat on the stovetop.

- This recipe is so quick and easy, it's great for a weeknight meal, or for guests. It's easy to translate this to smaller servings, too - this recipe only calls for 6 thighs because that's about the limit of what can fit into a standard cast-iron pan. To cook just a couple thighs, use a smaller pan (if you can). Cook time might be slightly less.

Dry rubs are the easiest, most rewarding way to season meat. Rockerbox BBQ Rub is perfectly formulated to season any cut of meat with the perfect balance of salt, garlic, onion, black pepper, brown sugar, and other complimentary spices. The best part about using dry rubs (as opposed to marinades) is there's no wait. You just rub the spice on the surface of the meat and toss it in the pan. All the flavor of the spice actually adheres to the meat. This isn't true for marinades, which actually don't permeate very deep and are left in the marinade bowl instead of in the pan. So, get creative - use any combination of dry rubs on your meat - this recipe is as flexible as it gets!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
  • BBQ Rub
  • Vegetable oil or Canola oil

DIRECTIONS:

  • Pat chicken parts dry with a paper towel, and cut off excess fat, leaving the skin on.
  • Preheat oven to 475F. 
  • Rub BBQ Rub over the chicken, coating every surface. 
  • In a cast-iron (or heavy oven-safe) pan, heat 2 Tbsp cooking oil on medium heat for 1 minute, until hot but not smoking. 
  • Nestle chicken in the pan skin-side down. Occasionally rotate the pan and rearrange the chicken thighs to evenly distribute the heat, until the fat renders and the skin is golden brown - about 12 minutes.
  • Transfer skillet to oven and cook 13 more minutes.
  • Flip chicken, continue cooking until skin crisps and meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes longer.
  • Transfer to plate; let rest 5 minutes before serving.

SUBSTITUTIONS: BBQ Rub for Garam Masala (add salt), Garlic Pepper, or Roasted Garlic Dust (add salt)

No. 3: Easy Mussels & Butter

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TIPS:

- Especially in a dish like this where the butter is a key ingredient, I love to use Kerry Gold Irish butter. It has a ton of buttery flavor.

-  If a mussel doesn't open even after you allow it a few extra minutes over the heat, don't eat it.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Fresh mussels in the shell (a good rule of thumb is 1 lb per person for an entree)
  • 1 stick (4 oz) Salted butter
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 3 tsp Garlic Flakes
  • 3 tsp Shallot Flakes
  • Fresh bread (optional)
  • Lemon (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Rinse and scrub mussels under cold water
  • Using your fingers or paring knife, remove beards (strings that hang from the mussel shells), and discard.
  • In a large stockpot set over medium heat, combine wine, butter, and spices.
  • Simmer 2 minutes.
  • Add mussels and cover, increase heat to high. 
  • Cook until all mussels are open, about 5 minutes. 
  • Remove from heat, divide mussels and broth in bowls to serve. Serve immediately, with lemon wedges and grilled bread.

SUBSTITUTION: Garlic Flakes for: Garlic Pepper (use unsalted butter), Original Garlic Dust, or Roasted Garlic DustItaliano Mix

SUBSTITUTION: Shallot Flakes for: Green Onion Dust, Yellow Onion Dust

 

No. 8: Crispy Potato Sticks

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb. Potatoes (any kind will work, but my favorite are thin-skinned red, purple, or Yukon Gold because I can leave the skin on)
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Spice*  (or to taste)
  • Salt, to taste

*This recipe works best with the following Rockerbox blends:

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 450°F.

  • Slice potatoes into steak-fry shapes, and toss in a mixing bowl with olive oil, spice, and a sprinkle of salt (if there is no salt in the blend you're using).

  • Spread on a baking sheet, allowing space between each piece. Bake on top rack for 30-50 minutes, or until potatoes are very crispy. Serve alongside your favorite BBQ sauce, ketchup, aioli, etc.

No. 1: Mexican "Street Corn"

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 ears fresh sweet corn
  • 6 Tbsp. Mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp. Rockerbox Sweet Corn Rub
  • 1/3 C fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1/4 C Cotija cheese (Substitute: Feta)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Husk the corn and and place it in cool water over high heat. Once the water comes to a boil, the corn will be perfectly cooked. Take the corn out as soon as the water comes to a boil. Note: If you prefer to grill your corn, go for it!
  • While your corn is cooking, mix together: Mayo, Sweet Corn Rub, chopped cilantro (reserving 1 Tbsp. aside), and lime juice. 
  • Slather the seasoned mayo mixture directly onto the ears of corn, and sprinkle with cheese and cilantro. Serve with plenty of napkins!

SUBSTITUTION: This recipe also works with: Rockerbox Garlic Pepper (add paprika)

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To make Sweet Corn Salad: Instead of spreading the mayo mixture directly onto the whole ears of corn, cut the kernels from the cob, and then mix the seasoned mayo into the corn, like a salad dressing. Top with cheese and cilantro, and serve.