Zesty Seafood Rub
It's a perfectly appropriate name. Citrus zest bring zest to whatever you add it to, especially seafood. This dry rub can be made in advance and stored, then mixed with oil to make a wet rub for preparing all manner of seafood.
The zest is the outer, bumpy, colored layer of the skin of a citrus fruit that contains potently fragrant citrus oils. A citrus peel has two parts, the colored fragrance filled zest, which is technically called the flavedo, and the cardboardy, bitter, white pith, which is called the albedo.
You can buy dried citrus zest, but making it is cheap and easy. So from now on, whenever you are ready to use an orange, lemon, or lime, save the zest. Use a citrus zester, a microplane, a box grater, or even a potato peeler to salvage the pith before you peel or slice the fruit. It is easier to remove it from the whole fruit than from peeled fruit. If you zest a fruit you plan to use later, wrap the fruit with plastic wrap, but beware that it will not keep as long an a fruit with zest.
You can use zest right away or save it for later by drying it. Just lay it on a plate and let it dry. Depending on the humidity, it might dry overnight or take a couple of days. I've been known to sit the plate on top of the radiator in winter to speed things along. You can even smoke zest at very low temp if you wish, but I like zest best unsmoked.
An orange will yield about 1.5 to 2 tablespoons of fresh zest and ???? dried. A lemon will yield about 1 tablespoon of fresh zest and ??? dried. A lime will yield about 2 teaspoons fresh zest and ???? dried.
Preparation time. ???? To zest the fruit, overnight to dry the fruit, and 5 minutes to assemble the rub.
Zest of one orange, dried
Zest of one lime, dried
3 tablespoons dried herbs
1 teaspoon ground white cardamom seeds
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
About the herbs. Your choice, use one or a blend: Thyme, dill, oregano, chives, crumbled tarragon, crumbled sage, crumbled bay leaves, crumbled basil or thai basil.
About the cardamom. Cardamom comes in white or green pods that look like grapefruit seeds. I like the white better. It has a nice citrusy zest. You need to remove the seeds, grind them until you have a teaspoon.
1) Peel and dry the zest.
2) Mix everything except and store it in a tight bottle until you need it.
3) This rub is best when mixed with an oil so that the flavors are released into the oil. About an hour before you plan to cook, mix the rub with olive oil, melted butter, another mild tasting oil, or even mayonnaise. Use one teaspoon of rub to 3 tablespoons of oil.
4) Paint all sides of the fish with the infused oil. This will both season the meat, prevent it from sticking, and help it brown.
This page was revised on 2/4/2012
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