Transform Your BBQ with cocoa and flame rubs
Is it is grilling season yet?
for me more half the meals I cook at home involve the open flame, charcoal, or wood. I love to grill meat and fish but also vegetables for side dishes fruits for desserts.
All pit masters know that a great way to elevate your BBQ dishes to the next level is to use a rub, whether it’s a scratch made or shop-bought mix cocoa, yes cocoa will add that certain something.
You may be surprised to know that in South America It’s normal to add chocolate to meat, Mexicans have been adding cocoa to savoury dishes, for hundreds of years.
Cocoa has a vast range of flavours that can be fruity, floral, vanilla, coffee to cinnamon, which is why chocolate pair so well with all of those flavours in desserts. But in savoury cooking, its true nature is brought to the fore and allowed to shine, and when cocoa paired with spices, it can add a new depth and complexity to a dish while also helping with adding colour to the crust of your veg or proteins.
Depending on the flavours I start with ½ tablespoon of cocoa powder to 3 tablespoons of rub If it’s a herbal, rub this is usually just enough for the floral notes to come forward, without overpowering its vegetal aromas.
For spicier rubs that especially Latin or Asian flavours, I increase to one tablespoon of cocoa powder to three of rub. And an extra half a tablespoon in African, Caribbean or Creole spice mixes. The best thing is to experiment and see what works great for you.
Once you have found how terrific cocoa powder works in spice rubs, you’ll start to find other places to use its magic.
I stir some into my barbecue sauce to make it a little more interesting. I also use it in my chili, mole and even in roasted tomato salsa.
So, break the cocoa powder out of the baking cupboard and start grilling!