I’m about to let you in on my best secret weapon in the kitchen. Bobby Flay‘s Rib Rub (with a few modifications). This flavorful stuff is a must have in my kitchen, I mix up a big batch once or twice a year and when I really can’t figure out what to cook for dinner it’s always up my sleeve. This stuff adds great flavor to chicken, pork, fish, tempeh, tofu, and of course, a rack of ribs. When using a dry rub on ribs, you really coat the meat and let it sit for an hour, then cook for several more. In my experience it’s great in smaller amounts for things that get thrown on the grill for less time, like country ribs or split chicken breasts. Here, the pork and tempeh are just spicy enough and paired perfectly with a creamy blue cheese potato salad.
The ingredients list for the rub is a little long, so I definitely recommend mixing up extra! If you don’t have all these spices on hand, stop by Greenstar Co-op and scoop what you need right from their convenient bulk spice section. I store the rib rub in a jar, and use a chopstick to break it up if it gets cakey.
This creamy potato salad takes a cue from our Blue Cheese Slaw, with a little more tang from the mustard and a dash of worcestershire. I like to mellow the onions by mixing them directly into dressing, but if you love raw onions just fold them in. As I wrapped up the leftovers, I realized that the addition of some hard boiled eggs or scallions would beef this up a bit. Feel free to mix in some additions, adding more dressing as necessary!
Blue Cheese Potato Salad with Sweet & Spicy Country Ribs or Tempeh
Country Ribs – 1 or 2 per person
Tempeh 4 oz per person
Rib Rub (see below)
oil for grill grates and tempeh
2 lbs potatoes
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 small onion, minced
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
a few drops worcestershire (switch to tamari soy sauce for a vegetarian version)
salt to taste
Make the potato salad. Scrub the potatoes and chop into about 1 inch cubes. Place in a pan and cover with water. Add a big pinch of salt, then bring to a boil. Boil for about 10 minutes until a fork easily slides in, but potatoes are not falling apart. Let potatoes cool.
Mix the mayonnaise, onion, dijon, and worcestershire in a small bowl. Toss with the cooled potatoes, and fold in the cheese. Taste and adjust salt if necessary. Chill or serve at once.
For the ribs. Heat grill to high, then set up for direct and in-direct heat. Sprinkle about a tablespoon over each side of the ribs. Sear the ribs on the grill over high heat until they get dark grill marks. Watch carefully for flare-ups. Transfer to in-direct heat and grill about 5 minutes per side until an instant read thermometer reads 145°F in the thickest part. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.
For the tempeh. Slice into rectangles, 1 per person. Brush each side of the tempeh with olive oil, then sprinkle with rub. Heat a grill to high heat, then grill tempeh about 3 minutes per side until browned with grill marks.
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons kosher salt (or 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 1 tablespoon smoked sea salt)
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon white pepper
Combine spices in a small bowl, whisk to combine. Store leftovers in a large jar. For a big batch, multiply recipe times 4.