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The options are endless when grilling foods. Traditional fare like hot dogs and hamburgers will always be big hits at backyard barbecues, but men and women hosting barbecues need not feel beholden to such traditional fare. Expanding the menu can be part of the fun when barbecuing in the backyard, particularly for those hosts and guests who like a little kick with their food cooked over an open flame.
Jamaican jerks pastes, also called “rubs,” that are made of spices, herbs and onions are the most popular and authentic jerk flavoring method. Rubs are rubbed all over the surface of the raw meat to create a wholly unique and potentially very spicy flavor.
This recipe for “Jerk Rub” from Helen Wilinski’s “Jerk From Jamaica: Barbecue Caribbean Style” (Ten Speed Press) is a medium-hot paste that can easily be made hotter by adding more chilies or hot pepper sauce. Less heat is also doable and simply requires chefs to remove the seeds and ribs of the chilies before grinding them. Whichever route you take, be sure that this rub is only served to those guests with a love and tolerance for spicy food.
Makes about 1 cup; enough for
4 to 6 pounds of meat
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped scallions,
including green parts
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground Jamaican
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 to 6 Scotch bonnet or
habanero chilies, minced fine
1 teaspoon freshly ground black
Using a mortar and pestle or a food processor, combine all the ingredients and grind to a paste. Store leftover paste in the refrigerator in a tightly closed jar for about 1 month.
SOCIAL MEDIA TEXT: This recipe for “Jerk Rub” from Helen Wilinski’s “Jerk From Jamaica: Barbecue Caribbean Style” (Ten Speed Press) is a medium-hot paste that can easily be made hotter by adding more chilies or hot pepper sauce.