Thursday, December 4, 2014

Cooking with friends- Feiny's Rubs

Along my blogging journey I have become friends with all kinds of interesting people. Home cooks, cookbook authors, master food preservers, cooks and chefs and barbeque pitmasters. Every day I am learning something new, or hearing about new recipes and restaurants. I'm totally in my element surrounded by all these interesting folks. I love everything food- from growing to cooking to preservation. I love talking about growing vegetables, and the best knives for chopping, the best cut of beef and which brand of almond milk tastes best. It's a never ending cycle of learning and exploring.

Just about three years ago I met and became friends with an up and coming young chef in Denver. Adam Feinberg has an infectious enthusiasm and such a passion for cooking, you can't help but want to get to know him. We have great conversations- everything from craft brews to chefs' knives to what's trending in the restaurant business. What I found so unique about getting to know Adam was not just the fact that he is a chef, but he also was throwing 100% into launching his own personal line of seasoning rubs. Ambition tells me a lot about a person and Adam certainly has no shortage of ambition. 

An experienced cook myself, I had come up with my own personal meat rub that everyone raved over, so I was a little hesitant to try something I didn't think I'd use that often, but I felt like I should give my friend's new product a try. I was immensely impressed. Creative and unique combinations of flavors, everything natural with no MSG or preservatives, and gluten-free for those who need to avoid gluten, are inspiring and well crafted. I have tried four of Adam's line of rubs and am anxiously awaiting some of the future rubs, such as an Asian-inspired rub. 

Adam's crab cakes are legendary
When Adam isn't crafting his rubs or cooking at the restaurant, he travels to Las Vegas every year to attend the World Food Championships, where he cooks up a storm on the Vegas Strip with lots of incredible home cooks, pit masters and chefs. He has also participated in competition barbeque and would like to talk with other competition teams and chefs about future collaboration. You can bet that everywhere Adam is, he is sharing Feiny's Rubs with people.

Let's talk about the rubs for a few minutes. Adam currently offers five different handcrafted rubs: Veggie Rub, Everything Rub, Citrus BBQ Rub, Chesapeake Bay Rub, and Original BBQ Rub. Amazingly, I have yet to try the Original BBQ- I always forget that one! Could be because the Citrus BBQ is just that good.........

Seriously though, let's go through my four favorites and talk about them.

Veggie Rub- If you're like me, you love your veggies. Roasted, grilled, steamed, stir fried- you name it, if it grew on a plant I love it. When I was growing up my mother's idea of seasoning a vegetable was plopping in a pat of butter in a can of something she got at the store. Oh how times have changed. For one thing, there is a better than average chance that I grew this vegetable myself, and if not, if came from a farm or farmers market. I want to highlight the natural flavor and freshness of my veggies. Feiny's Veggie Rub is exactly what I am looking for. Herbs, spices, citrus and honey make up this all-natural preservative free rub. Sprinkle it on fresh asparagus and grill it. Toss potatoes or cut up root veggies like carrots and beets with a little Veggie Rub and roast them. Add to salad dressings and sliced fresh tomatoes and cucumbers. You can even use it to boost the flavor of tuna and chicken salads! It's fantastic and really brings the flavors out in your fresh veggies. My favorite ways to use it? Tossed with chunks of root veggies and Brussels sprouts and roasted and blended into softened butter to make a delicious compound butter for sweet corn. 

Everything Rub- Everything. Literally, everything. You wouldn't believe what's in this playful rub- herbs such as parsley and thyme, tomato powder (you don't see that very often!), cinnamon and citrus. I personally find chicken to be a bit bland at times. Not with Feiny's Everything Rub. Rub some liberally over your chicken or pork- everything from whole chickens to boneless, skinless tenders to pork chops and roasts as a dry rub. Mix with olive oil and wine for a wet marinade. Everything Rub makes your hand-pattied burger jump out of the bun with flavor. Mix a tablespoon of Rub into mayo for a killer sandwich spread or fry sauce. Throwing some steaks on the grill? Don't even think about not rubbing those babies down with Everything Rub. Just don't. Sprinkle some on your baked potato too.

Citrus BBQ Rub- Make your seafood come alive! Mango, orange, lemon and lime highlight Citrus BBQ Rub, along with a hint of heat from chili, garlic and cumin, with some other all-natural herbs and spices. Use this liberally in marinades for fish, shrimp, scallops and more. Mix into clarified butter for dipping. Create a modern version of the Nawlins' Style BBQ Shrimp with this flavorful rub. It's not just for seafood though- chicken and pork come alive with the fruity flavors. Sprinkle into Asian stir fries or rice, and don't forget this tasty blend when cooking veggies. Grilled baby bok choy, for example, is the perfect fresh veggie for this sweet savory mix.

Chesapeake Bay Rub- It should be a law- never make a crab cake without Chesapeake Bay Rub. Really, just don't. This blend of herbs and spices is complex. Lots of flavors I never imagined would go together. Spices like mace, which to me translate to baking, and green herbs like thyme, basil and more- just phenomenal together. Poaching seafood? Don't forget the rub. Seriously, no fish or seafood should leave your kitchen without Chesapeake Bay Rub. Add it to Pinot Grigio before steaming mussels. Prepare your lobster roll- cook that tail with Feiny's and add it to the dressing. Tuna salad reaches a new dimension if you add Chesapeake Bay. My family loves pasta salad with baby shrimp- I'll never make it without Chesapeake Bay ever again! Besides all these seafood and fish dishes, I gotta tell you- I LOVE tossing wedges of potato in a little olive oil and Chesapeake Bay Rub and roasting until browned and crispy- mix up some sour cream with more Chesapeake Bay for dipping! Delicious!

You can't get Feiny's in stores yet, but you CAN order them online at Quick delivery gets your rubs to you so fast you'll be cooking up a storm before you know it. Adam offers two sizes and great sales and special offers, and has several fantastic new rubs in the works. I can't wait to check them out!

Now let's cook something using some Feinys. I just so happen to have a nice pork loin roast so I cut off four nice chops, rubbed them liberally with Feiny's Everything Rub and popped them in a hot skillet with 2 tablespoons each butter and olive oil.

Give each side 4 or 5 minutes to get a good sear and golden brown caramelized crust and flip only once. Cook to an internal temp of 145 degrees for perfect juicy pork. Delicious! The Everything Rub has so many flavors going on, savory, sweet, herbs- the best pork chops you will ever have. Trust me, you need this rub in your kitchen.

photo by Studio Feldman
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 55: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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