Six Summer Spice Blends

What’s better than barbecuing in the summer? I argue nothing. Absolutely nothing. Oh and what is worse than smelling your neighbors delicious barbecue and knowing that you have nothing to grill in the house? Don’t you hate that?  Well hopefully you have some type of meat, seafood or veggie protein in the house because today we’re talkin’ spice rubs.  Sometimes I get caught in flavor ruts where I end up putting salt, pepper, onion and garlic on everything.  I don’t know how it happens. I have an entire cupboard of spices, but my hands gravitate to the usual suspects.  I’m proud to report that that is not the case this summer! I started mixing up a few spice blends and keeping them in jars so that I have the perfect concoction in a pinch.  Today I’m sharing some of my summer favorites.



Garam Masala Tofu:

  • 1 TBSP ground black pepper
  • 1 TBSP ground cardamom
  • 1 TBSP cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 TBSP ground coriander
  • 1 TBSP ground cumin
  • 1 TBSP ground fennel seeds
  • 1 TBSP ground ginger
  • 1 TBSP ground nutmeg
  • Press and drain tofu.  Cut into cubes and toss in garam masala spice rub. Dry fry, bake or grill.


Spicy Lime Shrimp:

  • 1 TBSP old bay
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • Mix together all the spices.  Rub liberally all over the raw shrimp.  Squeeze fresh lime juice onto the shrimp moments before grilling.  Serve with a wedge of lime.


Herb Encrusted Fish:

  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried tarragon
  • 1 TBSP dried thyme
  • Coat fish filet with mayonnaise, melted butter or yogurt (I use a thin layer of mayo).  Mix all the dried herbs and coat the entire filet with the mixture. Bake or grill on tin foil.


Tandoori Chicken:

  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 TBSP ground coriander
  • 1 TBSP ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 TBSP paprika
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • Mix all the spices and massage generously into the raw chicken.


Smoky Pork:

  • 1 TBSP dried basil
  • 1 TBSP garlic
  • 1 tsp mesquite smoke powder
  • 1 TBSP paprika
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • Mix all the spices and rub generously into raw pork then grill.


Warm Garlic Beef:

  • 1 TBSP dried basil
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp ground fennel
  • 1 TBSP garlic
  • 1/2 tsp ground habaneros
  • 1 TBSP paprika
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 TBSP dried thyme
  • Mix all the spices and massage into the beef.  Use a the back of a spoon or wear gloves. Wash hands immediately after handling.


Next time you fire up the grill be sure to rub a spice blend onto your tofu or meat about a half hour before hand.  This gives the spices time to settle in and inject your protein with some flavor.  It also gives your grill some time to heat up just like you would allow your oven time to preheat before you begin baking.  Happy grilling 😉


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