Dry rubs are my “Thing!” I love the deep flavors and the crispy crusts that only my dried herbs and spices can impart. Jerk celebrates the flavors of the Caribbean and is traditionally very spicy from the liberal use of a native Caribbean chili known as Scotch Bonnet.
by Tina Martini, The Medicine Chef
Rubs can be any combination of herbs, spices, sugar and salt that your imagination serves up. This is one that I dreamed up for a fantastic shrimp appetizer we’ll debut in a few weeks. A blend of cayenne and mild chili powder stands in for Scotch Bonnet. However, if you can source the genuine article, prepare your guests to teleport their taste buds to a Jamaican Paradise. And hang on to those leftovers, chef’s! This recipe will make enough rub to carry you through at least two more recipes.
Dry Rub Ingredients
- 3 tsp dark brown sugar or coconut palm sugar
- 2 tsps each- allspice, thyme, ground ginger, granulated garlic,
- 1 1/2 tsps each- chili powder blend (or Scotch Bonnet), salt
- 1 tsp each- cinnamon, paprika, black pepper, cayenne
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- Measure everything into a small mixing bowl, or jar.
- Mix all dry herbs and spices together using a whisk. Or, put a lid on your jar and shake, shake, shake it! (Can you hear the steel drums?)
- Be sure to label and date the storage jar.
Turkey Burger Ingredients
- 1 1/4 lb ground Turkey
- 2 Tbls Tomato paste
- 1 1/2 Tbls Jerk rub
- extra Jerk rub to season burgers while cooking
- Mix all ingredients together.
- Form four patties, without over-handling the meat, as this makes a burger tough.
- Put a dimple in the center of each pattie.
- Sprinkle the extra rub on both sides and grill over medium-high heat for four minutes aside.
- Rest 3-5 minutes before service. (the burgers, not you )
Turkey is packed with minerals, especially selenium and zinc. As we’ve written before, selenium is at the top of the list of cancer fighting minerals. It is also considered a longevity nutrient, as it slows the aging clock. Zinc acts a s a catalyst in our bodies: everytime we eat foods high in zinc, our bodies produce a powerful antioxidant called superoxide dismutase. This is why zinc has earned a reputation for building the immune system’s resistance. Zincs effect really comes from the superoxide dismutase we produce. Skinless turkey is one of the best ways to prevent pancreatic cancer, providing the turkey has been raised organically and is pasture fed. This amazing protein source helps us burn body fat, and induces deeper sleep. Turkey also has a very favorable ratio of omega-6 to omega-3. We always want higher Omega-3; Omega-6 is healthy, but too much can cause malignant tumor growth. All of the spices and herbs used contain medicine too. After all, many of the medicines we’re familiar with everyday originally came from herbs. Cinnamon and allspice are Mother Nature’s antibiotics, they stabilize blood sugar, and lower blood pressure. Chilis open the arteries, and are anti-inflammatory. Thyme brings a woman’s menses down and eases hormonal discomforts. Black pepper cleanses the liver. As you can see, all of nature’s gifts have health benefits when used properly. One final nutrient is in the tomato paste. This is the most concentrated form of lycopene because tomato paste is cooked down to such a strong concentration. Two tablespoons of organic tomato paste per day is a great preventative measure against prostate cancer. Please be mindful of the acid content and be sure your loved ones find the right balance for comfortable digestion.
But wait! There’s more!
Use this bright fruit salsa to compliment many of your family favorites. Serving fruit with meat is an age old practice, as the enzymes in the fruit help break down animal proteins. Classic pork with pineapple is a great example of this principle in practice. I especially enjoy the cool peach flavor against the very spicy jerk seasoning. A hot-off-the-grill, jerk turkey burger, served on tender butter lettuce and topped with this cool peach salsa… Now, that’s a sensational summer burger!
Peach Salsa Ingredients
- 3 Peaches, peeled, and small dice
- 1/2 Red Bell Pepper, small dice
- 1 small Jalepeno, seeded and minced
- 3 Tbls Purple Onion, minced
- 2 Tbls Cilantro, remove stems, chop fine
- Juice of 1 Lime
- 2 tsps Honey
- 1/2 tsp Salt
Gently toss all prepped ingredients and chill until service.
Yellow peaches contain beta-carotene which the body uses to make vitamin A, essential for skin repair, reducing sun damage, cancer prevention and as an immune booster. The honey is nature’s moisture magnet: these two together are some of the best skincare we can eat! The bell pepper also contains those valuable carotenoids, high in vitamin A and C, they help us repair tissue damage and move fresh oxygen out to the cells efficiently. Cilantro contains apigenin, this offers protection against ovarian cancer, as well as being high in chlorophyll. The green in plants refreshes the bodily systems, repairs damaged cells and assists in the carrying of oxygen.
That’s it chefs! Lets get into the kitchen and whip up some jerk burgers and salsa. Enjoy it as a delicious Caribbean treat or as delicious medicine, should you feel a summer cold coming on.
|by Chef Tina Martini, “The Medicine Chef” @MedicineChef | Facebook
Chef Martini is an experienced, well-versed television personality with a successful and proven track record. She holds a doctorate from Bastyr University in Naturopathy and a Nutrition degree from San Diego State University. She mixes cooking with nutrition, fitness and wellness!