Kitchen Witch: LA Club Night Everything Rub
Prep time: 30 minutes
I named this audacious rub thusly as an homage to my friend Julio. In the late 1980s, the gorgeous Julio was the first person to show me how to respectfully season Elote, the bomb corn-on-the-cob served up by Los Angeles street chefs vending their delicious concoctions from steaming carts.
As any Angelino worth their salt can attest, a zealous bite into this juicy, tangy, spicy corn is deeply satisfying. But, it is especially magic at 3am when the dance club closes and the munchies set in. It was in this particular circumstance that Julio schooled me on the art of dusting the buttery mayo slathered sweet ears o’ corn goodness in smokey chile powder, lime juice, crumbly Cotija cheese, and red pepper flakes. Gah! So damn good.
A few years later, I was working as a prep cook in Seattle, where my love of food blossomed into a love of cooking. As a vegetarian home chef, I created my first version of this rub in my own kitchen, experimenting with flavor combinations that would elevate my veggies in the way those toppings served to adorn that corn. After a few revisions, LA Club Night Everything Rub was officially born.
A wet rub—rather than a marinade—I coat just about everything in this stuff. It offers a deep smokey heat with just enough citrus tang to bring out the agave sweetness. It is the bright star of my iron skillet mushroom, red bell, & squash fajitas, one of my hubby’s favorites.
Cheers to beautiful Julio, Elote vendors, and dance club nights with friends on balmy Los Angeles summer nights!
3 cloves garlic finely chopped
1/4 cup diced chilis in adobo (increase to edge up smoke and heat)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (more as needed)
Dash of agave nectar – about a 1/4 teaspoon (find it in sweeteners aisle)
Salt & pepper to taste (1/4-1/2 teaspoon pinch of each)
Combine ingredients in a glass prep bowl and stir with a fork into a paste, mashing the chilis in adobe. Add more olive oil, if desired. Scoop over your heart’s desire until well coated.
Allow to marinate at least 1 hour or, better yet, overnight!
Content, recipe, & photos by Tess. Lotta (© 2017 Tess. Lotta)