I have a cookbook, 1000 Mexican Recipes by Marge Poore. I have cooked a few things from it and have a couple of things on repeat I cook fairly often, and a few things I have done once or twice that were good, but for some reason haven’t been repeated.
One of the things I have tried once was a Yucatan Spiced Turkey Cutlets. I think the meat was what didn’t go over so well, who wants tired thinly sliced turkey when it’s not the holidays? It involved a spice rub that I had lots left over and it just sat in the back of the cabinet and got lost for a while. I was looking for something to use on some braised turkey thighs and was looking in the dark corners and found it. I dragged it out and rediscovered it.
Part of the problem with the blend was I tried to make it using a food processor and had big chunks of stuff that didn’t really blend the flavors. When I found it again, we had a Keurig (follow me now) and weren’t grinding coffee beans anymore. I used the coffee grinder to put a fine grind on the ingredients and ended up with a fine spice blend that I will be doing again when I run out.
It sounds like it would be a sweet spicy but the black pepper, oregano and cumin keep it from being so. I think I may have used fresh oregano when I made it and it dried out in keeping. You would have to keep it open so the moisture doesn’t make it mold until it is dry.
Yucatan Dry Spice Rub
2 (2 1/2- to 3- inch) cinnamon sticks (Mexican canela preferred)*
1/4 cup dried oregano (Mexican variety preferred)** crumbled
2 tsp black peppercorns
2 tsp whole allspice berries
1 1/2 tsp whole cloves
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
Put all the ingredients in a spice grinder or coffee mill and grind to a powder. This can be stored indefinitely in a covered container at room temperature.
This blend is not just for turkey either, it tasted amazing on some lamb chops I cooked on the grill last weekend.
* Mexican canela is a cinnamon that can be found at that Mexican market on the corner, it is more thinly shaved and crumbles more easily than the hard scrolls you find on the spice aisle.
** Mexican oregano is not a true oregano, it is in the verbena family. It is winter hardy, mine has survived with green leaves several snows, freezing rains and hard freezes. And it has pretty trumpet-shaped flowers in the summer. A good plant to grow even if you only have space for a pot or two on a step or a balcony. It does taste a little different but the main flavor is like Mediterranean oregano.