Add some zesty flavor to your 2017 cruising season by making your own seasoning mixes, dry rubs and dessert galley time-savers to use on the boat!

Flavored Salts and Peppers
Flavored salts and peppers are delicious for grilling, salads, popcorn, or at the table. The following combinations of dried herbs are mixed with 1 cup coarse salt or coarsely ground paper as indicated, and make 1 1/4 cups seasoning. Store in clean, dry glass or plastic containers with airtight lids. When cooking, start with a pinch of flavored salt or pepper, taste and add more if needed.

Chili Salt: Mix salt with 3 tbsp. chile powder, 3 tbsp. cumin powder and 2 tbsp. oregano

Sel de Provence: Mix salt with 4 tbsp. thyme, 2 tbsp. rosemary and 2 tbsp. fennel seeds

Tuscan Salt: Mix salt with 3 tbsp. rosemary, 3 tbsp. basil and 2 tbsp. dried lemon peel

Lemon Pepper: Mix pepper with 8 tbsp. dried lemon peel

Tex-Mex Pepper: Mix pepper with 1 tbsp. crushed red peppers, 3 tbsp. cumin and 4 tbsp. chile powder

Homemade Spiced Rubs
Spice rubs add a burst of flavor to any grilled, broiled, pan-fried, or roasted meat, poultry, seafood, and even vegetables. The basic recipe makes 1 cup, which is enough to season 8-12 pounds of food. Once you apply the rub, cook foods immediately, or for greater infusion, marinate them for 30 minutes. Start with the basic recipe, and then adjust it to your own taste and experiment with your favorite seasonings.

Basic Grilling Spice Rub

¹⁄³ cup salt

¼ cup brown or white sugar

¼ cup paprika

2 tbsp. black pepper

2 tbsp. dried oregano

2 tbsp. dried thyme

1 tbsp. cayenne pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Store in airtight containers away from heat and light for up to 6 months. Use 1-2 tbsp. of spice rub per pound, rubbing both sides of meat, chicken, fish, or veggies.

Southwestern: Replace half of the paprika with 1 tbsp. each of ground cumin, ground coriander, oregano, and chile powder.

Indian: Omit the oregano and thyme. Add 1 tbsp. each turmeric powder, curry powder, ground coriander, and ground cardamom.

Mediterranean: Omit the cayenne pepper and paprika. Add 2 tbsp. each of dried tarragon, marjoram, rosemary, and basil.

Greek: Omit the cayenne pepper and paprika. Add 2 tbsp. each of rosemary, garlic powder, basil, and dill. Add 1 tbsp. dried lemon peel.

Fruit Crisp Mix
This mix is a time-saver because you just add butter and fruit to 1 cup of crumble to make a dessert that serves 4-6 people. The crumble mixture makes 6 cups. Store in an airtight container away from heat and light for up to 6 months.

Crumble mixture
1 ½ cups flour

1 ½ cups sugar (white or brown)

3 cups old fashioned oats (that cook in 5 minutes, not instant)

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. ground cinnamon

To prepare dessert:

1 cup of crumble mixture

¼ cup butter cut into ½-inch cubes

4 cups of fresh, frozen or drained canned fruit

Combine butter with topping mixture and stir until it resembles clumps of sand. Spread bite-sized fruit in a greased 9-inch baking dish or pie plate. Sprinkle crumble over fruit and bake in the middle of a preheated 350-degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until topping is golden brown and fruit is bubbling. Serve with ice cream, whipped cream or heavy cream if desired.

By Lori Ross, Southern Boating Magazine January 2017

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