Adriana and I love to cook together, but this time she gets sole credit for this intoxicating Moroccan Spice Rub and the juicy roast she marinaded it with.
From the moment she waved the deep brick brown paste under my nose when Leandro and I arrived at her home for a sleepover, I was hooked and dabbing the sides of my mouth. And not because it looked a lot like hashish, because of course I do not know what a hunk of hashish looks like, do I?
When the pork roast started heating up in the oven and releasing all those roasty-toasty fragrances, the siren song was almost too much.
And when we sat down to eat…well, heaven.
And to think, you can use this rub for virtually any meat. Make a bunch and slather it around.
So, without further ado…crack for the foodie, plus the mashed cauliflower recipe too!
Adriana’s Moroccan Spice Rub
½ tsp cayenne
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp coriander
½ tsp sweet paprika
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp fennel/anise seed (ground)
8 cloves (ground)
For Food Processor:
2 Tbs chopped cilantro
½ tsp lemon zest
4-6 cloves garlic
½ tsp whole peppercorns, ground
½ tsp coarse salt
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
Heat a dry skillet until quite hot and add all ingredients on the For Toasting list. Toast until just fragrant.
Place all ingredients on the For Food Processor list in the food processor and pulse until combined. Add olive oil and all toasted spices. Pulse until combined into a thick paste. Makes about ¾ Cups paste.
Moroccan Marinated Pork Roast
3 lb bone-in pork roast (scored, if desired)
3 Tbs Moroccan Spice Rub
(If you have time, rub the paste in a few hours before cooking.)
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Sprinkle the entire roast with Adobo powder – about 1/2 Tbs. Rub paste all over surface. Cook for approximately 45 minutes (15-20 minutes per lb of meat). The interior temperature should read 145°F, but we found that her leave-in thermometer read 149° while the probe (the one you stick in when you think it’s done) read 129°F, which is a hell of a discrepancy. We found that the truth, as always, lies somewhere in the middle (cooking being a metaphor for life, even while it is life-sustaining), so do your best guesstimate, turn oven off and leave in for another five minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest for at least half an hour so the juices stay in and the cooking finishes. Slice and serve.
1 head caulflower rinsed and steamed until tender (the more you steam it, the smoother the mash)
reserved steaming liquid (about 1/2 Cup, plus several Tbs)
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp salt
Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse till smooth, adding tablespoons of liquid as necessary. Top with dabs of Moroccan Spice Rub and serve.