Guest Post from Hannah of WordLily: Author Recipe, Leslie Patricelli’s Espresso and Cardamom Rub

Author RecipesI’m really excited to have Hannah from Word Lily on my blog today featuring one of the yummy author recipes!  Today’s recipe is a Espresso and Cardamom Rub which was shared with us in my interview with no_no_yes_yes1.jpgLeslie Patricelli whom has the most adorable board books ever.  I love them! Unfortunately, I don’t love coffee so I am thrilled that Hannah does and was gracious enough to give us the low-down!  Hannah . . .

When I first looked at the Espresso and Cardamom Rub recipe on Maw Books Blog after saying I’d try it out, I was a little bit confused: It’s called an espresso and cardamom rub, but the recipe didn’t have any cardamom! Well, this was confusing, but also unacceptable.

I was excited to try it because my husband and I both quite like coffee and cardamom. Sounds like a good fit, right?

I tracked down the original recipe, and found that it did contain cardamom:

ESPRESSO AND CARDAMOM RUB for beef, pork and chicken thighs and legs
1/4 c finely ground espresso roast coffee
1/4 c kosher sea salt
1/4 c packed dark brown sugar
3 T hot paprika
1 T ground cardamom
1 T ground ginger
2 t garlic powder

I had to substitute for the hot paprika because I couldn’t find any. Gourmet Sleuth recommended substituting Hungarian Paprika plus a pinch of cayenne, so that’s what I did.

I measured all the ingredients into a bowl and

stirred it all together (breaking up the small but inevitable clumps of brown sugar).

Once the dry rub was assembled, I realized I didn’t quite know how to use one! ChefTalk to the rescue this time. A rub, it stated, “is a massage given to meat, seafood, fowl — even vegetables — immediately before cooking or a few hours prior to grilling.” We poured about half of the rub into a smaller bowl, sprinkled it onto the steaks and then my husband rubbed it into both sides of two 1-pound-plus sirloins steaks.

We let the dry-rubbed steaks rest until the grill was hot, which wasn’t very long.

We had about half of the rub left (or maybe a bit more), which I stored in a jar with a tight-fitting lid (as instructed).

We were surprised that the flavor wasn’t stronger than it was. I found it quite flavorful, it’s just that we expected it to be more so. It was definitely yummy! I think next time we use the rub, we’ll apply it further ahead of time so the rub has more time to permeate the meat. I think I also was probably a bit shy on my use of cayenne to supplement my normal paprika — I’ve been burned by cayenne a few times, and I didn’t want to use too much — I’m guessing the pinch suggested by the experts is in addition to normal amounts for spices, in the 1 teaspoon or 1 tablespoon range, whereas this recipe called for 3 tablespoons. Instead of a just a few shakes, I probably should have used a more measurable amount, because the heat didn’t really come through at all for us.

Thanks for a great recipe, and a new cooking experience, Leslie Patricelli and Natasha!

Visit Hanna at her blog Word Lily.  Visit Leslie Patricelli’s website, check out her books, and read the author interview.


  1. I am definitely in the running for the world’s worst cook but this looks good enough that I might just risk it. Thanks for sharing!

    on July 27th, 2009 at 12:32 pm
  2. Oh my goodness! This looks incredible! Thank you for sharing!

    on July 27th, 2009 at 12:48 pm
  3. Pam: It really is pretty simple to make and use. I think you can do it, no problem.

    on July 27th, 2009 at 1:39 pm
  4. Kelly B: Thanks! I enjoyed trying out the recipe.

    on July 27th, 2009 at 1:40 pm
  5. Thank you for the recipe and the great links!

    on July 27th, 2009 at 3:54 pm
  6. It sounds great, and looks really as easy as going and buying some ready made but full of who-knows-what!

    on July 27th, 2009 at 4:12 pm
  7. This looks really interesting and different. Could you taste the coffee in it?

    With the rubs, I really smash them in to the meat with my fingers to get the flavor in there. Even without letting it sit on the meat, it should impart the flavor.

    on July 27th, 2009 at 5:35 pm
  8. Yes, I could taste the coffee. I let my husband do the “rubbing,” but I think he really got the spices worked into the meat pretty well. As I said, I thought it was quite tasty!

    on July 27th, 2009 at 8:17 pm
  9. Thanks Hannah for a fantastic post! It looks like it turned out great.

    If anybody else makes it, I’d love to know!

    on August 2nd, 2009 at 8:04 pm
  10. Wow this sounds fantastic. Love it.

    on August 9th, 2009 at 8:44 am

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