I followed my nose at the Blues and BBQ Festival in Westport last weekend, moving in many directions from one flaming grill to the next, when amidst all the smoke, one flavorful bite of spice rubbed grilled chicken stopped me in my tracks. The scent did not lie; the taste did not disappoint. The chicken was grilled with El’s Kitchen Chicken and Pork Medium Spicy Dry Rub and Seasoning Mix. The small sample was so flavorful; I bought a jar on the spot. Home cooking proved the tastiness could be achieved without festival accoutrement, and I called Eleanor Smith, the owner and the “El” of El’s Kitchen, who lives in Weston to learn more about her products.
El met me at Whole Foods, where her products are sold, with 2 skewers of Grilled Shrimp in her Spicy Fish Dry Rub. She told me it was “to die for” and yes, it was heavenly (or devilishly good, depending on your outlook). I brought the extras home and have to admit, the aroma in the car caused some serious mouth watering. I resisted reaching into the backseat while driving to snatch another shrimp from the take-out container, but it took a measure of self-control. My restraint was appreciated by my neighbor, my husband and our kids, who were all hovering around the container, vying for seconds and thirds.
Our diverse array of tasters all agreed that the rub has just the right amount of heat and a wonderful mix of herbs and spices that linger on your palate after the food is gone. These rubs are more about flavor than just simply heat and importantly, they are not salty. Sprinkling on a rub just before grilling will create a flavorful crust and help seal in the juices of whatever you’re cooking, but happily, El’s Kitchen Rubs are not limited to grilled food. They can be a key ingredient in your chili, a seasoning on your roasted vegetables, a boost to apple cider-brined pork roast or mixed with beer and lime to marinate your next London Broil. For easy and fun recipes visit the El’s Kitchen website.
El is a local entrepreneur and Wharton MBA graduate, who in 1998 blended her business experience with her passion for cooking and creating healthy meals for her family. She landed on rubs because she wanted something simple that shortened cooking time for busy women, but didn’t compromise quality or taste. El kept her business small initially to juggle the dual roles of PTA President and El’s Kitchen CEO. Today she devotes more time to the business and has seen sales double in the last year. A fabulous success story for her and more excellent product for us!
You can find the rubs at Whole Foods, but not in the spice section. Head directly to the meat department, where the colorful counter display of purple, green, orange and pink jars will catch your eye. A 4 oz. jar of all natural and gluten free rub is $4.99, which yields about 8 tablespoons; enough rub for 8 pounds of meat. The rubs come in 6 flavors: Chicken and Pork (Medium Spicy and Spicy), Beef (Medium Spicy and Spicy), Fish and Moroccan Lamb. In addition to Whole Foods stores in CT, MA, RI, NJ and Manhattan, El’s Kitchen Dry Rubs are sold at select specialty stores in the tri-state area. You won’t be disappointed with these flavorful, low calorie, non-messy, time saving additions to your food preparation. Can you tell I’m hooked?
El’s Kitchen Rubs are available at a Whole Foods near you, or at on of these local specialty markets:
Caraluzzi’s Georgetown Market in Wilton
Double LL Farm Stand in Southport
Bethel Food Market in Bethel
Palmers Super Market in Darien
Peter’s Market in Weston
Shop Rite in Milford
Swanson’s Fish Market in Fairfield
Walter Stewart’s Market in New Canaan