It's fine. I guess.
Or you could assemble a few simple ingredients and mash yourself up a Basic Flavor Rub that works awesomely on fish, chicken, lamb, beef, pork, or whatever other crazy meat you happen to find in your neighborhood. It works well on vegetables, too, or at least ones with strong flavors like asparagus or nearly anything you put on the grill.
Here's what you'll need:
- A few cloves of garlic. I'm addicted to the stuff (Greatest. Flavor. Ever.) so I used 4 cloves.
- Black pepper
- Kosher salt
- Red chili flakes
- Olive oil
Ohhhh, my mortar and pestle. So pretty. So hefty. So sexy. I never had one until about 6 months ago, and now I can't understand how people live without them. Okay, so maybe they buy food processors. Yawn. I'll admit that a high-end food processor would be pretty cool for some things, but there's a sense of accomplishment that comes from owning and using a mortar and pestle to create super combinations of flavor.
Alright, here's what you should do....
Trim the ends of your garlic and smash the cloves. If you're using a mortar and pestle (or a food processor, I guess), you don't need to mince it. A gentle beating is enough to make your garlic nice and mashable.
Add your black pepper, kosher salt, thyme, chili flakes, and olive oil. These ingredients make this a BASIC Flavor Rub, as each of them complements a wide variety of food.
Start mashing. The amount pictured here took about 20 minutes to mash to my satisfaction. This sounds like a lot of work, but it's more about sort of smooshing the flavors together. It's not labor intensive and crushing those bits of garlic into a tasty mess is pretty satisfying.
So aromatic I could wear it....
Below is what my finished Basic Flavor Rub looks like. The garlic isn't totally pulverized, but it's small enough to make a paste with the other ingredients. It's easily spreadable on whatever you're cooking and not so runny that it drips off to burn in the bottom of whatever you're using.