Labor Day: a time for a family vacation out of town or staycation in the town that everyone else has deserted. Either way, it’s time for a break. My family likes to celebrate our Labor Day weekend like we’ve just been given an entire weekend of Sundays: sleep in, keep activities on the mellow side, and have a big Sunday night dinner every night.
I happen to find cooking relaxing, but I understand that on your va(stay)cation, sometimes it is better to make dinner short and sweet. With this in mind, I put together a meal that is entirely based around one fantastic rub: Liza Jane’s Spicy Blackened BBQ Rub. This rub is easy to put together, keeps well, and can be used on a myriad of items from meats to vegetables. I bet you can come up with a hundred ways to use it after you’ve become addicted to its sweet, robust flavor.
There are only two steps to this rub:
- Throw the following ingredients together in a bowl
- Mix ingredients together
- Blackened Bar-B-Q Rub
- 1 Cup White Sugar
- ½ C. Sea Salt
- ½ Cup Course Black Pepper
- ¼ Cup Paprika
- ¼ Cup Onion Powder
- ¼ Cup Garlic Powder
- 2 tsp. Cayenne
And you’re ready! You can store the seasoning in an airtight container to use for weeks to come, though I doubt you’ll have the self control not to use it in every meal. The rub is the only seasoning you will need for this entire meal. Seriously. It lends itself to many recipes, but blackened swordfish is one my family’s favorites. Paired with grilled blackened asparagus and blackened garlic bread, this is a complete, and completely delicious, family dinner.
Grilled Blackened Swordfish with Asparagus and Garlic Bread
One of my favorite local places to get incredibly fresh and sustainable seafood is from Pearson’s Port in Newport Beach. Pearson’s Port has been family owned since 1971 and offers specialty seafood that the owner and his family catch every morning along the west coast. This little, hidden fish shop is stocked with fresh shrimp, crabs, and some of the most beautiful fish we have ever seen. Terese, who runs the day-to-day business, is always happy to offer her recommendations and sit and chat about anything and everything. It isn’t uncommon to see her two sons pull up to the dock on their fishing boat and drop off giant fishes on ice before heading out for more.
On this trip to Pearson’s Port I found gorgeous, bright swordfish steaks that I could not leave without. Terese wrapped them up, put them on ice, and sent me on my way.
To begin your meal prep pre-heat your grill to 450 degrees. Lay out your swordfish steaks and cover both sides with a tablespoon of the blackened rub, patting the rub into the surface. Set aside while you prep your asparagus
Rinse one bunch of asparagus thoroughly and chop off the woody ends (nobody likes getting to the bottom of a tasty spear of asparagus to find that the end is completely inedible).
Place your cleaned asparagus into a large Ziploc bag with three tablespoons of your blackened rub and 1/3 cup good olive oil.
Mix until all of the spears are thoroughly covered and let marinate
for 30 minutes to an hour.
Cut a good loaf of French bread in half long ways and place onto a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil. Brush the loaf with 1-2 tablespoons of good olive oil until the top is nicely covered.
Sprinkle 1 to 2 teaspoons of your blackened rub onto each halve and press gently into the surface. Wait to put your bread under the broiler until the rest of your meal is almost done so that it will be warm and toasty when you serve.
Time to grill! Once your grill has heated to 450 degrees, place a grill pan on one side of your grill to warm for your asparagus. If you do not have a grill pan you can also place tin foil on the surface before you preheat your grill. Spray your grill pan or foil lightly with cooking spray and place all of your asparagus, minus any extra liquid left in the bag, onto the grill and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
Place your swordfish steaks directly onto the grill at the same time as the asparagus. Cook for five minutes and flip over.
Cook the swordfish for another five minutes until the skin can be peeled off in one strip. If the skin begins to tear and you pull it off, leave the steaks on the grill for another minute and try again.
After you remove the swordfish and asparagus from the grill, put your oven’s broiler on high and your blackened bread in to toast.
Toast for 3-4 minutes until the top is nicely browned and cripsy. Cut into slices and place in a basket or on a plate.
Serve with a fresh chives and a bottle of bright pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc and enjoy!
I hope you had a wonderful Labor Day weekend whether you stayed home or toted your family out for a vacation. On every holiday and every day I hope you find time to eat great food, drink good wine, and relax.