Here is the recipe I use to dry rub. I generally add/change ingredients on a whim, but this is the base recipe. It is a variation on Emeril Lagasse’s “Emeril’s Essence.” I use this recipe on pretty much anything: beef, including steaks (sometimes), chicken, pork, fish and shellfish. It can also add an interesting color and flavor to cream-based sauces (like bechamel) and I always add it to canned baked beans when they are cooking.
8 T best quality sweet paprika (the brand in the red cans, see note below)
3 T cayenne
5 T fresh ground pepper
6 T ordinary (iodized) table salt
6 T garlic powder
3 T onion powder
3 T dried oregano
3 T dried thyme
2 to 4 T dutch process cocoa powder (optional, but recommended)
Note: the recipe uses 3 T cayenne so you can vary the heat quite a bit by swapping out some of the paprika with the same brand hot paprika, but use caution. The last time I made this dry rub I used 4 T each, sweet and hot, and it was sizzling hot and overwhelmed some dishes.
Make a batch, store in a glass jar (you can get them from Penzey’s Spices website, where I get most of my spices and dried herbs) and give it a try. If you do, please let me know what you think of it!