Recipe: Surf And Turf Outside

Winter is the perfect time to showcase your own hearty, creative version of Surf and Turf.

By Jimmy Kennedy
Cook Ambassador

In the past, when you saw Surf and Turf listed on a menu it more than likely meant steamed lobster and steak. However, lately it seems more and more menus, blogs, posts and references to surf and turf show that folks are getting creative with combinations of fish or seafood teamed with beef, pork, chicken or game. I’ve always loved the idea of combo dinners, and one of my favorite weekend breakfast specials we used to run at my restaurant was a play on surf and turf … “Swamp and Weeds.” It was a big breakfast that featured fried or grilled catfish and barbecue ribs served with eggs and toast. My point is, cooking and serving two entrées as one big, special meal is delicious, easy and fun. Winter is the perfect time to showcase your own hearty, creative version. Look through your freezer and thaw out that fish you caught this past summer or that venison from fall. Whatever you decide on, Surf and Turf, Swamp and Weeds, Pond and Woods, etc., the next step is to fire up the grill, no matter the weather, and do some winter grilling.

Perhaps the only real recipe you need for this winter grilling session is for the dry rub. You can buy a dry rub or an all-purpose seasoning or you can easily make your own in a matter of minutes. A basic starting point for a good rub starts off with a high-quality salt, coarse ground black pepper, paprika (mostly for color), granulated garlic and maybe a little brown sugar. After that, add spices and dried herbs according to your liking and taste.

This is my go-to rub, and I use it on just about anything that goes on the grill or anything that needs a little spicing up.

  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/4) cup) ground cumin
  • 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) coarsely ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) chili powder
  • 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix all the ingredients well. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place and it will keep indefinitely.

I like to add dried basil for salmon and trout. I’ll add cumin, chili powder and oregano if I’m going to be making fish tacos. Celery salt is another great addition to a fish/seafood dry rub. For chicken and pork, I like more brown sugar, dry mustard, cumin and chili powder. When grilling beef, I rarely use anything other than salt, black pepper and maybe granulated garlic. For venison, it’s hard to beat adding ground juniper berries to the dry rub mix. There’s really no right or wrong when it comes to making a dry rub, and the creative process of coming up with a recipe you and the family can work on and use together is an important part of the process. When you have a rub recipe you’re happy with, make a good-sized batch and keep it in a sealed glass jar or container, and you’ll find many future uses for it in the kitchen as well as on the grill.

(Jimmy Kennedy)

About a half hour or so before you plan on grilling, just sprinkle the chosen rub on both sides of the fish and meat you plan on grilling. Pull on the boots, don a hat and get to winter grilling. You, your family and friends will be glad you did. Enjoy.

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