30 Days of Grilling Day #5: Marinades

Yesterday we talked about chicken breasts so I thought what better way to follow it up then with an article on marinades.  Marinades are fantastic with chicken, but they also work well with other meats too.  Beef, pork, fish and seafood taste great after marinating for various periods of time.  Most marinades consist of an acid, a sugar and some form of strong flavor like a soy sauce or vinegar.  Make sure you marinate your meats in a resealable plastic bag or glass bowl.  Never reuse any marinade that has been used with meat, for fear of cross contamination.  If you have decided to use any marinade for a sauce for the meat, seperate it from the start, and refrigerate until the end to use it.  Make sure not to leave your meats in the marinades to long, since the acids will break down the fibers in the meats, making the meat tough.  My recommendations are 4-6 hours for red meat, 2-4 hours for chicken, and 1 hour for fish, with shellfish for 15-20 minutes, since it has such delicate flesh and you don’t want to damage it. Try some of these marinades and see how it goes!

Balsamic Marinade

½ cup olive oil

½ cup balsamic vinegar

2 garlic cloves, sliced

1 tsp dried oregano

½ tsp salt

½ tsp fried marjoram leaves

¼ tsp pepper

Whish together al ingredients, and pour over meat. Turn to coat sides. Coer and marinate in refrigerator several hours or overnight. Make enough marinade for 2 pounds of beef, pork, lamb or veal.

Hawaiian Marinade

¼ cup sugar

1 tsp dry ginger

1 tsp dry mustard

1 tsp salt

2 TBSP molasses

¼ cup soy sauce

¼ cup vegetable oil

¼ cup water

2 garlic cloves, crushed

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Pour over meat, and cover, refrigerating for several hours. Good on chicken, or pork.

Fish Marinade

2 cups minced onion

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 cup seeded, minced jalapeno pepper

1/4 cup minced garlic

1 cup oil

3/4 cup fresh lime juice

1/2 cup Mexican beer

2 tablespoons tequila

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

1/2 tablespoon ground cumin

Combine the onion, cilantro, jalapeno pepper, garlic, oil, lime juice, beer, tequila, black pepper, and cumin in a blender; blend until smooth. Marinate fish or shrimp in the refrigerator in this marinade up to 2 hours before grilling.


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