Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Few Good Marinades

Creating marinades is an art that my husband has completely mastered. Every time we are grilling chicken, beef, or seafood, he creates the most amazing flavors for them. I don't think a bottle of Italian dressing or store bought marinade would ever make it into our kitchen!

Watching him create is almost as fun as eating the final product. He starts pulling things out of the pantry, spice cabinet, refrigerator, and even the liquor cabinet. He mixes, smells, adds, whisks, adjusts, smells again, and with look of satisfaction, brings his latest concoction over to me for a whiff.

Over the past few weeks Jon has come up with some of his best marinades, so I thought I'd share them. The amounts are estimates. He doesn't measure - he goes simply on smell which is probably why they are always so good!

One rule of thumb - whenever using lime juice in a marinade, it will start to "cook" the meat, which is why it is used in a ceviche. Therefore, start to marinate your meat/fish without the lime juice. It's best to add the juice to the marinade an hour or two before cooking. Also, don't use salt in a marinade as it will dry out your meat.

Tequila Marinade

Jon used this marinade on chicken that I ate with chiles rellenos de queso and a Mexican tomato sauce.

  • 1/4 c tequila
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dried cilantro
  • 1 tsp lime juice (add an hour or two before cooking)
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper

Whiskey Marinade

This marinade was used on pork chops and right now we have a London broil marinating in it for Father's Day. It's so versatile that it would also work on chicken.

  • 1/3-1/2 c scotch whisky; Jon used Johnny Walker Red
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp dried Cilantro
  • 3 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder

Dijon Marinade

Jon grilled some orange roughy last night and came up with this creation. When he told me the ingredients I didn't think it would work, but it smelled and tasted great.

  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard; Jon used coarsely ground
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp dried cilantro

I hope this inspires you to rummage through your spice cabinet to try some new marinade creations. Have fun, trust your sense of smell, be adventurous, and you'll be happy with what you can create!

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