Easy marinade

Marinade.

Is this really going to be a recipe? Not exactly. As a first post, I thought this would be a great way to open up. Marinades are wonderful. They help deepen the flavor of your food and help to get meats tender. I talk to many people who have issues with cooking and dieting. Too often it comes down to needing variety. Marinades provide a great way to add variety, tenderize, and certain marinades may even help prevent the possible carcinogenic effects of cooking meat (look up ‘heterocyclic amines’).

Anyway, use this as a base. I just want to explain an easy, generic marinade, and how to put it together with seasonings for chicken, pork, or beef. It is simple, takes just moments, and can be varied widely. The only thing even simpler is just using ready-made italian dressing (which is, by the way, a perfectly viable marinade). Enjoy!

Easy Marinade
A simple mix & match marinade.
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Equipment
  1. Glass bowl w/plastic wrap (may substitute zip-lock bags)
Ingredients and Mix 'n Match Seasonings
  1. 5 tbsp olive oil (extra virgin for mild taste)
  2. 1/2-3/4 cup white vinegar
  3. 1/4 cup water
  4. 1/2 tsp black pepper
  5. 1/2 clove garlic
  6. Italian dressing (replace half vinegar)
  7. Lemon or lime juice (great for southwest dishes)
  8. Dr. Pepper (reduce vinegar by half if you use a soda)
  9. Beer
  10. Soy sauce (or soy alternative like aminos)
  11. Hot oil
  12. Onion
  13. Try your own!
Instructions
  1. Simply mix the ingredients and seasonings in a bowl, stirring thoroughly.
  2. Place your meat, vegetables, or both in the bowl, immersing completely.
  3. Stir to coat.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap or sealed lid.
  5. Alternatively, pour marinade into freezer bags (I suggest the double-zip style), place the meat or veggies in the bag, and shake gently to cover.
  6. Place the marinating food in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes, but preferably overnight.
Notes
  1. What this comes down to is that vinegar starts to break down whatever is sitting in it. For food this can lead to a more tender meat, and the flavors will soak in better. The longer you let it sit, the better, not just because the food will be more tender but because the spices will release more flavor into the vinegar, and thus into the food.
  2. Apple cider vinegar works great for pork in place of white vinegar
  3. Experiment with balsamic, cider, and other vinegars
  4. Experimentation is key. Enjoy!
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