Whenever there is a Monday holiday, the whole week seems a bit off and I often have to remind myself or look at a calendar to remember what day of the week it is. I’ll share a bit more about Memorial Day tomorrow, but for now, I realize it is Tuesday and therefore, time for a good cooking tip!
This week’s tip is quite timely, as grilling season is upon us and often times there is nothing more simple than throwing something in a marinade and cooking it up on the grill. While there are many great bottled marinade options, there is a simple formula to help create your own marinades at home. Once you get the hang of homemade marinades, you can get super creative and make your own variations.
A good marinade needs a few basic ingredients:
1. An acid—this helps tenderize and break down protein “toughness” in meat or poultry you are grilling. Even in vegetables and seafood, the acid component can help tenderize your grilling item, just be sure to shorten the amount of time you marinate non-meat items.
2. An oil—oils provide flavor and moisture to your grilling item
3. Seasonings—usually a salt, an
aromatic (onion, garlic, chives, etc) and an herb or chili powder, the seasonings add the primary flavor to your marinade.
Once you have the formula down pat, you can use anything within these three categories to create your grilling marinade. Some examples:
1. Acids—vinegar, lemon juice, yogurt, wine, tomato juice, citrus
2. Oils—olive, canola, grapeseed, vegetable, sesame (great for asian marinades)
3. Seasonings—the sky is the limit! Salt, chili powder, cumin, cilantro, basil, rosemary, soy sauce, onion, garlic, pepper, the list could go on…
So next time you need a good marinade, put on your chef’s hat and let your mind get creative!