Wednesday, October 10, 2012

My Favorite Marinades

Marinades are gods gift to full-time employees. Seriously. I would love to meet a person who leaves work after a 10 - 12 hour day and just can't wait to get home, every single day, to spend an hour actively making dinner. Doing it a couple of days a week? Totally doable. Sometimes by the end of the work day all I want to do is go home and spend an hour chopping things.

More often then not, however, I want to come home and order takeout. The perfect compromise? Go home, pull your already marinated piece of meat out (or drop a piece of fish in a marinade before you change out of your work clothes), stick it in the oven with some veggies, and eat a healthy meal with a minimum of action required.

Hence the gift of marinades.

There's not much to a marinade--you can basically make it out of anything. The simple recipe is something delicious and flavorful + something acidic. That's it. The delicious/flavorful ingredient makes the meat taste better, the acidic ingredient tenderizes it. 

For frequent readers of my blog, you already know that I like bottled marinades--it literally doesn't get any easier to cook than to stick a piece of meat from your butcher into a plastic bag and dump a bottle of marinade into it for a few hours. But let's be honest...a homemade marinade is almost always better (and absolutely always healthier--I dare you to take a look at the nutrition facts on one of those bottles and not wince at the sodium level.)

Here are a few of my favorites:

Marinade Une: a few glugs of soy sauce + a splash of orange juice + a sliced orange
Drop in: a piece of salmon for a recipe like this or this.

Marinade Deux: bourbon + soy sauce + brown sugar + minced ginger
Drop in: a pork tenderloin for this recipe

Marinade Trois: greek yogurt + lime juice + olive oil + honey + minced ginger
Drop in: chicken breasts for this sweeter take on this recipe

Marinade Quatre: white wine + fresh parsley + olive oil + garlic
Drop in: a light white fish, like this recipe

Marinade Cinque: buttermilk + minced garlic + fresh oregano + salt/pepper
Drop in: chicken breasts; put it in the marinade in the am, in the evening pull the chicken out, roll it in crushed pretzels, bake and serve with honey mustard

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