Chicagolandia
I love hosting a party, and lucky for me - I have tons of reasons to host them! From Christmas cookie exchanges to work office luncheons, to backyard BBQ's and holidays feasts, I've tackled a little bit of everything. Here is one of my tried and true rules: Master the Marinade.

A marinade if a basic available in any budget range, for any cut of meat, fish, seafood, or hardy veggie. With lots of time or little time, here's how to select and make the perfect marinade for you.

1. Consider the amount of time you have to marinade your meat. If you have 12-24 hours, consider a mild marinade. Some of my favorites include ginger, garlic, or onion based marinade or even Italian salad dressing - it's a absolute dream as a marinade - love a condiment that pulls double-duty!

If you have 6-10 hours, consider a marinade with a light amount of citrus - this will help tenderize a tougher or less flavorful cut of meat in shorter amount of time. For fish and seafood, stick to milder marinades or shorter amount of time to marinade - let a cut of meat marinade too long and the meat dissolves too much in the marinade.

If you have 2-6 hours, use a marinade with a lot of soy sauce or citrus. This will quickly tenderize a cut of meat and leave a flavorful punch. Some of the basics include teriyaki (pineapple-soy sauce blend), lemon pepper, or Caribbean Jerk.

With a half dozen pantry staples and some spices, you have everything you need to whip up some of the common marinades right in your own kitchen.

Asian Ginger Sesame Marinade

1/2 C. soy sauce
2 T. olive oil or peanut oil
2 tsp. sesame seeds
3 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder or salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 T. brown sugar
1 T. molasses

In a small canning jar, add all ingredients and shake to combine thoroughly.
Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 5 days before using.
Yields - 1 batch of marinade (enough for 3-4 lbs. of meat)
Goes great on beef stew meat, pork or beef ribs, bone-in chicken breast
Italian Garlic Marinade (6-10 hours - longer for less tender cuts of meat)

1/4 C. vinegar (distilled, white wine, or balsamic)
2 T. lemon juice
3 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. oregano
1 T. dry minced onion
1 T. basil
1/4 tsp. fennel seed (optional)
1 tsp. corn starch
1 T. sugar

In a small canning jar, add all ingredients and shake to combine thoroughly.
Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 5 days before using.
Yields - 1 batch of marinade (enough for 3-4 lbs. of meat)
Great for: chicken, tougher cuts of beef, and

Lemon Pepper Marinade (2-6 hour marinade)

1/3 C. lemon juice
1-2 T. brown sugar
2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 T. olive oil
1/4 tsp. paprika

In a small canning jar, add all ingredients and shake to combine thoroughly.
Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 5 days before using.
Yields - 1 batch of marinade (enough for 3-4 lbs. of meat)
Goes well on pork chops, chicken breast, and pork steaks

Smoky Orange Marinade (2-6 hour marinade)

1/4 C. orange juice
3 T. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. dry minced onion
1 T. olive oil
1/4 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. hickory smoked salt (optional)

In a small canning jar, add all ingredients and shake to combine thoroughly.
Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 5 days before using.
Yields - 1 batch of marinade (enough for 3-4 lbs. of meat)
I love to use this on chicken drummies - packs a flavorful punch with a smoky hint at the end.

If you are a couponer, start looking for marinades to be on sale starting next month - and combine with coupons from your Sunday newspaper - you can get some of the Lawry's bottled marinades, or Weber/McCormick marinade packets on sale for next to nothing. I'm still using the marinades I grabbed last year (check your expiration dates if purchasing in large quantities) for mere pennies.
2 Responses
  1. Precious Says:

    Thanks so much for these wonderful recipes!



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