Marinades serve two different functions: as a tenderizer and flavor enhancer.
The key ingredients for marinades come in three groups - acids, such as vinegar or lemon juice; oils; and seasonings. A good marinade might have a balanced and varied combination of the three, depending on the type of food and the flavors you want to achieve.
Place meat in a heavy zip-top bag with the air squeezed out and turn it often to be sure all surfaces benefit from the marinade.
Soaking a piece of meat in a marinade will only penetrate
just so far into the surface of the meat. If you marinate a large cut of meat in
a tenderizing marinade, you end up with a softer exterior and an unaffected
center. Puncturing the meat for the marinade to penetrate gives an uneven
result, with the further undesirable side effect of allowing the meat to lose
even more juices while cooking. Thus, flat cuts of meat benefit most from
***Do not be tempted to reuse leftover marinade without first boiling it for a couple of minutes.
Basic Meat Marinade
1 ½ c olive oil
Combine ingredients and marinate beef/pork 12-24 hours.
Basic Fish Marinade
1/4 cup olive oil
Combine ingredients and marinate fish no more than 30 minutes.
Basic Chicken Marinade
½ c orange juice
¼ c fresh lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon-style mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
¼ c olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T chopped fresh parsley (OR 1 tsp dried)
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
Combine ingredients and marinate chicken 30 minutes- 1hour.
Vegetables: can be marinated in any of the above marinades 15-30 minutes.
Cheeses: can be marinated in any of the above marinades. Simply toss with marinade and serve.
Questions or Comments: