Sunday, February 26, 2012

The only marinade you'll ever need

I was administering a writing proficiency test this past week, and there was one student left that we were waiting on for an hour.  His guardian was a heavily-tatooed man wearing a Punisher t-shirt. He was patiently waiting for that kid to finish.  Once he was finally done, they came over to sign out.  The guardian said something about watching The Big Bang Theory on his phone.  I said that I thought it was cool that the lead character on that show played the human version of Walter on the new Muppet movie.  Have you ever regretted making a comment?  Well, I did after this.  This big, burly man went into nothing short of a history of the muppets.  He was talking for a good ten minutes about the '68-'71 variety show, spin-offs, and other movies they have done.  I don't know if I was more surprised that there were so many spin-offs or the fact that this man in particular knew so much about the Muppets.  It was pretty crazy. 

Now, to the marinade... This is such an unbelievable, go-to, delicious marinade.  I still use some other marinades; however, this is one that we fall back on quite a bit.  The flavor of the meat is unreal.  You can use it on pork, chicken, or beef.  Heck, even fish would be delicious in this stuff.  We marinated sirloin steaks in this stuff for a couple hours, and they turned out so flavorful and tender.  Next time you're doing some meat and you want to do more than brush on some bottled BBQ sauce, give this a try.  And, one more important note: dried herbs cannot be substituted!  It will not come out the same.  Come get some parsley from me.  I've got it growing out my ears over here. 

The Only Marinade You'll Ever Need
source: Barbecue Bible Sauces, Rubs, and Marinades by Steven Raichlen (a great book if you like to grill delicious food)

1/4 c fresh lemon juice
1/2 t red pepper flakes
1/2 t cracked black peppercorns
1/2 t coarse salt
4 strips of lemon zest
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c coarsely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 c coarsely chopped fresh basil, cilantro, dill, oregano, or a mixture (We used cilantro)
1/2 c olive oil

Combine the lemon juice, red pepper flakes, pepper, and salt in a bowl.  Whisk until the salt is dissolved.  Add the lemon zest, garlic, and fresh herbs.  Whisk in the olive oil.  Use the marinade within 1-2 hours of making it.  It doesn't keep well, but it will taste amazing.  Mark my words, my friends.

The larger the piece of meat, the longer you should marinade it.  We let our steaks sit in there for two hours. 

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