Food & Drink Magazine

Technique of the Week: Marinating

By Weliketocook @welike2cook
Marinating is the technique of soaking food, especiallymeats, in a seasoned liquid before cooking. Like brining, it is commonly usedto flavor foods and to tenderize tougher cuts of meat. The liquid used is a 'marinade'is often acidic with ingredients such as vinegar, lemon juice, or wine or an enzymaticsuch as pineapple or papaya juices. The acidic ingredient softens the food,allowing it to absorb the flavors of the sauce.
Along with an acidic liquid, a marinade often contains oils,herbs, and spices to further flavor the food items. Marinating works on all kindsof meat, fish, tofu and even vegetables. Different cuisines utilize varyingmarinades. For example, yogurt-based marinades with a mixture of spices areused in Middle-Eastern dishes and a teriyaki marinade is common for Asiandishes.
Generally speaking, most meats (beef, pork and chicken)should be marinated for at least 2 hours (up to 24 hours), while fish shouldonly be marinated for 30 or so minutes before it starts to turn “mushy.”Foods should be marinated in the refrigerator, rather thanat room temperature. Re-sealable plastic bags are the most convenient and safestvessels for marinating rather than bowls or other containers. They cut down oncleanup and allow you to evenly distribute the marinade. You should not use an aluminumcontainer or foil for marinating because a chemical reaction could spoil thefood.
Technique of the Week: MarinatingIf you plan to use your marinade as a finishing sauce or forbasting, it should be boiled for several minutes before using to kill anybacteria from the raw meat or vegetables. You should ever reuse the marinadefor another recipe or meal.
Mint Marinade for Lamb:¼ cup olive oil1 tablespoon lemon juice½ cup fresh mint leaves, cleaned 2 teaspoons kosher salt2 teaspoons sugar2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Technique of the Week: MarinatingCombine all items in food processor and pulse several timesuntil all ingredients are well chopped and combined. Pour marinade over lamb ina plastic bag and mix well to ensure that all meat is well coated. Allow to sitin the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before cooking. Periodically “massage”the bag to re-distribute marinade over the meat.
When ready to cook, remove meat from bag and cook topreferred doneness and toss marinating bag away.

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