Mastery of marinades is within your reach

August 26, 1998|By Eating Well Magazine

It's that blessed time of year when dinner is simple and fun - when every night can be a cookout. But let's face it. An endless rotation of plain grilled chicken, fish and meat gets a bit boring. That's why we created an array of marinades guaranteed to keep your summer sizzling with flavor. With a little time - and virtually no effort - you can have chicken imbued with orange and thyme, shrimp with pineapple and chipotle peppers, or eggplant redolent of miso and ginger. To get started, here are marinades to suit any mood, suggestions for how to use each one and a chart of marinating and grilling times. We've made it so easy, the hardest task will be lighting the grill.

Oregano-Garlic Marinade

Makes about 1 cup, for 4 to 8 servings

In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, 1/3 cup dry white wine, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Use 1/2 cup to marinate tuna, swordfish, shrimp, chicken or vegetables. Reserve remaining marinade for basting.

Yogurt-Cumin Marinade

Makes about 1/2 cup, for 4 to 8 servings

In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt, 2 tablespoons prepared chutney, such as Major Grey, 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint, 1 tablespoon canola oil, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon ground cumin and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Use to marinate chicken, lamb or pork.

Lemon-Pepper Marinade

Makes about 1 cup, for 4 to 8 servings

In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, 1/4 cup Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon crushed black pepper and 1 teaspoon salt. Use 1/2 cup to marinate shrimp, swordfish, tuna, chicken or vegetables. Reserve remaining marinade for basting.

Orange-Thyme Marinade

Makes about 1 cup, for 4 to 8 servings

In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup cider vinegar, 1/3 cup frozen orange-juice concentrate, 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce, 1 tablespoon canola oil, 4 minced garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest and 4 teaspoons dried thyme leaves. Use 1/2 cup to marinate pork, chicken, swordfish or shrimp. Reserve remaining marinade for basting.

Pineapple-Chipotle Marinade

Makes about 1 cup, for 4 to 8 servings

In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup cider vinegar, 1/3 cup frozen pineapple-juice concentrate, 2 tablespoons molasses, 2 tablespoons chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, 1 tablespoon canola oil and 2 teaspoons salt. Use 1/2 cup to marinate chicken, pork or shrimp. Reserve remaining marinade for basting.

Coffee-Balsamic Marinade

Makes about 1 cup, for 4 to 8 servings

In a small bowl, dissolve 1/2teaspoon instant-coffee granules in 1/2 cup hot water. Stir in 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 3 tablespoons dark-brown sugar, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 3 minced garlic cloves, 2 teaspoons crushed black pepper and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Use 1/2 cup to marinate beef or lamb. Reserve remaining marinade for basting.

The fundamentals:

Item/Marinating Time/Grill Heat/Cooking Time

Vegetables, sliced 1/2 inch thick/ 45 minutes/ high/ 5 to 10 minutes per side

Fish and shellfish/ 15 to 30 minutes/ high/ 3 to 5 minutes per side

Chicken, bone-in pieces/ 2 to 8 hours/ medium/ 20 to 30 minutes, covered, turning

Chicken, boneless breasts/ 30 minutes to 1 hour/ high/ 4 to 6 minutes per side

Whole pork tenderloin/ 2 to 8 hours/ medium/ 15 to 20 minutes, covered, turning

Beef and lamb, steaks or kebabs/ 2 to 12 hours/ high/ 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare

Note: Discard any marinade that has been in contact with raw meat or fish.

Pub Date: 8/26/98

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