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ALL  ABOUT MARINADES

Over the years, I have created and accumulated many delicious barbecue marinade recipes that I would like to share with you. Most of these recipes are made with a variety of ingredients - if you are not inclined to do that, you're best best for a delicious base to use as a marinade is to buy Newman's Own Oil & VinegarNewman's Own Balsamic VinegarNewman's Own Oil & Vinegar or Balsamic Vinegar salad dressings.  You can adapt the oil and vinegar salad dressing by adding mustard, fresh herbs, chopped garlic or scallions and you're ready to marinate chicken, pork or fish.  For marinating beef, I'd choose Newman Own's Balsamic and add sprigs of fresh thyme and oregano.

Marinades are very helpful when grilling lower fat meats and poultry that have been trimmed of all visible fat - these fat-free meats and poultry need help in staying moist on a grill. Marinades do the job of tenderizing when the fat has been removed. Marinades are also full-flavored adding a new dimension of international tastes to a wide variety of foods cooked on an outdoor grill.

Marinating times vary according to the foods. Red meats can marinate for eight hours, or overnight. However, chicken needs only four to six hours of refrigerated time for the marinade flavors to permeate. Fish needs much less time to marinate — 30 minutes to one hour is sufficient for firm fish fillets such as swordfish. Always marinate foods in Pyrex bowlglass or Stainles steel bowlsstainless steel dishes in the refrigerator. To save on clean up, I sometimes place the marinade and meat, chicken or fish in large heavy-duty plastic zip lock bags and place in the refrigerator to marinate. Whichever method you use, remember to turn the food regularly in the marinade so that all sides are flavored.

Grilled vegetables make for a delectable accompaniment to a grilled food feast. Summer squash, tomatoes, sweet onions, bell peppers, eggplant and my all time favorite — portabella mushrooms — are all candidates for grilling. Cut summer squash and other whole vegetables in thick long slices or in halves. Portabella mushrooms should be grilled whole. Brush vegetables with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper and place on the grill. Depending on the thickness, vegetables take only minutes on each side. Remove grilled vegetables to a platter and drizzle on a little more extra virgin or other flavored olive oil and two tablespoons of gremolata (flat-leaf parsley, garlic and lemon zest minced together). Serve vegetables with any other grilled foods.

Papaya Curry

1 ripe papaya, peeled, seeded & flesh coarsely chopped
½ cup pineapple/orange juice
3 Tablespoons canola oil
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons curry powder
½ teaspoon salt

Purée all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Transfer marinade to a glass or stainless steel bowl or dish and marinate 3 pounds of chicken pieces in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours.  Makes 1 cup

Tangy Mustard

½ cup Extra Virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons shallot, finely minced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 teaspoons fresh dill, chopped
1 Tablespoon capers, rinsed and chopped

Mix all ingredients in a glass bowl or dish with sides. Refrigerate and marinate 4 salmon or 4 swordfish steaks for up to 1 hour  before grilling. Yield: about 1 cup.

Mediterranean Herb

½ cup vegetable oil
1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
6 juniper berries, crushed
2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced
1 Tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients in a glass bowl or dish with sides. Refrigerate and marinate 4 lbs. of boneless butterflied leg of lamb or lamb cubes for shish-kebobs,  a rack of lamb or pork chops for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight. Yield: 1 ½ cups.

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