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Savoring a winning combo; marinades tenderize meats and enhance flavor

Savoring a winning combo; marinades tenderize meats and enhance flavor

Some foods are just great together: Peanut butter-chocolate, butterscotch-vanilla and potatoes-sour
Savoring a winning combo; marinades tenderize meats and enhance flavor
Spicy Grilled Shrimp with Tamarind Orange Chutney
Photographer: Courtesy of Florida Department of Citrus

Some foods are just great together: Peanut butter-chocolate, butterscotch-vanilla and potatoes-sour cream are all winning combinations.

Tangerine and chicken make another great team. Orange and shrimp, lime and steak, apple and pork are other partners in the art of marination.

Christopher Tanner, a certified executive chef and member of the faculty at Schenectady County Community College’s nationally accredited American Culinary Federation culinary arts program, said marinades have been used to prepare foods for centuries. At first, he said, cooks used additional flavors to boost meats that were no longer fresh.

In modern times, citrus, wine and tomato marinades — which all contain some acidic properties — are used to break down and tenderize meats. For dishes like chicken, which can have a bland flavor, a marinade will provide some extra flavor.

Tanner said marinades can be used for a couple hours or stay on the job overnight. But the chef warned not to let your steaks and chicken breasts soak up wine and lemon juice for more than 24 hours. After a while, the marinade’s flavor will be too dominant in the final, prepared product.

Tanner also said people can be creative in their marinades, choosing herbs and olive oil, vinegar, soy sauce and citrus. He prefers apple cider vinegar over apple juice, for more of a bite. “There’s more acid in apple cider vinegar,” he said. “Apple juice is not strong enough.”

Karen Mathis, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Citrus in Bartow, Fla., said oranges, grapefruit, lemons and tangerines can be used to give chicken, shrimp and beef a boost on the grill or in the oven.

“Orange juice and grapefruit juice not only help to tenderize the meat, but add zesty flavor,” she said. “In a marinade recipe that calls for soy sauce, replace half the soy sauce with orange juice or grapefruit juice to cut down on sodium.”

Chicken With Tangerine, Honey and Chipotle Glaze

Courtesy Florida Department of Citrus, Bartow, Fla.

3 cups fresh tangerine juice, divided

1⁄3 cup parsley

1⁄3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 tablespoons finely grated tangerine peel, divided

1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

8 to 12 bone-in chicken breasts and pieces

5 tablespoons honey

1⁄4 cup soy sauce

2 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chile peppers

Nonstick vegetable oil spray

- In large zipper-seal plastic bag, place 1 cup tangerine juice, parsley, cilantro, thyme, ginger, vinegar, olive oil, 2 tablespoons tangerine peel and salt.

- Seal bag and squeeze to combine ingredients well. Add chicken pieces to bag; seal tightly; turn to coat. Refrigerate chicken for at least two hours and up to 2 days, turning bag occasionally.

- In medium saucepan, combine remaining 2 cups tangerine juice, honey and soy sauce; bring to a boil. Simmer over medium heat about 20 minutes or until mixture reduces to 2⁄3 cup, stirring occasionally. Mix in reserved 2 tablespoons tangerine peel and chipotle peppers.

- To bake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Place chicken in 13-by-9-by-2-inch glass baking dish. Bake chicken, uncovered, turning every 30 minutes until thoroughly cooked, about 1 hour to 11⁄2 hours total. Brush chicken with tangerine, honey and chipotle glaze; bake 5 minutes longer.

- To grill: Preheat grill to medium-low heat. Spray grate with nonstick cooking spray. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Grill chicken until thoroughly cooked, turning occasionally for even cooking, about 25 to 30 minutes. Brush chicken with tangerine, honey and chipotle glaze. Grill 2 minutes longer on each side.

Makes 8 servings.

Note: Chicken breasts are cooked when meat near bone registers 165 degrees. Chicken thighs are cooked when meat near bone registers 180 degrees. Meat should no longer be pink and juices should run clear.

Spicy Grilled Shrimp With Tamarind Orange Chutney

Pictured above, Courtesy Florida Department of Citrus

1⁄2 cup garam masala

3 tablespoons coriander

2 tablespoons turmeric

4 cloves garlic

1 (2-inch) piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

1 to 2 teaspoons sriracha (red chile pepper) sauce

4 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined

- Combine garam masala, coriander, turmeric, garlic, ginger and sriracha sauce in food processor. Purée until smooth. Rub mixture onto shrimp; marinate for 30 minutes. Grill shrimp and serve with Tamarind Orange Chutney.

For the chutney:

16 ounces Florida orange juice

16 ounces tamarind purée

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons water, ice cold

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 Florida oranges, segmented

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

- Heat orange juice, tamarind purée and red onion in a saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil. Lower heat; cook until reduced by about one-third. In small bowl, whisk together water and cornstarch until dissolved; whisk in 1 cup hot orange juice mixture; pour cornstarch mixture into saucepan.

- Add oranges, coriander, cumin, ginger and cilantro to saucepan; stir well and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. When mixture reaches a boil, remove from heat and cool.

Makes approximately 6 to 8 servings.

Citrus Flank Steak, Cuban Style

Courtesy Florida Department of Citrus

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

2 teaspoons coriander seeds

2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns

3⁄4 cup brown sugar

3⁄4 cup Florida orange juice

1⁄4 cup fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon minced garlic

2 tablespoons chopped scallions

1 teaspoon salt

1 1⁄2 pounds flank steak, cut into six pieces

- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small baking dish combine cumin, coriander and peppercorns. Place baking dish in 350-degree oven for 5 to 8 minutes or until coriander is golden. Remove from oven. Using a mortar and pestle or the bottom of a sauté pan, crush spices.

- In a medium bowl, combine crushed spices and all remaining ingredients, except for steak, and mix together. Place flank steak into a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish, pour marinade over steak and place in refrigerator for 2 hours. Turn steak occasionally.

- Preheat broiler. Transfer steak and remaining marinade into a 9-by-13-inch metal baking dish (or metal cookie sheet) and broil 10 to 15 minutes to desired cooking state. Rotate and turn steak regularly to allow marinade to cook down and glaze steak. Remove steak and let sit for 5 minutes before slicing.

Makes 6 servings.

Pollo a la Brasa Con Citron

Courtesy Florida Department of Citrus

16 ounces Florida orange juice

1⁄2 cup soy sauce

1⁄4 cup fresh lime juice

10 garlic cloves

2 tablespoons ground cumin

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon paprika

1⁄2 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

3 whole chickens

Salt and pepper, to taste

- Combine orange juice, soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, cumin, oregano, paprika, pepper and oil in blender. Blend until smooth. Pour mixture over chicken; cover and marinate in refrigerator 8 to 24 hours. Discard marinade and pat chicken dry with paper towels.

For rotisserie: Place chicken on rods and roast according to manufacturer’s directions or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Remove and let cool.

For oven: Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Season the cavity of the chicken with salt and pepper. Tie legs together to hold shape; tuck wings under body. Place chicken in roasting pan. Roast chicken 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees. Continue roasting for about 80 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Remove from oven and let cool.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Italian Marinated Steak With Grilled Ratatouille

Courtesy Texas Beef Council.

1 beef top round steak, cut 1-inch thick (about 11⁄2 pounds)

1 small eggplant, cut crosswise into 1⁄2-inch thick slices

2 large red or yellow bell peppers, cut lengthwise into quarters

1 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise in half

1 medium yellow squash, cut lengthwise in half

1 1⁄2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes

1⁄3 cup lightly packed chopped fresh basil

Salt and ground black pepper

For marinade:

1⁄2 cup olive oil

1⁄2 cup dry white wine

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

4 cloves garlic, minced

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper

- Combine marinade ingredients in small bowl. Place beef steak and 1⁄2 cup marinade in sealable plastic bag, turn to coat steak. Close bag securely and marinate in refrigerator 6 hours to overnight, turning occasionally. Cover and reserve remaining marinade in refrigerator.

- Remove 2 tablespoons reserved marinade for ratatouille, set aside. Brush vegetables, except tomatoes, with some of remaining reserved marinade.

- Remove steak from marinade; discard used marinade. Place steak in center of grid over medium, ash-covered coals; arrange vegetables around steak. Grill steak, uncovered, 16 to 18 minutes for medium rare, turning occasionally (do not overcook).

- Grill eggplant and bell peppers 12 to 15 minutes; zucchini and yellow squash 8 to 12 minutes or until tender, turning occasionally and basting with remaining reserved marinade.

- Cut grilled vegetables into 1-inch pieces. Carve steak into thin slices.

- For ratatouille, combine grilled vegetables, tomatoes, basil and reserved 2 tablespoons marinade in medium bowl; toss. Season ratatouille and steak with salt and black pepper, as desired.

Shrimp Bigarade With Orange Zest and Juice

Courtesy Florida Department of Citrus

1 large Florida orange, zested and juiced

1 bay leaf

2 sprigs thyme

12 jumbo shrimp, cleaned, peeled and de-veined

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 large shallots, finely diced

2 teaspoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon champagne vinegar

1 1⁄2 cups Florida orange juice

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons scallion, cut on a bias

Cooked rice

- In a stainless steel bowl, combine the zest and juice from 1 large Florida orange, bay leaf, thyme and shrimp. Cover and marinate for 1 hour.

- Warm olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add shallots and cook until translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Add shrimp with marinade and sauté for approximately 1 minute on medium heat. Add brown sugar and mix until dissolved. Add champagne vinegar and stir. Then pour in the 11⁄2 cups of orange juice and bring the mixture to a simmer. Remove the shrimp and reduce the liquid by half. Remove and discard the thyme and bay leaf.

- Season sauce with salt and pepper and continue to cook until thickened. Serve on bed of rice. Pour the sauce over the shrimp. Garnish with sliced scallions, if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

ROASTED PORK TENDERLOIN WITH POTATOES AND SWEET ONION

Courtesy The Vinegar Institute, Atlanta, Ga.

2 pork tenderloins, about 15 ounces each

10 to 12 small red-skinned potatoes, quartered

2 sweet onions, such as Vidalia, cut into wedges

1 teaspoon olive oil

For marinade:

1⁄2 cup peach jam

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon brown sugar

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons fresh thyme

Salt and freshly ground pepper

- Whisk marinade ingredients (except salt and pepper) in bowl to combine. Place pork tenderloins in glass baking pan; pour marinade over top, cover and refrigerate 4 to 6 hours.

- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In large bowl, combine potatoes, onion wedges and olive oil. Remove tenderloin from marinade (reserve marinade) and place on large baking sheet. Surround pork with potatoes and onions; season with salt and pepper. Roast, uncovered, 20 to 30 minutes until thermometer registers 145 degrees.

- Meanwhile, simmer reserved marinade in small saucepan for 10 minutes. Remove pork from oven; let rest 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with reserved cider vinegar-peach marinade.

Serves 6.

SAUERBRATEN

Courtesy The Vinegar Institute

1 4-pound chuck roast

2 cups cider or wine vinegar

2 cups water

2 teaspoons salt

1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper

3 tablespoons onion powder

5 bay leaves

7 whole cloves

2 tablespoons celery flakes

1⁄4 teaspoon thyme leaves

1 teaspoon mustard seed

1⁄2 cup sugar

19 dark, old-fashioned gingersnaps, crushed

1⁄4 cup seedless raisins

- Combine vinegar, water, salt, pepper, onion powder, bay leaves, cloves, celery flakes, thyme leaves and mustard seed to make marinade. Place meat in this mixture, making sure it is covered with liquid. Cover. Let stand at least 2 hours.

- Add sugar. Simmer over low heat 3 hours or until tender. Remove meat to platter. Keep hot. Strain liquid to remove spices. Return liquid to cooking pan; stir in gingersnap crumbs and raisins; cook, stirring until thick.

Serves 4 to 6.

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