One of the easiest cooking techniques you can do to add a TON of flavor is by using marinades. I don’t necessarily think you have to use marinades on everything, sometimes just a little Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper is all you need. Marinades however help can help tenderize your proteins while adding a ton of infused flavor from herbs, citrus, spices, etc. Also note that marinades do not have to be strictly used for proteins, they also work great with grilled vegetables.
Probably the most important aspect of making a marinade is figuring out what it goes well with. I personally would not chose to use a lime and cilantro marinade on a NY strip that is going with all Italian style side dishes. The goal in all of this is to compliment. Instead of that cilantro-lime marinade, I may use a balsamic vinaigrette with fresh thyme to help bring out the flavors in the side dishes. Don’t get me wrong here, there is no right or wrong way to do this, it is all about testing and tuning to figure out what it is you like. I say it every week and I’ll say it again, “YOU ARE ONLY LIMITED BY YOUR CREATIVITY!” Below is a quick Herb and Citrus marinade that goes great with chicken and beef. If you have any food related questions connect with me at facebook.com/chefbillyparisi or at twitter.com/chefbillyparisi.
Herb and Citrus Marinade
- zest of 1 lemon
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon of finely minced fresh garlic
- 1 tablespoon of finely minced fresh oregano
- 1 tablespoon of finely minced fresh thyme
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- In a bowl mix together lemon zest, juice, garlic, herbs and olive oil and pour over the protein you are marinating. Cover tightly and place in the refrigerator for 30 to 60 minutes.
- After the marinating process is over be sure to season both sides of the protein with Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.