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flavoring essentials: all about wet marinades

Recipe by
Andy Anderson !
Wichita, KS

This recipe is all about wet marinades, and I am including my latest recipe that I came up with in the wee hours of the morning. I will start with the marinade recipe, and then talk a bit about wet marinades, what they accomplish, and some tips and tricks on using them properly. So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.

yield serving(s)
prep time 10 Min
method No-Cook or Other

Ingredients For flavoring essentials: all about wet marinades

  • 1/2 c
    olive oil, extra-virgin variety
  • 2 clove
    garlic, minced
  • 2 - 3 Tbsp
    lemon juice, freshly squeezed, plus the zest
  • 2 Tbsp
    dry red wine
  • 2 Tbsp
    dried rosemary, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp
    creamy dijon mustard, i prefer grey poupon
  • 1 Tbsp
    worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp
    tamari sauce or liquid aminos
  • 1 Tbsp
    tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp
    white pepper, freshly ground
  • 1/2 tsp
    crushed red pepper flakes

How To Make flavoring essentials: all about wet marinades

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    This marinade is designed primarily to tenderize and flavor cuts of beef. Coat the beef and then marinate in the fridge for from 3 to 12 hours.
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    Gather your ingredients (mise en place).
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    Chuck all of the ingredients into a blender, and blend until smooth… Wow, I am bushed. I think I need to take a nap.
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    Wet Marinating The main purpose of a marinade is to tenderize and/or flavor the item being marinated. So, when you are making your own, thing of what flavors you think will enhance your item (spices and herbs), and what to use to tenderize it (acids, like tomatoes, citrus, and vinegar). A simple definition for wet marinating is to take a piece of fish, chicken, poultry, beef, etc., and submerge it into a liquid. The liquid should be cold, to keep the marinating item from spoiling and should completely cover it. A general rule of thumb is that you should have 1/2 cup (125ml) of liquid per pound (225g) of the marinating item. If the marinating item requires more than one hour, then it should be placed in the fridge. You do not want to take a chance on food poisoning.
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    The Limits of Marinating You can marinate something until the cows come home, and you are probably not going to get much more than 1/4 inch (6mm) into the item. And cutting into the meat (scoring) only gives the natural juices in the meat a chance to evaporate during the cooking process.
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    There are three types of Wet Marinades.
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    Acidic This includes marinades with ingredients like wine or vinegar, or other acidic juices (tomato or citrus juice). The acid loosens bonds between proteins in the meat, causing them to unravel and loosen up. However, you can get too much of a good thing, and if you marinate the item too long, the protein bonds reestablish themselves, and you wind up with dry, tough meat. Enzyme Things like pineapple, kiwi, and other fruits contain enzymes that break down muscle fibers. However, used for too long a time can leave your item mushy. It is all in the timing. Dairy If you want tender, you might want to give this method a try. The calcium activates enzymes in the meat, which break down proteins in the meat on their own. This technique is also known as “Velveting.”
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    Tips and Tricks
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    Marinating Container Unless what you are marinating is large, one of the best ways to marinate is using a Ziploc (or other manufactures) freezer bag. That way you can add the item with the marinade, squeeze the air out, and throw it in the fridge for the prescribed time. Then every once-and-awhile you can give the bag a squeeze to help distribute the marinade.
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    Sodium In most cases, you do not want to use salt in a wet marinade for beef or pork, because the sodium will draw moisture out of the meat fibers and can cause it to dry out. This will have an opposite effect; instead of tenderizing the meat, it will toughen it. In items other than beef and pork, it should be used sparingly.
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    Origins A long time ago, in a country far, far away, marinades were made with brine, and it was not unusual to see a chef toddle down to the sea to pick up a bucket of seawater. As a matter of fact, the word “marinara” in Italian translates to “from the sea. And marinade is a derivative of that word.
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    Red, Red Wine, You Make Me Feel So Fine If you are marinating poultry or fish, leave the red wine out. It is too heavy a flavor for those items and, if used in abundance, can stain them red.
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    Grilling If you are the grill master of the family, pat the marinated item dry before grilling. This will help to avoid flair-ups. And, any time you feel the urge to do a bit of grilling, you should always have a spray bottle of water handy, to knock down those pesky fiery outbursts.
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    The Fridge Always try to marinate in the refrigerator. No need to give your guests food poisoning.
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    Marinade versus Sauce Never use marinade from raw meat or fish as a sauce unless it is boiled for at least 5 minutes. It might contain bacteria from the raw item.
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    Reactive versus Non-Reactive Containers Never marinate in aluminum containers or foil, because a chemical reaction between the food and the aluminum will give it an off taste and could spoil it.
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    Cut Up versus Whole Cubed meat tends to absorb more flavor than full cuts, because there is additional surface area for the marinade to penetrate.
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    Thawed versus Frozen You do not need to thaw out your product before marinating. Just add about an hour to the marinade time.
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    Chicken and Pork Typically, chicken and pork do not require tenderizing, so when putting together a marinade for these items concentrate more on flavor.
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    Wet Marinating Guidelines (these are just guidelines; not Gospel).
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    Chicken pieces: 3 – 6 hours Whole fish (freshwater or saltwater: 3 – 6 hours Cut up fish: 15 – 30 minutes Boneless chicken breasts: 1 hour Vegetables, sliced or cubed: 15 – 45 minutes Large Tenderloins (beef, pork): 6 to 12 hours
  • Stud Muffin
    Keep the faith, and keep cooking.