09 June 2015

Easiest marinades for perfect summer grilling

It is clearly summer now, and that means it is clearly time to grill some hunks of meat, tofu, and vegetables (take your pick).  Grilling shouldn't be complicated (ahem...Martha Stewart...), and neither should the marinade.  You don't marinade, you say?  Then you're probably eating some pretty tasteless, tough meat when you grill.  Pick a marinade (my favorites are below), mix all the ingredients together in a gallon-size, zip-top bag, add your meat/tofu/veggies, and throw it in the fridge until you're ready to lay it on the grill.  I marinade land animals for 6 hours-overnight (turn the bag once or twice when you go in there for tonic water and stuff), tofu, fish, and veggies for about an hour before cooking.  And don't forget to add some hickory chips (or some kind of smoking wood) to your coals and oil the grill well before starting!

4-Ingredient Magic Marinade (amount for 4 chicken breasts):
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup vinegar

Works on chicken, extra-firm tofu, eggplant, zucchini, salmon, pork (any cut), beef (I particularly like to marinade skirt steak and other lean cuts).  For a little extra zing, throw some Sriracha into the marinade as well (although you'll then have to call it 5-Ingredient Magic Marinade).

Tandoori Chicken Marinade (enough for 16 chicken thighs):
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
large piece ginger, grated
4 garlic cloves, crushed
¾ teaspoon garam masala
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon chilli powder
¼ teaspoon turmeric

This one involves more ingredients, but it really does keep the chicken moist and flavorful  Swap out the chili powder for cayenne (and maybe increase the dosage) if you want it spicy. This works equally well on any white fish, by the way. 

Lemon Marinated Flank Steak (good for 1 1/2 pounds of flank or similar steak):
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon onion soup mix
2 chopped garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

I grew up on this one (you can tell it's Midwestern from the onion soup mix), and it is still my favorite way to eat red meat.  Works well for all vegetables, pork chops, firm white fish, or chicken (any cut), as well.