Sunday, March 4, 2012

Master of Marinades

A marinade is a savory liquid in which proteins & vegetables are immersed or submerged for flavor and tenderization.  A good marinade has four basic components: acid, salt, flavor & fat.
  • The acid -- typically citrus juice or vinegar -- helps to tenderize the meat, as does the salt. 
  • Flavor is best imparted by combining herbs, spices, and/or aromatics.  
  • The fat stabilizes the entire concoction and protects the flavors while the meat marinates.
Adding strained yogurt is common practice in the Middle East, and does wonders to lock in moisture when cooking lean meats such as fish or learn poultry.

This particular marinade works well with chicken breast or white-fleshed fish, like cod.  Grilling over an open  flame is the best option, but a stove-top griddle also does the trick.  Serve over some rice-a-roni w/ a side of  veg and you are all set.

Yellow Yogurt Marinade

3-4 # chicken tenders
16 oz Greek yogurt
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground garam masala
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground turmeric
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 juice of lemon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
cold water, as necessary
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

  1. combine all ingredients except for water and cilantro in a mixing bowl.  
  2. thin with small amounts of water until the mixture reaches a smooth consistency.  
  3. add cilantro.  reserve one cup of yogurt mixture for dipping sauce and smother chicken w/ the rest.
  4. marinate overnight, up to 24 hours.

© 2012 c. c. villani @ "mission: insatiable -