Simple Marinades

Did you know that many of the products at the Amadio Ranch make excellent ingredients for marinades and sauces? Marinades are a great way to add flavor and tenderize meat.  There are literally thousands if great flavor combinations, but a basic marinade has 3 simple components:

  1. Fat (oils such as olive, coconut, avocado or canola and dairy/dairy alternatives such as full fat plain yogurt, buttermilk, or coconut milk)
  2. Acid (vinegar like apple cider or balsamic, citrus such as lemon, lime, or orange, or acidic day like yogurt)
  3. Flavor Enhancers: (garlic, green onion, shallots, herbs, spices, sugar, and/or condiments but ALWAYS Salt and Pepper!)

I am not much of a measurement person when it comes to mixing marinades, but a typical ratio is 3:1 fat to acid.  Too much acid and your meat may become mushy.  I also love a little sweetness in my marinades like honey or brown sugar.  Sugar adds a nice caramelization on the grill, but too much will burn!  These are some flavor combinations my family loves:

Lemon + garlic + mustard +honey + basil

Ginger + garlic + scallion + soy + rice vinegar +honey

Chipotle in adobo + lime +scallion cilantro +honey

Balsamic + oregano + cracked black pepper + mustard +honey

When it comes to kitchen tools, you don’t need anything fancy.  A microplane can be helpful for preparing garlic, ginger and citrus zest but any kitchen knife works just as well, albeit a bit longer to mince! A handheld citrus squeezer is also helpful. I like to put my ingredients in a recycled jar and give it a good shake, but you can also use a bowl and whisk! A few more tips to keep in mind:

  • Meat and poultry can generally be marinated for 2 hours to 24 hours, but seafood and fish should be marinated for no longer than 1 hour.
  • Always refrigerate your meat while it’s marinating.
  • Don’t reuse marinades once they have been in contact with raw meat.
  • Marinades are also great for vegetables!

About Rebecca:  Rebecca is an 8-year resident of Laveen along with her husband and 2 kids under 4.  When not moonlighting as an amateur cook and blogger, she’s working in a non-partisan role at the Arizona Legislature.  As a self-proclaimed Amado Ranch SUPER fan, Rebecca has been buying honey and peaches off the Amadio’s front porch since before there were refrigerated coolers, Venmo, and even before pies!  

2 thoughts on “Simple Marinades

    1. Rachel! Let us know how it went! I love keeping things simple in the kitchen, but simple doesn’t have to mean without any flavor!

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