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:
- Fat (oils such as olive, coconut, avocado or canola and dairy/dairy alternatives such as full fat plain yogurt, buttermilk, or coconut milk)
- Acid (vinegar like apple cider or balsamic, citrus such as lemon, lime, or orange, or acidic day like yogurt)
- 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!