A marinade is a mixture of liquids, highly seasoned with herbs and spices, in which meat, fish or game is left to marinate (soak), prior to cooking.

The purpose of a marinade is to make meat tender and to flavour it.

A marinade may be either cooked or uncooked, and the length of marinating time can be anything from 15 minutes to 2 or 3 days.

The type of marinade used depends entirely on the food you are marinating – the stronger, more pungent flavourings being used for strong flavoured meats such as game. Simple combinations of Decorative and impressive, Marbled Chicken may be served as a first course, or as part of a cold buffet. lemon juice and herbs are often used for fish and shellfish. Sweet marinades are usually made from liqueur and fruit juice and are normally used to marinate (or macerate) fruit.

A marinade for red meat, for instance, may include red wine, brandy, olive oil, thyme, peppercorns and a bay leaf. FOR game, port, redcurrant or cranberry jelly, finely minced onion and a mixture of herbs is a typical marinade. For pork, marsala, orange rind and juice, parsley, garlic and a little saffron may be used. Yogurt is used in the Middle East and India for marinating meat and poultry, and soy sauce is often the main ingredient in marinades in Southeast Asia and the Far East.

The most suitable utensil for marinating is made from earthenware, china, glass or enamel.

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