Summer Cooking is Simple with Delicious Marinades

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Cooking in the summer is simple, even for those individuals who claim to be a disaster in the kitchen. Anyone can prepare the most delicious meals by using marinades. Toss your favorite vegetables in olive oil and vinegar—add a few spices and herbs, grill, and DONE! Do the same with meats. I like to marinate meat overnight, but with vegetables I toss and grill right away or the marinade will make the vegetable soggy. Use your imagination. What are your favorite spices and herbs? I love tarragon which pairs nicely with Dijon mustard and champagne vinegar. Oregano is great with olive oil, crushed garlic, lemon and red wine vinegar. Or maybe try an Asian marinade with sesame oil, fresh grated ginger and soy sauce. The possibilities are endless.

Friday I ate lunch at Westhampton’s beachfront restaurant The Saltwater Grill. I ordered their most popular side dish—grilled corn with lime and queso fresco. After eating it, I understood why on just about every table there was an order of corn. So, on this beautiful Sunday I planned to grill and eat on the patio, soaking in every minute of sunshine. Guess what I was craving? You guessed it— that corn. I came up with my own version of the rub they put on the corn before grilling, and hoped it was close to the one on the restaurant menu. To accompany the corn I made a tequila lime marinade for chicken.

Grilled Corn with Lime and Queso Fresco

6 ears of corn

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 tablespoon tequila

2 tablespoons cilantro

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 lime – juice and zest

½ cup grated queso fresco

Mix together the oil, tequila, cilantro, cayenne pepper, black pepper and the lime and zest. Marinate the corn for 20 minutes. I like to rub it on so that every part of the ear of corn has the marinade. Grill on each sides until the kernels turn brownish. (About 4-5 minutes on each side) Remove from grill and sprinkle generous amounts of the grated queso fresco on the corn.

Tequila Lime Marinade for Chicken

1 ½ pounds boneless chicken, sliced thin

¼ cup vegetable oil

¼ cup tequila

1 tablespoon cilantro

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce

2 limes – juice and zest

1 clove garlic, crushed

Whisk together in a bowl, oil, tequila, cilantro, black pepper, sweet chili sauce, garlic, limes and zest. Add chicken and marinate overnight. Grill until cooked through, about 5 minutes on each side if sliced thin.

*Try this marinade with shrimp or pork also.

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