Great Marinade Recipes!

pork-chop-marinade-recipeI love to cook. And there’s nothing more gratifying than preparing a great recipe and then seeing the looks of appreciation as friends and family savor every bite!  But sometimes when I’m pressed for time, I need a recipe that I can prepare in a flash and still end up with an exquisite meal. Over the years, I’ve come across some really great marinade recipes that serve that purpose well. One, in particular, is flat-out fabulous!  Combine 1 teaspoon of onion power, ½ teaspoon oregano, 1/3 cup olive oil, ¼ cup lemon juice, ¼ cup soy sauce, 1 tablespoon brown sugar and a sprinkling of black pepper.  Pour over 2 thick pork chops, place in a Ziploc bag, refrigerate overnight, and then grill or broil for about 10 minutes on each side.  Serve with a side salad and a baked potato and voila!  A meal equal to any you would find at a great restaurant!  Scrumptious!

If you’re interested in creating your own unique marinade, here’s some information that will help you.  A basic marinade consists of an acidic liquid, oil, and other flavorings, such as sweeteners, and herbs or spices. Most marinades use one of the following acidic liquids as a tenderizer: wine, vinegar, or lemon juice. You’ll want to use a monoglyceride type of oil because they penetrate deeper and faster, and I recommend extra-virgin olive oil which is one of the more healthy choices. Dairy products like Greek yogurt and buttermilk can also have a tenderizing effect, and there are also tenderizing enzymes in ginger, kiwi, papaya, and pineapple. So experiment a little bit and have some fun creating your own marinades. Tougher or low-fat cuts like flank steak, sirloin, skirt, flat iron, round, and hanger steaks are best for marinating, so you don’t have to worry about ruining an expensive cut of meat with your experimentation!  Just remember the two most important rules of the marinating process: soak directly in a combination of the right ingredients and the longer the soak, the more tender the result!

Food for ThoughtFOOD FOR THOUGHT:
And as you consider the “marinating” process for your next menu creation, keep in mind, this same process can be of great value to you in your spiritual walk. Are you facing a tough situation in your life?  Is there something coming up that you’re not particularly looking forward to . . . perhaps a doctor’s appointment, a performance review with your boss, a meeting with an unhappy customer, or a mid-term exam? Whatever uncomfortable assignment awaits you, take a little time and marinate yourself for a while beforehand.  Spend some time in the Word of God and soak yourself in His presence through prayer and worship, so that when you walk into that situation, you’ll be able to face the “heat”, endure the pressure, and be a soft, pliable reflection of Jesus Christ, seasoned in the Holy Spirit.  The old saying “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen” doesn’t apply to a Christian whose life has been immersed, seasoned, and tenderized in the Lord!  Happy marinating!

–Cheri Henderson

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