Tips From The Man Cave, guest post by, Daniel.
Good morning, savvy savers! For this weeks Tips From The Man Cave post, we will be discussing marinating!
Cooking in any form can be a satisfying experience. From French to Italian to Chinese, food can be complex, layered, and even in the hands of master chefs, a work of art. Cooking from the man cave tends to focus on a basic approach to food. With that said let us focus for a time on the three basic elements of the cooking I usually do; main ingredient, seasoning, and heat. All three play a big role in the final outcome of any dish. No one element can be ignored. A $50.00 steak is worthless if it overcooked. A $5.00 pack of pork chops can become so much more with the proper prep and use.
In the following post, I would like to give you my take on how to put all three elements together to get the most out of your food for less of your food budget. Let us begin with the a few thoughts on initial prep or marinating.
Marinating is by www.dictionary.com is “a seasoned liquid,usually of vinegar or wine with oil, herbs, spices,etc., in which meat,fish, vegetables,etc.,are steeped before cooking”. I would add other elements to that list. Milk or buttermilk, fruit juices, and salad dressings can be used as cheap ways to make more out of the meats and vegetables you find on sale. The following short list will give you some examples of how I like to use the marinade process to add value to my main dish options.
Meat Marinade Use:
Chicken thighs: Use Orange juice to make stir fry.
Pork Chops: Use Italian dressing; Bake or fry them.
Pork roast: Apple juice; Baked or grilled.
Chicken breast: Italian dressing/Citrus juice; Baked/grilled/fried.
Use your imagination. Most white meats, including fish, would go well with any citrus juice (Orange, Lime, or lemon). Dry rubs can also be a great alternative to wet marinades. Combine salt, black or white pepper, cayenne, lemon pepper/salt, sage, thyme, and even cinnamon together in whatever form best suites your pallet to add depth to any cut of meat. Don’t forget the hot sauces. Tabasco or some of the newer Thai and Korean hot sauces along with Soy sauce can add a lot to your prep seasoning. Just add your prep seasoning, allow them to refrigerate for at least 12 and then freeze for cheap ready to go meals.
That’s all for this week. Next time we will hit on the subject of the cheap but tasty main ingredient.