Ahhh summer. Time for simpler meals cooked and eaten outdoors with friends and family, lingering into the later evening hours to enjoy that extra daylight. It’s also a time for prep-ahead less fuss meals, which makes meat and veggies, marinated overnight, some of my favorites for summer cooking.
Chicken marinated in a mix of yogurt and some sort of herb or spice blend is a favorite. Yogurt makes the chicken super moist and flavorful.
One of our dinners last week was just that, chicken breasts marinated overnight in a mix of Fage 0%, the only Greek yogurt I use these days, and salt-free dill seasoning.
Because I marinated it for over 24 hours, the chicken was super tender and absorbed a lot of the dill flavor. I didn’t grill, was too last to clean the grill pan. Instead, I cooked it in a frying pan and topped with thawed butternut squash at the end. It was a random combination, but I wanted something healthy, and it worked.
Here are a few other great ideas for marinating meat or veggies this summer!
Plain old Italian dressing! It can easily liven up the most boring chicken.
Lime and cilantro: It’s fat free and helps to tenderize the meat. Just don’t put it on too early. Citrus can “cook” proteins (as in ceviche).
Cider vinegar, brown sugar, and tomato paste: A quick BBQ sauce, use some as a marinade and reserve some for dipping later.
Olive oil and garlic: Another simple one, and a favorite for marinating and grilling strips of fresh summer zucchini and shrimp.
As far as beef goes, you know I don’t make it that often, but below is a marinade recipe that has really been a crowd hit in the past. It makes people think I know what to do with beef.
Whether it’s fish, veggies, chicken, pork, or beef, what is your favorite homemade (or store-bought!) marinade or rub for grilling?
Free range, grass fed steak tips
1 cup Jacob’s Creek Cabernet Sauvignon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice of one whole lemon
4 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of rosemary
liberal sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup brown sugar