August 11, 2014

A good homemade marinade not only adds flavor to your meat, but it's also healthful. Ditch the bottled stuff and make your own at home. Marinades are simple to prepare, and they will keep your meat moist and tender as you bake, roast or grill.

Pepperoncini Beef

This tangy beef by Our Best Bites couldn't be any easier. Just dump in a jar of pepperoncini peppers and the juice acts as both a flavor enhancer and a meat tenderizer.

3-lb beef roast

16 oz jar of pepperoncini peppers

4-5 cloves of garlic, minced

Kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pot or high-sided skillet over high heat. While the oil is heating, rub some Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper evenly over the pot roast and then sear it on all sides until you have a nice, brown crust on the meat.

Place the meat in a slower cooker, add garlic and dump in entire jar of peppers, juice and all. If you can, turn the slow cooker to the high setting and cook it until it boils, then turn it to low and cook it for several more hours or until the beef is fork tender and shreds easily. But if you can't do that, just cook it on low for 8-10 hours or until you can shred it.

Serve on toasted, crusty sandwich rolls with melted provolone and a little bit of mayonnaise, if desired. You could also serve it wrapped in tortillas, with either a Greek or Mexican flair, or on a salad.

Dijon Balsamic Grilled Chicken

Mustard fans will love this dish from Tasty Kitchens. It goes equally well with chicken or pork and tastes best if allowed to marinate for at least two hours before grilling.

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup lemon juice

6 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup olive oil

8 chicken boneless chicken breasts

Mix ingredients together. Pour over chicken (or pork) and allow meat to marinate in the refrigerator 2 hours or longer. Grill.

Honey Mustard Chicken

If you love honey mustard, you will love Heidi Larsen's honey mustard chicken. It's made with juicy chicken thighs and then baked in the oven for an easy weeknight meal or a homey Sunday dinner.

1/4 cup grainy mustard

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1/2 cup honey

1 teaspoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons tarragon leaves, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced finely

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Trim any excess fat or skin from the chicken thighs, rinse with cold water and pat dry with paper towels then set aside.

Combine the grainy mustard, Dijon mustard, honey, soy sauce, tarragon, and ginger in a large bowl. Add the chicken thighs and toss to coat.

Place the thighs and sauce in a roasting dish, spooning sauce over the thighs and top with more tarragon leaves if desired. Bake for 45 minutes or until the thighs register 175 degrees and the juices run clear. Spoon sauce over the thighs and serve.

Marmalade Glazed Pork Chops

The next time you're at the grocery store, go ahead and pick up some Iowa chops and turn them into Columbine Vineyards' marmalade-glazed pork chops. Riesling adds just the right touch to the sweet orange glaze. Before serving the thick pork chops are finished with green grapes and a touch of orange zest.

4 thick cut pork chops

1/2 cup orange marmalade

1/2 cup Riesling or other slightly sweet white wine

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 pinch allspice

3 whole cloves

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 cup California green seedless grapes halved

orange zest

In a medium bowl, whisk together the marmalade and Riesling. Add the salt, allspice and cloves. Marinate the pork chops in this for at least four hours or overnight.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Lift the pork chops from the marinade and sear in the hot oil until they are brown, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Take care that they do not burn. Pour in half of the marinade and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered until the pork chops are cooked through, about 6 minutes more, turning often to prevent scorching. Remove the pork chops to a platter and keep warm. Reduce the sauce to a sticky glaze. Add the grapes and orange zest, stir well and then spoon over the pork chops. Serve immediately.

Garlic and Herb Marinade

Rather than reaching for a bottled Italian salad dressing, boost the freshness factor and control the amount of sodium by making your own garlic and herb marinade. It adds lots of flavor to any meat or seafood and is also perfect for grilled veggies.

1/3 cup water

1/3 cup vinegar

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3 cloves garlic minced

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried Italian-style seasoning

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a medium bowl, combine the water, vinegar, oil, garlic, thyme, Italian-style seasoning, poultry seasoning, rosemary, salt, and ground black pepper. Mix well and apply to your favorite meat or vegetables.

Ten Cloves of Garlic Marinade

Ten cloves of garlic are sure to bump up your next marinade. Beef, chicken, and pork will all work well. It would also be a perfect marinade for venison this fall.

2/3 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup steak sauce

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 yellow onion, minced

10 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

In a bowl, whisk together vegetable oil, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, steak sauce, water, salt, pepper, onion, and garlic until thoroughly mixed.

Pierce several holes into meat with a sharp knife, and place in a shallow dish. Stir marinade once more and slowly pour over meat, smothering the top with the garlic and onions. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or up to 36 hours. Cook as desired.

Honey Chicken Marinade

This family friendly marinade can be applied prior to baking, roasting or grilling. The lemon juice adds a burst of freshness while the honey adds a sweet touch.

1 1/2 lbs of chicken

1/3 cup olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons honey

1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Place all of the ingredients into a bowl and whisk well to combine. Transfer the mixture to a large Ziploc bag and then add the chicken. Place the bag in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours prior to cooking.