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05 August 2008

Anybody got a good marinade for beef and chicken skewers on the grill? [More:]Some friends are coming this weekend and I think the perfect thing is a lot of fresh garden veggies, chicken, and beef marinated and done on the grill. I usually do a basic teriyaki marinade, but I bet there's something new and intriguing out there. Got any recommendations? Side dish suggestions? (Coconut-cilantro rice is calling...)

Don't worry, I will marinate all the components separately.
I dunno how intriguing it is, but for beef on the grill, we swear by marinading it in Italian dressing, with a liberal dose of tabasco mixed in. (We've always used it for steaks, but I think it'd be good for skewers, too!)
posted by BoringPostcards 05 August | 11:18
Last week I marinated beef hanger steak chunks in lime juice, allspice, dried chopped chilies, a splash of vinegar, coriander, garlic, uh and maybe a jot or two of Angostura bitters and habanero sauce. Only marinated it for say 20 hours; by that time the lime had half-cooked everything anyway.

The week before that I marinated chicken in orange juice, tarragon, rosemary, garlic, and maybe a splash of lemon juice, then wrapped the chicken in corn husks before grilling.

Veggies I like without marinade but with handfuls of fresh herbs thrown on the coals just before covering and cooking; the herb smoke smokes the veggies and a little salt at the table really brings out the flavor. Works especially well for summer squash and other marrows.
posted by Hugh Janus 05 August | 11:24
Here's something simple, but a wee bit exotic. It may be best for lamb, but I don't see why not beef & chicken, too: 1 chopped onion, 1 crushed clove of garlic, 1+1/2 c fresh pomegranate juice, 1/2 c oil; salt & pepper to taste (I just season the meat generously first). That's enough for about 3lb of meat, and you can marinate it overnight to good effect.
posted by Wolfdog 05 August | 11:25
Yogurt, lemon juice, cumin, cinnamon, corriander, salt, garlic, cayenne, ginger.
posted by Specklet 05 August | 11:30
(That may be less exotic than it seemed to me when I was growing up and pomegranates weren't just falling off the shelves every damned place.)
posted by Wolfdog 05 August | 11:30
I use this marinade for flank steak, but I imagine it would work as well with kebabs. It's kinda teriyaki, kinda not.

Mix equal parts teryiyaki sauce and orange juice, add a couple of liberal splashes of Italian dressing, as much garlic as you can stand, a dash of soy sauce, a dash of lime juice, lots of fresh-cracked black pepper, cayenne to taste. Easy-peasy.

On preview: that sounds yummy, Specklet.
posted by BitterOldPunk 05 August | 11:30
Lots of minced or grated ginger, lots of minced garlic, soy sauce, and a bit of olive oil. So simple, but so, so good...
posted by AwkwardPause 05 August | 11:43
You people are making me hungry. Hungry for MEAT.

The Fella, a longtime vegetarian, made his parents a dinner of marinated steak tips for Father's Day. They were ridiculously good. He used a marinade of tomato paste, brown sugar, sesame oil, vegetable oil, garlic, & salt. Ridiculously good... but perhaps not ideal with coconut-cilantro rice. Hmmm.

I don't have any marinade secrets for chicken; as a slavish devotee of Alton Brown and Cook's Illustrated, instead of marinating, I always brine it for an hour before grilling, to keep it moist and tender, and let it dry a bit so the skin is crispy. You can add seasonings to the brine, but I usually just do a quick brine in salty water, then brush it with oil (and whatever seasonings) before grilling it.

In one of her books, Laurie Colwin outlines an admittedly inauthentic "tandoori chicken": dump a small container of plain yogurt (6 to 8 oz, not fat-free) onto a bowl, then add a pressed garlic clove and at least a tablespoon each of chili powder and paprika. Spread this thick mixture all over the chicken and let marinate in fridge all day.

She says that the yogurt gives the chicken an almost velvety texture, very tender and juicy, and also cuts the spice. I've never made it, but it sounds goooood.
posted by Elsa 05 August | 11:52
Simple one I've used for portobello mushrooms, which I suspect would be good for any mushrooms or steak (up quantities as needed; I'm leaving them in for proportions): 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 Tablespoon red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon salt, juice of one lemon, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 teaspoon black pepper.
posted by occhiblu 05 August | 12:03
Yeah, the yogurt does amazing things to the texture of chicken...
posted by Specklet 05 August | 12:05
p.s. - The Fella just came home, and he says the steak tips marinade also included soy sauce, lots of garlic, and scallions.
posted by Elsa 05 August | 12:20
Oh so many good choices...the Indian/Middle Eastern/tandoori varieties might be what I do for the chicken. I've done baked chicken marinated in yogurt before, and yes, it does something really amazing to make the chicken extra succulent...I'm already looking forward to experiments based on all y'all's ideas. I might do the chix and beef in two different marinades just for fun.
posted by Miko 05 August | 12:33
posted by mudpuppie 05 August | 14:44
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