Peapod's Tony Stallone grilling recipes

Wow! What beautiful weather we have been having! It is time to get the grill going! We will be rolling out the grill Sunday on State St. and doing some big time grilling in preparation for the summer and Father's Day.

Let's talk about marinades and how best to marinade certain cuts of meat. Marinades can add flavor and some accent to the meats and seafood you put on a grill. Who does not have their own favorite marinade recipe or is constantly experimenting with and tweaking marinades all the time to make meats taste just a little bit tastier or to leave one's own signature on the meal?

I'm bringing my favorite signature marinades, Garlic and Herb marinade, as well as a marinade that is a little on the unusual side Near East Yogurt marinade, great for pork, beef , chicken or lamb! I will also share my most requested marinade of all time Balsamic Honey Chicken Breasts.

Just a quick story, that last marinade came to me by way of chef who I asked for his best marinade because I was having this huge Volleyball party and we would be grilling out and I wanted to impress everyone! When he gave it me, I said "Pat, are you sure this is your best marinade"? I was looking for something a little more exotic, more exciting, he assured me just make the marinade and grill the breasts; everyone will love it. Boy, he was right.

If I had a dollar for everyone that has requested the marinade over the years, I could retire (but it is free to all of our viewers)! Of course, we won't only be talking about marinades but we will be grilling and tasting.

A few tips on marinating that I would like to share with our viewers:

1. Always try to use fresh herbs and fresh garlic vs. powdered or dried, this will make you marinades come alive and fresher tasting! Another one of my tips is to reserve a few of the chopped fresh herbs to sprinkle on top of the cooked product to add a little zing.

2. Let the excess marinade drain off the meat before putting on the grill this prevent flare ups and keep your grill cleaner longer during the summer. I am one of those who used to think the more marinade on the meat the more flavor – False! It is the length of time that matters and all that excess marinades just creates a messy grill and a lot carbon build up throughout the grilling season.

3. Seafood should only be marinated for 30 minutes to an hour before cooking otherwise the Seafood will become soggy and mushy or can actually begin to cook while it is in the marinade. I prefer light fresh herb marinades with Seafood, think lemon, fresh tarragon and sunflower oil, shallots or ginger…..!

4. For Marinades allow about 1/3 to one-half cup of marinade for each pound of beef, pork or lamb. The marinade will penetrate the meat about one-quarter inch from cut surface.

5. For safe marinating, always marinate in the refrigerator NEVER at room temperature. And NEVER save or reuse a marinade, because of bacteria from the meat marinating.

6. For beef, pork or lamb marinating do not marinate meat for more than 24 hours and never in an aluminum container. Aluminum is a reactive metal and can create a chemical reaction with the acid in your marinade. Another tip I find useful is to use zip lock bags to marinate meats in.

7. Marinades work best with the tougher cuts of beef like skirt, flank, round, hanger and sirloin or select grades of meat which tend to be tougher and can use a little tenderizer and added flavor.

8. The trick to Marinating poultry is to marinate it longer, poultry can be marinated up to 2 days in your refrigerator.

Another personal favorite marinade (and one we sell at Peapod as well) is this simple garlic and fresh herb marinade. We will make this marinade and use it on some mini-tenderloins that are always a hit at the outdoor grill and with our customers as well! The next marinade is a bit unusual and not one often thought of, but it works great with Lamb chicken or even beef, it is Near East Yogurt Marinade. Yogurt? Yes, yogurt makes a great marinade and also acts as a tenderizer…. (we will have marinated lamb chops and put them on the grill) and adds a unique flavor with some Indian spices and creates a nice crust when grilled.

Here are some simple rules to creating your own marinade: All Marinades consist of the following groups; Oil (olive, sunflower, canola…), an Acid (vinegar, lemon juice, wine), an aromatic (garlic, onion, ginger…) a salt or umami (salt, soy, Worcester…) and a spice or fresh herb ( oregano, rosemary, cloves, cumin, cinnamon….)and some heat (black pepper, red pepper flakes, hot sauce, sliced chilies..). So go out today and create your own Famous Marinade and enjoy plenty of family and friends this summer!

Fire up the grill!

Balsamic Honey Chicken Breast

6-8 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons dry mustard

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

2 bulbs of shallots, chopped

1/8 cup honey

1 one-half tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tablespoon white pepper

Combine all ingredients. Marinate chicken overnight, let sit out for 1 hour before placing on the grill for 4 to 6 minutes on each side.

Sprinkle on top when placing on grill and turning:

2 tablespoons of Kosher or table salt

1 tablespoon nutmeg

1/4 tablespoon black pepper

Serve plain or on sandwiches.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Tony's Garlic Peppercorn Marinade

Yields: approx. 1 cup

1/3 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup olive oil

1 tbsp garlic, minced

1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped

1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped

1 tbsp molasses

1 tbsp tomato paste

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp crushed whole black pepper

Whisk all ingredients together. Pour marinade over 12 oz. of meat and marinate for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight. Any unused portion of marinade can be kept refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Eastern Yogurt Marinade

1 1/2 cups plain yogurt

4 Tbsps olive oil

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp. ginger, freshly grated

1 Tbsp. garam masala or comparable Indian spice

2 tsps. salt

1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground

Whisk all ingredients together. Pour marinade over meat (lamb or chicken work best) and marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

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