Sage meatloaf: One of many tasty and inexpensive ground beef recipes

“Cheap dishes to make with ground beef” sounds like not only didn’t the beef cost much, but also the dish itself isn’t going to have much beyond an average taste. It might be preferable to call this – Sage Meatloaf – an inexpensive dish.

With eight ingredients, plus salt and pepper – most of which are already in the typical home – ground beef might turn out to be the only expenditure required. Plus maybe an onion, if one can’t be found in the cupboard at the moment.

Cheap, or inexpensive, might also imply that there won’t be an appealing taste or texture to the dish. The use of too many ingredients and too many additives, and in improper proportions, is more likely to detract from the success of this entree, so keep in mind that less is more.

Consider the contents

Facing the many choices in packaging of ground beef may seem intimidating. There is 80% lean ground beef, 90% lean, and 95% lean. These days, for health’s sake, the leaner the beef (or any other food, for that matter), the better. Lean beef is definitely not cheap.

Take heart, because in this dish a certain amount of fat is needed for the proper taste, texture and moistness. Stick with the cheaper 80% lean ground beef. Once it’s out of the oven, the meatloaf can be lifted out of its pool of pan drippings and placed on a stack of two or three paper plates to drain away more of the greasy substance.

There’s no end to bread choices. Everything from inexpensive, all-American white breads to the more costly 100% whole grain breads will do the job of helping to even the balance of wet and dry ingredients.  

Keep the seasonings simple. Traditionally meatloaf has ketchup, salt and pepper. This recipe also features Worcestershire sauce and dried sage. Worcestershire sauce complements beef nicely. Sage is typically added to chicken and turkey dishes, yet is surprisingly good in meatloaf.

What would a meatloaf be without onions? Most people like them. Some pick out the onion chunks as they eat. By placing these inexpensive little veggies beneath the meatloaf, where they can be eaten or not, everyone is happy.

Sage Meatloaf (Serves 3-4)

Ingredients:

1 pound (or a bit less; not more) 80% lean ground beef

1 slice bread, cut in 1/4-1/3 inch cubes

1 egg

3 tablespoons ketchup

2 tablespoons fat-free milk

1 heaping teaspoon dried sage

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon salt

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 small, medium or large onion (your choice), thinly sliced and then separated into rings

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Spray loaf pan with extra virgin olive oil spray. Spread onion rings evenly on bottom of prepared pan.

3. Remove ground beef from refrigerator and let sit on counter while preparing rest of ingredients.

4. In large mixing bowl, combine egg, ketchup, milk, sage, Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Add bread cubes and mix thoroughly.

5. Add ground beef to bread mixture. With clean hands, mix thoroughly but lightly.

6. Place mixture in loaf pan and gently pat to slightly flatten top. If using a larger pan, such as a 5×9-inch pan, fit the mixture into one end, only filling about 2/3 of the pan; then use a turner to slide it to the middle.

7. Bake 35-45 minutes. Remove from pan and place on 2-3 stacked paper plates for at least ten minutes. Any onions remaining in pan can be placed on top or served separately. 

What makes this meatloaf different from others is the subtle sage taste–always there, but never overwhelming. While Sage Meatloaf is definitely a cheap dish to make with ground beef, it is also easy to prepare, reasonably healthy and beautifully moist.

Freezer Friendly Food Equals Family Friendly Freezer

A freezer well-stocked with food purchased at bargain or coupon prices makes it possible to prepare wholesome and delicious meals from a wide variety of choices at the lowest possible cost per plate. For a family needing to cut food costs, a freezer, whether chest or upright, makes good sense.

The efficiency of a freezer depends in no small part on how the homeowner readies food meant for storage and freezing. Because a freezer works better when fully stocked and with minimal air space between stored items, putting a little thought into organization and preparation of the unfrozen food packets increases the freezer’s effectiveness. Experience suggests three simple steps worthy of consideration that the homeowner can take to make food items more freezer-friendly.

Square or rectangular packages: Square or rectangular food packets stack better in the freezer, making it easier to fill the unit to capacity as well as to retrieve food quicker with minimal disturbance of the contents. The second benefit decreases the time the freezer door remains open to admit warm air inside.

Although many food items come packaged in square or rectangular containers, a significant number, such as meat products, do not. If possible, repackage these odd-shaped items  and form them into square or rectangular shapes. If you freeze water into ice chunks to take on picnics, put the water in well-rinsed rectangular juice or milk containers.

Reduce packet sizes: An economic, family-sized purchase of meat usually comes in a large, mounded package that is awkward to store. It will pay to open the package and place the individual cuts in separate sealable plastic freezer bags. These smaller packets will store much tighter in the freezer; this procedure also makes it possible to remove only the cuts necessary for a meal.

Many other food products that come in large packages admit to repackaging in smaller sizes. Often merely removing the cardboard container and recovering the food item with plastic wrap will reduce the space the food requires in the freezer.

Vacuum pack whenever possible: A home vacuum pack machine will reduce packages of meat or fish to minimum sizes by removing all the air from the plastic containers. Removing the air and preventing air contact with the food also increases the time meat or fish will remain wholesome in the freezer. A home vacuum pack makes a perfect adjunct to a freezer.

Try experimenting with these suggestions to make food freezer-friendly. Remember, making food freezer-friendly makes the freezer family-friendly.

What’s new in Kitchen Tools

KITCHEN TOOLS
Are You in Touch with these basic new helpers?

You’ve watched some cooking shows. You’ve seen ads and infomercials. You know there’s a slew of new kitchen aids and utensils and gadgets and ware that might help make life in the kitchen easier for you. But you can’t buy em all. Or can you?

Actually, it won’t take much to update your kitchen, and there’s a lot of really neat stuff at kitchen specialty stores, where you can find products that transcend the merchandise offered at department stores, supermarkets, drugstore chains and big-box outlets.

THE SILICONE FACTOR
If you haven’t introduced silicone to your kitchen, it’s time you did. The silicone revolution began with spatulas. Those plastic spatulas recommended for non-stick cookware tend to melt or at least deteriorate after time, don’t they? Enter silicone, the wonder stuff. Spatulas made with silicone don’t melt or deteriorate. They’re more flexible and virtually heatproof, withstanding heat that reaches 600 to 900 degrees. Silicone spatulas led to other silicone products. Now you can find silicone baking mats that can go from pastry board to freezer to oven without any problems. Silicone promotes even heat distribution so baked goods come out moist and flavor-true. A high-gloss nonstick finish makes it easier to remove cookies or pastry from the baking mat and, because it is nonporous, it won’t retain the odors or flavors of your food after cooking. And it’ll last forever. Silicone muffin pans are flexible, and non-stick, and they cool quickly. Silicone whisks have the same heat resistance, and their handles don’t absorb heat. Silicone cake molds come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Silicone oven mitts allow you not only to reach into the oven and grab very-hot things, but also to plunge your hand into boiling water!

TAKING TEMPERATURES
You have a meat thermometer. You may even have a digital meat thermometer. But you’re probably out-of-date. Now, you can buy a programmable meat-temperature fork. Set it to the appropriate temperature. Stab your roast with it and it’ll show you the current temperature, then it’ll beep when the proper temperature is reached. And now there’s a digital thermometer that sits on top of the stove as it measures the temperature of the food inside the oven! You can buy one that beeps progressively, letting you know when your meat (or whatever) is almost done, done, and overdone (with a more-urgent sound). You can buy one that hooks on your belt and keeps you in touch with your oven, even if you’re out in the yard!

And we’re just dancing on the warm griddle here. Locate a kitchen specialty store. Venture in. Find a clerk. Tell him or her what you’re looking for and you’ll be amazed at the variety and advancements that clerk will reveal. If you want to have special fun, just ask, “What’s new?” Then be prepared for a journey through the store that will fascinate you. What the heck? If professional chefs are using all this new stuff (and they are), why shouldn’t you be?

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How to use a Bamboo Steamer

Bamboo steamers are especially useful if you do not have a metal steamer. Bamboo steamers are generally less expensive and they do not take up as much space. Bamboo steamers are also much easier to use. If you do not yet know the pleasure of using a bamboo steamer to create delicious and healthy food, then here are some easy to follow instructions that will help you learn how.

First, you will find that most bamboo steamers come in sets of 3 pieces. That means that there are two steam trays (onto which you will place your food) and a lid. Try to find a set that has a lid with a handle. This feature will make it easier for you to handle the lid when it is hot. Most bamboo steamers are relatively inexpensive. For instance, you can purchase a 3-piece set for approximately $20 online. 

Once you have your bamboo steamer, you can start using it right away. Wash it thoroughly before you use it for the first time. Mild soap and water is enough to clean the steamer. Now, you can decide what kinds of food you want to steam. You can steam most food in this bamboo steamer that could be steamed in a metal steamer. One great way to test your bamboo steamer is to cut some vegetables into 2″ cubes and start steaming them. The smaller the cubes are, the less time they will take to steam. You will also need to find a frying pan that is at least 3″ deep. Add about 1-1/2″ of water to the frying pan, and turn the stove on to medium heat. The water should be simmering, not necessarily boiling. Make sure that the water never runs out. It’s best to have more than enough water in the frying pan. You can use just one tier of the bamboo steamer set, or you can use both – depending on how much food you want to steam. In general, you want to separate different types of food onto different tiers. For instance, fish would go in one tier while vegetables in another.

Do not touch the bamboo steamer with your bare hands. Treat the steamer as you would a metal one; wear oven mitts accordingly. 

Once you start cooking food with a bamboo steamer, you will wonder how you ever got along in the kitchen without one! 

How to Make your Food Items more Freezer Friendly

Home freezing of food is one of the quickest, easiest and most effective methods of preserving it in modern times. Fresh fruit and vegetables can be frozen to make them available for use right through the off season, meat can be bought in bulk or hunted and stored in handy individual or family portion sizes, while even certain types of fish can be frozen, perhaps in the wake of a successful fishing trip. In order to ensure that the food you freeze remains in the best possible condition for later use, there are a number of points which should be considered, often varying dependant upon the type of food being prepared.

Fresh vegetables

Firm fleshed root vegetables such as carrots and parsnips are perfect for home freezing. They should be washed, peeled and chopped to what will be the required eating size before being lightly blanched for a couple of minutes in boiling water. Drain them well, submerge in cold water for a minute to stop them cooking and drain again. Cover and leave to cool before adding to a plastic freezer container and the deep freeze. A good tip here is to wait a couple of hours and then gently shake the carton. This will help to ensure the pieces freeze individually, rather than in to one hard lump that may prove awkward to separate at a later time.

Broccoli and cauliflower should have the outer leaves removed and be broken in to small florets for blanching and freezing. Peas and similar legumes should be removed from their pods or skins.

When cooking vegetables which have been frozen, they should not be defrosted first. Simply bring a pan of water to a boil, add a little salt if desired and add the vegetables straight from the freezer to simmer until cooked and softened.

Fresh fruit

Berries should have their leaves, stems and any husks removed before being washed, thoroughly drained and added to the freezing container. Fruits such as apples and pears should be peeled, cored and chopped. It is again a good idea to cook fruit straight from the freezer by your chosen method.

Red meat and poultry

The potential dangers of home freezing are never more evident than when dealing with meat and poultry, both prior to and after the freezing process. Flesh not prepared properly prior to freezing or even perhaps not defrosted properly prior to being cooked can cause severe food poisoning. It is vital always to exercise due care and never take any chances.

When freezing raw cuts of meat, or perhaps whole chickens or turkeys, the meat or the bird should be fully prepared as though it were to be cooked at the time. This means basically that all innards, feathers or the likes should be removed and discarded. Wash the meat and pat it carefully dry. Meat can then be prepared for freezing by vacuum packing it, wrapping it very well and securely in plastic or including it in a freezer proof container.

When it comes to using raw meat or poultry which has been frozen, it is important to know how long each piece will take to defrost. This can amount to days rather than hours, particularly with large turkeys for Thanksgiving or Christmas. The meat should be placed in a deep container to hold the defrosting liquid, covered and placed in the very bottom of the refrigerator to defrost. It should be removed a few hours prior to being cooked to reach room temperature and washed again thoroughly in cold water prior to cooking.

Cooked meat can also be frozen. This is particularly useful when making large batches of chili or curries and freezing them in individual portions for later meals. Be sure to let the food cool completely before packaging and freezing and to ensure that it is fully reheated before it is subsequently consumed.

Fish

Certain types of raw fish freeze well and others not so well. As a rule of thumb, firm fleshed white fish will freeze far better than soft fleshed, oily fish. The fish should be scaled (if appropriate), gutted and ideally skinned and filleted prior to freezing, exactly as if it were to be cooked immediately. The fish should be defrosted fully prior to being cooked.

Conclusion

Although freezing is very useful and can also be cost effective by reducing waste and making harvests go further, it is important not to take any risks. If ever in any doubt whether a particular food item can be frozen, how it should be frozen, or how it should be treated after it has been frozen, research in full prior to undertaking the procedure and never take unnecessary risks. The enjoyment of the food and the health of those who eat it can often depend on getting all the above factors just right.

The versatile uses of leftover chicken

Chicken is a heart-healthy choice. Boneless chicken breasts contain so much meat that you could potentially have leftovers that might creatively convert into another whole meal. A whole baked chicken might provide several meals.

Creative ways to use leftover chicken:

Stew

A steaming bowl of chicken stew and dumplings is a nutritious additional meal with a completely new presentation of your leftover chicken. Your family will not believe they are eating leftovers.

Soup

Leftover breast of chicken, or bits stripped from the bone of a whole chicken, can be chopped into chunks and turned into a delicious soup. Chicken noodle soup and Tortilla soup are two different soup varieties that provide a range of taste.

Salad

Cold chicken makes an excellent ingredient for a salad. Add the bits of chicken to your tossed green salad, or go all out and create a scrumptious Waldorf salad. This is a perfect way to use up leftover chicken and provide a lunch or light dinner.

Ethnic dishes

If you like Mexican food, your leftover chicken can be used to make chicken enchiladas for another meal. If Italian is your flavor of choice, the leftover chicken can be used to create a fabulous tomato sauce based dish called chicken cacciatore.

Sandwiches

Chicken leftovers can be thinly sliced for cold chicken sandwiches. Another option is to make hot open-faced chicken sandwiches by stacking reheated chicken slices on bread and covering with hot chicken gravy.

Wraps

Shredded lettuce, cold chicken and ranch dressing rolled up in a tortilla makes a delicious sandwich wrap to put into your lunchbox.

Pot pie

A chicken pot pie is an excellent way to use of leftovers and extend chicken into an additional meal. Creamed chicken and vegetables covered with a pastry crust and served piping hot from the oven is an irresistible treat.

Finger snack

Cold chicken dipped in honey mustard or ranch dressing is a delicious and nutritious after school snack, or to serve when watching television in the evening.

If you are health conscious, opting to serve chicken as your main dinner entrée several times a week, as opposed to red meat, you are bound to have leftovers that can be used in a variety of recipes. These are just a few of the myriad ways to use leftover chicken.  Roll your cursor over the phrase “leftover chicken” for fifty chicken recipes.

Dangers of Eating Raw Horseradish

Most people wouldn’t consider a delicious condiment to be dangerous, but there are actually some mild dangers presented when eating raw horseradish. Horseradish is a plant in the same family as mustard and wasabi. The root is ground and combined with vinegar to create the popular and potent condiment used in dishes around the world. Horseradish roots and leaves have been used throughout history for both culinary and medicinal purposes. In medicine, it is used to treat a number of conditions such as urinary tract infections, kidney stones, bronchitis, some gallbladder issues, and joint pain. It can be taken orally for these conditions or, in some cases, applied directly to the skin for pain. There are some potential dangers when eating raw horseradish though.

Mustard oil

Anyone who has eaten horseradish sauce is familiar with its distinct pungency, which helps to make it a great condiment and cooking ingredient. The pungency is the result of the high concentration of mustard oil contained in the root. In general, for most people, horseradish is safe when consumed in food amounts or mixed with other ingredients. Problems arise when large amounts are consumed, or it is eaten plain and raw because this is when the mustard oil is the most undiluted. 

To begin with, mustard oil can be extremely irritating to mucus membranes like those in the mouth and throat. It can also irritate the eyes, nose, and cuticles like onions and garlic. It can also irritate the entire digestive system and even urinary tracts. It can then result in upset stomach, bloody vomiting and diarrhea. The mustard oil is highly condensed in raw horseradish.

If you suffer from a mustard oil allergy, stomach or intestinal ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease or any sort of digestive tract infection, the mustard oil can result in more severe symptoms and horseradish should not be consumed at all. Horseradish should also never be given to children under four years of age, much less raw horseradish. Their digestive tracts are more sensitive and the mustard oil can cause extreme digestive problems. When pregnant or nursing, horseradish should be consumed very minimally, again because of the mustard oil content.

Effects on the tyroid

Research has also indicated that horseradish can result in the slowing of the thyroid gland. If you suffer from hypothyroidism (an already under active thyroid) horseradish should be avoided. It also potentially interacts with the medicine used to treat hypothyroidism, making the active ingredients less effective.

Again, horseradish consumed in normal amounts in food and for medicinal purposes is not particularly dangerous. The benefits of eating small amounts of horseradish are many. Mustard oil contains glucosinolates, which are known for their cancer-fighting properties and ability to detoxify the liver. Horseradish is only harmful if consumed raw, in excess or if you have preexisting conditions where you should also be avoiding other spicy and strong foods. Eat with caution if you cannot handle food with a kick.

Advantages of Cooking with Dutch Ovens

The origin of the Dutch Oven is open to debate.  What we do know is that Americans have built their history around the Dutch Oven.  Paul Revere refined the Dutch Oven.  He is credited with making the flanged lid.

There are two types of Dutch oven.  The stove top or in the oven type, which is pretty enameled cast iron that can fit into your kitchen color scheme.  The second type is the outdoor Dutch oven, which can fit over a grill or a pit fire.  The campfire cast iron Dutch oven is the focus of this article.  You can take an outdoor Dutch oven to cook indoors, but you cannot take the indoor Dutch oven out of doors.  The following are advantages to cooking with Dutch ovens.

Advantage One:

A Dutch oven can be used outdoors either camping or in the backyard.  Those hot days of summer when it is so difficult to cook because of the heat, the Dutch oven can slow cook a complete meal outside. 

Advantage Two:

You can control the heat of a Dutch oven by following a formula. The formula is to place as many coals as diameter plus three (D + 3).   For example, if you have a sixteen inch oven, you would put 16 coals plus three – a total of 19 coals.  This  regulates the heat.  The heat will be 325 degrees.  Each additional coal adds 10-15 degrees to the heat. To lower the temperature,  you remove coals.  The formula for removal of coals to lower temperatures – one coal lowers it 10-15 degrees.

The placement of the coals is important.  Never place coals directly under the oven.  The coals should be placed evenly in a circle.  This allows the heat to be distributed evenly.

Advantage Three:

Even cooking of foods inside the Dutch oven.  You can add coals to the top of the lid to distribute the heat on both the bottom and top.  The coals should be placed in a circle on top of the flange.  The coals placement should allow four coals to be placed near the center of the lid.  Two coals should be placed on both sides of the handles.   Hint:  to make your meal look more appetitizing, brown your meats first in the Dutch oven before adding the rest of the ingredients.  

Advantage Four:

A Dutch oven is versatile.  You can make recipes that are generally unavailable when camping.  It can bake bread, or desserts.  It can slow cook all day to bring out the flavors of a stew or chili beans.

Dutch oven cooking makes food taste delicious.  Adding the Dutch oven to your outdoor eating experience, adds one more dimension in grill cooking.

A feast without a beast

Whether you are a vegetarian looking for some fresh ideas to serve your carnivorous guests, or you’re a carnivore trying to figure out how to prepare a special celebration feast for vegetarian friends, you’ll find this meal plan simple, delicious and satisfying. All of these items served together will offer your diners a delicious journey through varying tastes and textures that blend well together, and can be served buffet style, or in courses presented at the table, for an extra touch of fancy.

Here’s the menu plan:

Cheese Puffs
Creamy Winter Squash Soup
Green Salad with Raspberry Pesto Vinaigrette
Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
Rosemary & Chive Mashed Potatoes
Fruit Sorbet

Before seating your guests for dinner, start by serving them cheese puffs fresh out of the oven. If you’re serving alcohol with your celebration, a deeply chilled, crisp dry champagne, prosecco or cava offers just the right pairing for these simple, yet impressive hors d’oeuvre. Consider serving these festive, non-alcoholic sparkling drinks for children, or adults who don’t want alcohol.

Seat your guest with a cup or small bowl of savory, creamy soup made from deep orange winter squash. The variety of squash doesn’t matter, so always choose what’s most fresh at the time. Prepare ahead of time for this dish by baking the squash a day or two before you’re going to make the soup, or make the soup (including baking the squash) all at once, a day or two before you’re going to serve it, since it does take up oven time and you’ll already be using the oven for the cheese puffs and mushrooms on the day of your vegetarian feast.

The right dressing, applied in the right amount, tossed gently onto fresh, crisp greens until they are evenly coated in a thin layer of shimmering flavor is one of the easiest, tastiest salads you can serve. Nothing more than romaine lettuce, with a blend of other salad greens such as arugula, mustard and kale is needed when you’re serving up a multi-course feast. Family style service from one large bowl works as well as individual salad plates or bowls. Either way you serve the greens, don’t dress them until just before they’re going to be eaten, and don’t over do it on the dressing. Leave the extra dressing on the table in case you have guests that want their salad more heavily dressed.

Stuffed Portobello mushrooms can be made with almost any imagined stuffing a cook can come up with. They have a deep, hearty flavor that stands up well paired with red wines. Minced vegetables, nuts and herbs are a good choice for stuffing when you want to serve a starch side dish with this entree, as suggested here. However, you can also use a starchy stuffing, like potatoes, rice or quinoa, then serve the mushroom with a mixed vegetable side dish, like roasted roots or baked carrots with leeks and French tarragon butter. When shopping for Portobello mushrooms for this dish, be sure to look for caps that are as similar in size as possible, so they’ll cook more evenly. Make sure the cap is not broken anywhere so they’ll retain their own moisture as they cook, and hold together when served.

The bright, piney taste of rosemary combined with the fresh spark of chives give a twist to regular mashed or whipped potatoes, and they complement the vegetable and nut stuffed mushroom in a way that even traditional meat and potato eaters will appreciate. Gourmet mashed or whipped potatoes not only are simple to make, but very economical and they provide a lot of nutrition for those on a vegetarian diet, especially when combined with dairy. The preparation is just the same as your favorite mashed potato preparation, using finely minced, fresh rosemary and chive. Use a pastry bag and tip to serve the mashers when plating the meal before serving, to add more artistry to your presentation.

Gravy made from caramelized shallots or onions to drizzle over the mushroom and mashed potatoes can be made with a splash or two of dry cooking sherry or brandy to top the meal off with an added taste of rich flavor. Serve the gravy at the table to give your guests the option of using it or not.

When you’ve filled folks up with so much hearty, delicious food, it’s hard to imagine serving dessert as well. Keep things simple and light by serving fruit sorbet, and offer a dessert wine to complement the flavor of the sorbet.

A vegetarian feast such as this one might not even be recognized as such by some folks, especially if they already love mushrooms.

Mastering meat marinades

The use of marinades is about the easiest way to bring delicious flavors and succulence to food that, no matter how it is cooked, might otherwise be tasteless and dry.

When you master the skillful use of marinades and how they work, it is easy to gently add flavor to enhance your meat and vegetable dishes. Also, you will guarantee your reputation as a cook who understands the art of adding flavor to best advantage with the least possible addition of fat, oil, salt, or calories.

Marinades are cooked or uncooked liquids that share certain characteristics that flavor meat, poultry, fish, or vegetables before cooking. In addition to herbs and spices that flavor, most marinades include an acid ingredient  like wine, vinegar, or fruit juice that tenderizes and adds a certain brightness of flavor to the finished dish.

Additionally, marinades can contain a minimum amount of vegetable oil to moisturize and, in a sense, baste the dish as it cooks and eliminate the need for animal fat that can be trimmed away.

Tender and delicate foods, like seviche or chicken breast, require a much shorter time in the marinade than more robust and larger cuts of meat. For example, a scallop seviche only needs a few minutes in a light marinade of lemon juice, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes. After that, it begins to “cook” in the marinade and change texture as it “over cooks”.

Chicken breast, marinated no more than half an hour, is much more flavorful and succulent when included in sautés and stir fries.

A roast beef or leg of lamb will, not only stand up to a longer marinade, it will benefit from the extended chance to develop flavor and tenderness.

Specific recipes for certain dishes will include timing guidelines for cooking with marinaded ingredients; these, at best, are only guidelines to help you develop your own sense of how marinades work.

Some store-bought mixtures might be deemed,” okay”, but usually fail to compare with marinades thoughtfully made to your specific taste.

The easiest way to apply a marinade is simply put the marinade, with the product to be seasoned, into a food grade heavy plastic bag and store the whole thing in the refrigerator. Turn the package from time to time to be sure that the food is seasoned evenly throughout.

* Citrus Herb Marinade

This is a basic ” road map” recipe for an all-purpose marinade to help you develop a repertoire of especially flavored marinades that work best for you.

Especially nice for fish, poultry, meat, or large cuts of potatoes, carrots, or other vegetables.

Makes about ½ cup

Ingredients

¼ cup regular olive oil or a complementary nut oil

2 ½ Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 ½ Tbsp fresh orange juice, lime juice, or dry white wine

1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

1 ½ tsps dried thyme or your favorite complimentary herb for the particular dish

½ bay leaf, crumbled

1 clove garlic (or to your taste), minced

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper, black, white, or red flakes

Mix in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. This marinade can be used immediately or stored in the refrigerator up to one week.

Coupled with dry rubs and sauces to be used as condiments, marinades introduce a whole new way of flavoring food with interesting, healthy, and delicious results.