Sorry for the rather light posting lately, real world has been pretty busy which is a good thing. Anyway, on my way back from the office the other day I stopped at Trader Joe’s to pick up a couple of items and saw a bag of limes. I was planning on grilling some skirt steak for dinner and I really like using limes in my marinades so I grabbed them. For me there’s just something about limes that seems to say “sunshine.” Limes (and lime juice) give some really good citrusy flavor to cocktails, salsas, ceviche, Thai food, etc. See? Don’t you think of warm sun and sand when I mention those? Good thoughts for springtime in Chicago.
Marinating your steak, pork, or chicken adds flavor and can help tenderize some of the tougher cuts if you use some acid (vinegar, citrus) to start breaking down the muscle. I think citrus juice forms a good base for most marinades. There are many different spices and herbs you can add to create all sorts of great combos. It’s something you should experiment with, which makes grilling all the more fun. For example, you know what goes well with limes? Rum. So I added a little bit to this creation.
The longer you let the meat marinade the more flavor will be absorbed. Sure it’s always good to let it sit overnight in the refrigerator but that requires some planning doesn’t it? I normally don’t remember to start marinating the day before so I usually give it a few hours before grilling. Especially when busy!
Try to reserve a few ounces of the marinade for drizzling onto the finished meat. (Remember my chimichurri post about adding acid? No, well go back and read it then!) If you double the size of this marinade you could also make an easy warm sauce to go with the steak. Just take the excess marinade and simmer it in a pan, reducing by half. Add any juices from the resting meat. Once you have a blueprint for your own marinade you can mix and match to your tastes. Add some olive oil and you’ll have a sort of vinaigrette you can also use for dressing the finished product. As always, experiment and enjoy!
- 1 shallot, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 limes (for zest and juice)
- 1 Tbs cilantro, chopped
- 1 tsp coriander seeds (toasted, then pulverized in your mortar & pestle)
- 1 ½ tsp cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ C Goslings rum (or any dark rum)
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Taste, and adjust seasonings. Marinade meat for at least 2 hours.
Fire up the grill and cook to your desired tenderness.