Thursday, August 15, 2013

Miso Marinade

Let's Stay Together by Al Green
I will have to give my sister, Brenda, credit for this recipe's song choice.  After explaining the idea I was going for - the idea of being together and getting to know one another - she came up with this song in less than 10 seconds.  The down side of the moment was that she started singing it to me - while we were doing a couple loads of laundry in our hotel's laundry room - which is about 8' X 10' - and we were sharing the space with one other hotel guest - and my sister didn't stop with a sound byte - she kept singing.  And singing.  She has a beautiful voice.  The laundry room had good acoustics.  Maybe I can't blame her.  Needless to say - we all got to know each other very well - that hotel guest and us - as they slyly "snuck" a photo of us which I'm sure was shared with all their friends, entitled something like "The Nutty Ladies in the Laundry Room"#getmeoutofhere.

I'm late in posting today because I attended my nephew's wedding this morning.
I realized how appropriate my recipe was this week - in light of the occasion and all.
I'm offering a marinade.  
Something I came up with after monkeying around in the kitchen.

Marinating meats and veggies is all about bringing two entities together and giving them a chance to sit and visit a spell - learn about each other and exchange ideas.
Getting married is like that - only it's for a much longer period of time than a few hours or overnight - let's hope!

Marinating meat allows you the most glorious advantage of taking a less expensive cut of meat and turning it into prime dinner fare.
The cheaper cuts tend to be the more dry cuts of meat.
They are leaner, yes, but can be tough to chew.
A marinade can change all that!
I love peeking down into that bag filled with flavors, just waiting for whatever is dropped down into it!

What is great about this particular recipe is that, although it has lots of asian flavors, it can be used for just about anything!  For example, I took a large flank steak and introduced it to this marinade and then used it in some quesadillas with cheddar cheese, avocado, sour cream, and a spicy pepper sauce - a decidedly mexican meal - and it was FABULOUS!  
Lots of "m-m-m-ms" going around the dinner table.  
M-m-m-ms are what chefs love to hear!

How I made this meal was - I put the steak into a gallon-size resealable storage bag with this marinade.  
I squeezed out as much air as I could and sealed it up and set to smooshing things around.
I put it in the fridge and let them have a conversation for about 8 - 10 hours.
About a half hour before I wanted to grill it, I pulled it our of the fridge and let the contents come to room temperature.
I fired up my grill and let it get searing hot then pulled the steak out of the bag and discarded the rest of the marinade.
With the grill super hot, I placed that flank steak on and let it get a good sear, leaving some very attractive marks on the steak.
Then I gave it about a quarter turn to get some of those marks to form a diamond.  Then I flipped it over and lowered the heat a bit and finished cooking that steak until it measured about 145 - 150 degrees internally.

I removed the steak from the grill and let it rest on a cutting board to keep the juices from running all over the place.  
Then I cut the meat across the grain on the diagonal into thin slices.  I heated those flour tortilla shells and filled them with the meat and other goodies and heated again in a skillet until the cheese got all melty.  Happy tummies, indeed, with the meat telling me all about its visit with the Miso Marinade.
Introduce some meat to this marinade soon and see what they have to tell you!

Miso Marinade
Printable Recipe Card
4 T. miso paste
4 T. tamari or soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 T. mirin or sake
1 T. grated fresh ginger
2 T. vegetable oil
handful of cilantro leaves, chopped

Combine all the ingredients in a large sealable plastic bag.  Seal and squish the ingredients around together until well mixed.  Add your meat and seal bag, forcing as much air out as possible.  Squeeze the marinade around, rubbing it into the meat.  Place in the fridge and let marinate for 2 hours to overnight.  Remove meat and discard marinade.  Prepare meat as desired.

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