Marinating is one of the easiest and quickest ways to flavor food. Poultry, fish, meats, and vegetables are like sponges, and they can easily absorb the marinade. Many marinades have tenderizing effects as well, which start the “cooking process”. You need to be very careful in determining the amount of time you marinate your food. For instance, the acid levels contained in fish often accelerate the cooking process. Therefore, you should only marinate fish for 1 our or less.

Ideally, a marinade helps to flavor, and not tenderize foods. Using anything acidic, like citrus or vinegar, softens the food, allowing it to absorb the flavors of the sauce. There are many different types of marinades: Mediterranean, spiced, herbed, citrus or any combination of ingredients you enjoy. There are no rules for making a marinade. You can use whatever ingredients you have in your pantry. Combine them, add the food, and let the flavors blend. 

This marinade was superb. The cumin, coriander, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper added a savory, yet delicate aroma to the salmon. Marinating is the easy part; cooking the salmon is a little more tricky.  When cooking it on the grill, I usually time it  for 2-3 minutes each side, check the consistency, then alter the cooking time as needed.

This recipe is courtesy of Fine Cooking. It will serve 4 people who will thoroughly enjoy this wonderful marinade. 

Ingredients for Cumin-Orange-Honey Marinade

4 (1/2 lb.) center cut pieces of salmon
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/3 cup sherry vinegar
1/4 cup honey
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
Pinch cayenne pepper

Today’s hint: When marinating fish, let it sit for 30 minutes to one hour. If it marinates any longer, the flesh may start to “cook” and go mushy. This is especially true when using any citrus in your marinade.

Place garlic in the bowl of a mortar and pestle. 

Sprinkle kosher salt (about 1/2 tsp.) over garlic.

Mash with a pestle until a paste forms.

Honey Salmon garlic paste

Note: if you do not have a mortar and pestle, use the flat part of a knife to mash it down to a paste.

Whisk the garlic paste with the rest of the ingredients.

Place salmon in marinade and let it marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour at room temperature.

Honey Salmon marinade

Place salmon on grill for 2-3 minutes each side for medium-rare. Well-done fish requires one or two minutes more. 

*Cooking time will also vary according to the thickness of the salmon.

It’s that simple!

hybiscus flower

As all cooks know, it takes much practice to make the perfect dish. The recipe I am about to share with you is an exception…I prepared it for the first time the other day and it came out perfectly!

My niece, Leslie, is a wonderful cook and and part of my Thanksgiving cooking team. She gave me this recipe which I will now share with all of you.

She made this steak for her annual New Years Eve party and told me it was a big success.

She was right! This marinade gives the steak a bold and unique flavor that leaves you wanting “just a little more”.

This bourbon steak recipe is courtesy of William-Sonoma. I made a few changes to make it “user friendly”.

You are going to love this one!

Ingredients for the Bourbon Steak

1/2 cup of bourbon


1/2 cup brown sugar


1/3 cup of soy sauce


2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce


1/2 tsp. tabasco sauce


1 tbs. dijon mustard


1 tsp. cornstarch


3 pounds of skirt steak (I used more than that for company)

In a large plastic bag, combine bourbon, brown sugar, soy sauce, Worcestershire, tabasco, dijon mustard and cornstarch. Close the bag and shake until all the ingredients have combined.

Add the skirt steak to the plastic bag. Do not seal bag. Twist the top of the bag until the ingredients have lifted to the top. Fold down top and place rubber band around the top to seal it.

Bourbon Steak marinade

Let the skirt steaks marinate for 2-3 hours or overnight.

Preheat cast iron grill (or grill pan) with 2 tbsp of olive oil. When hot, place skirt steaks on grill pan.

Bourbon Steak grill

Cook 3-4 minutes each side for medium-rare, or until cooked to your liking. Remember, the steaks will continue to cook when you take them off the heat so allow time for that too.

Bourbon Steak grill lines

Transfer steaks to a cutting board and let them rest for 5 minutes.

Cut steaks into thin slices, or serve them individually.

It’s that simple!


I always thought that Chimichurri was a marinade made with cilantro. Because I am not a fan of cilantro, it was something I never considered.

I came across this recipe as I was searching for something novel to prepare  for dinner.

The ingredients were appealing to me, so I thought I would give it a try. I was skeptical at first, which was why I decided to use it as a sauce on the side and not as a marinade. 

I was pleasantly surprised and thought it was definitely blog-worthy. I am happy to be sharing this with you and I really think you will love it too!

Chimichurri is very similar to a pesto sauce. There are many varieties (some do use cilantro) and this version is a combination of parsley, oregano, garlic, oil and vinegar. You can even add a little bit of chili pepper or red pepper flakes. 

Although it is a marinade  commonly used on steak, you can use it on poultry or fish. I am definitely going to try it that way as well!

Ingredients for the Chimichurri

1 bunch of flat leaf parsley
8 cloves of garlic, minced
3/4 cup of good extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon wedge
1 tbsp. diced red onion
1 tbsp. dried oregano or 4 sprigs fresh, chopped
1 tsp black pepper 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

Pulse parsley in food processor to chop.

Add remaining ingredients to the food processor and blend.

IMG_1642

You can separate the sauce, half for cooking and half to place on steaks afterward. I choose to cook the steaks with my own ingredients, then place the sauce on the side when I served it.

Ingredients for the Steak

2 or 3 skirt steaks

Set oven to broil.

1/2 tbsp. onion powder
1/2 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 tbsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Mix ingredients together and rub onto both sides of steak.

IMG_1647

Place steak in oven for 5 minutes each side.

Be careful. Try to judge how thick your steaks are. If they are thin, set your timer for 4 minutes each side.

If after 5 minutes each side is too rare for you, then set your timer for 1-minute increments, until they are cooked to your preference. Remember, they will continue to cook after you take them out of the oven!

Simply delicious!

It’s that simple!