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Cooking Class: Marinating

Cooking Class: Marinating

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Whether it's a short dip or a long soak, this method enhances a variety of foods.

Marinating is a versatile and indispensable technique. It boosts the flavor of lean cuts of meat and also works wonders with vegetables and fruits. It doesn't require special equipment and involves simple steps to produce unfussy-but delicious-food.

Marinating, defined
It refers to soaking food (usually meat) in a flavorful liquid called a marinade. Marinating is a technique that's been around at least since the Renaissance, when acidic mixtures were commonly used to help preserve foods.

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What marinating does
Ideally a marinade flavors, not tenderizes, foods. Though marinades are often purported to have tenderizing effects, the ingredients only permeate the surface of food and have little effect on the interior.

Best bets for marinating
Small or thin cuts of meat and poultry are generally good candidates. Larger cuts, such as roasts, may not benefit since they offer less surface area. Tender vegetables, such as mushrooms, zucchini, yellow squash, and eggplant, absorb flavor from marinades and taste especially good grilled. A brief stint works well for fish and shellfish, and it's beneficial, too, for some tender fruits, such as berries, orange sections, and melons. (When it's fruit that is being marinated, the technique is called "macerating.")

Marinade ingredients
Many marinades include an acidic element, such as citrus juice or vinegar, which boosts flavor and may tenderize the surface proteins of meat. Oil is another common constituent, as it coats food, carries flavor, and helps food stay moist. Robust ingredients such as garlic, soy sauce, and Asian fish sauce enhance the savory qualities of meats and fish.

Types of marinades
Perhaps the most common is the kind used to flavor fish or meat that is to be grilled or sautéed. Because these cooking methods only heat the meat to about 135 to 165 degrees, well below the boiling point of alcohol, these marinades should not contain wine, or the meat will taste of alcohol.

Wine is fine, however, for a second kind of marinade, one used for stews and braises, because these dishes are cooked for a prolonged period at a temperature that boils off the alcohol and eliminates any harsh flavor.

A third kind of marinade includes those that "cook" raw foods, usually seafood (as in the popular Latin dish seviche). Lime and/or lemon juice turns the flesh opaque and firm so it appears "cooked," but the food is actually still raw.

A fourth category of marinade is used to marinate cooked fish in a vinegar-based mixture to impart more subtle flavors. (This type of dish is called escabèche.)

Because many marinades are acidic, it's best to soak food in a nonreactive container like those made of glass, ceramic, plastic, or stainless steel. Reactive metals such as aluminum or copper will respond to acids by discoloring the food and giving it a metallic taste. For easy cleanup, a zip-top plastic bag works well.

Safety concerns
Always marinate meat and fish in the refrigerator. You can use some of the marinade for basting after removing the meat or fish from it only if you bring the marinade to a boil and cook for five minutes to kill any bacteria.

Although the acid in a marinade appears to "cook" raw fish in seviche, it doesn't eliminate bacteria the same way cooking with heat does. When marinating fish that won't be cooked, make sure the fish is sushi-grade, or frozen-at-sea (FAS) fish; both are safe for healthy adults to consume raw.

Soak time
The length of time you marinate food depends on both the food and the marinade. Delicate fish, shellfish, and fruit usually soak for a shorter period of time (from 20 minutes to a few hours), while meats can go longer (up to a day or two). If, however, meat is soaking in a highly acidic marinade, its texture may turn grainy if soaked too long (more than a couple of hours, in most cases).

Season last
For our recipes that include added salt, we sprinkle it on after food is cooked instead of including salt in the marinade. That way, none of the salt is lost when the marinade is discarded. Seasoning after the food is cooked also allows the small amount of salt we use to have a bigger impact on the overall taste.

Live Virtual Cooking Classes

You have the opportunity to learn from the professionals how to make cooking easy and enjoyable.

Do it all right in the privacy of your own kitchen! Invite others to join (via zoom) and have a full class of family and friends cooking with you!

Classes are great for Virtual:

  1. Date Night!
  2. Girls Night In!
  3. Happy Hour!
  4. Meet-up (Meet-in)
  5. Groups and Organizations
  6. Virtual Team Building


LUBBOCK/LEVELLAND – The Culinary Arts Program at South Plains College Lubbock Center and the Levelland campus will offer community cooking classes for fall 2019. The classes cost $40 per person and all held on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon.

On Sept. 14, SPC Lubbock Center will offer Tailgate 101. It is the most wonderful time of the year, Football Tailgate season. In this class, instructors Chef Patrick Ramsey and Chef Natalie Osuna will share some cost effective and easy to prepare items for party guests. The advantages of marinating and brining for slow cooking or smoking, picking the right meats for the job and proper safety as well as sanitation tips for hours of outdoor fun will be the covered.

On Sept. 21, SPC Lubbock Center will offer Fresh Pasta. Learn the joys of making pasta from scratch. Participants will learn how to make fresh pasta, proper rolling out methods and how to cut into fresh fettuccini noodles. The instructors, Chef Ramsey and Chef Cundiff, will pair the scratch made pasta with amazing recipes that they will prepare for the class. The art of pasta making is a skill that should be passed down to future generations.

On Oct. 12, Great Western Dining on the Levelland campus will host the same Fresh Pasta class with Chef Ramsey and Chef Osuna.

Also on Oct. 12, the SPC Lubbock Center will offer Halloween Cookies for children. The class is limited to 10 participants. Join the SPC Culinary team for a fun filled Halloween-themed parent and child cookie decorating class. In the class, participants will roll out their own dough, cut out cookie shapes, bake and decorate six sugar cookies to take home. The class is designed for one parent and one child ages 7 to 12. The parent is required to stay and work with the child. The instructors will be Chef Sarah Reid and Chef Cundiff.

On Oct. 26, the SPC Lubbock Center will offer Comfort Food. The weather is getting to that “oh so chilly” temperature that West Texans always look forward to annually. During the fall season, Comfort Food is what the body craves! Join the SPC Culinary team for a night of sweet West Texas Comfort that is sure to satisfy and warm bellies. The instructors, Chef Ramsey and Chef Osuna, will share recipes that will become fall favorites year after year.

On Nov. 2, to help take the stress out of making a pie for the holiday, the SPC Team will teach participants how to bake two different pies in one course. By the end of the class, patrons will learn how to make a caramel apple pie with crumb topping and a pecan pie that are sure to please family and friends. The instructors will be Chef Reid and Chef Osuna.

The last community cooking class will be offered on Nov. 9 on preparing the Perfect Turkey and Trimmings. Students will learn two different methods of preparation on how to prepare a turkey from scratch and how to properly carve the bird. A recipe for fresh cranberry sauce (no can shapes here) and a traditional holiday stuffing will be shared with the participants. The instructors will be Chef Ramsey and Chef Cundiff.

All cooking tools, utensils, supplies and ingredients will be provided. A recipe booklet and instruction will be given to participants in a special take home folder.

Participants must wear closed toe or non-porous shoes. (No fabric mesh tennis shoes because hot oils can drip into these shoes and cause burns.) It is recommended that students wear shirts with at least short sleeves and no exposed underarms.

Welcome to Paul’s Cookbook!

At Fourk and Citizen Vine I often I get asked for recipes and techniques on how certain dishes are prepared. I LOVE teaching people new things especially how to make a delicious dish for someone they care about. In that spirit, I want to welcome you to Paul’s Cookbook Cooking Classes. These will be held twice a month in an intimate setting… at my own home! The classes will be limited to just 12 guests and will kick off with a welcome appetizer and glass of bubbles. I will provide some light instruction on how the appetizer is made and then we will start cooking by making a second and third course together. Many of these recipes will be ones that I’ve created for Fourk and Citizen Vine. Wine will be provided during the duration of the class.

Participants of Paul’s Cookbook will receive all the recipes they learn, both a physical copy and electronic copies that will be emailed to you. You will also receive a monthly newsletter with new recipes, restaurant reviews, tips and tricks and whatever else in on my mind! As a former participant you can also feel free to email me any cooking questions you have, and I’ll do my best to respond asap!

Classes are $85 per person. Classes will run on avg 3 hours and feature lots of yummy wine and dedicated instruction finished with a casual sit-down dinner where we eat all the delicious dishes you prepared!

Online Cooking Class - Fresh Flavors of Mexico

Make a gourmet Mexican feast by hand at home in this online cooking class with Chef Mel.

Mexican food is famous for its bright, bold flavors and fresh ingredients — and you don't need to board a plane to enjoy it! In this virtual cooking class with Chef Mel, you will learn how to create three authentic Mexican recipes in the comfort of your home. Your meal features fish tacos made with healthy, spice-crusted fish, homemade mango salsa and avocado-cilantro sauce. No Mexican meal is complete without margaritas, which Chef Mel will also teach you how to make using mango and no added sugar.

  • Cooking class is fully interactive.
  • Chef accompanies you throughout the entire process.
  • Ask as many questions as you want!
  • Order ingredients online and have them delivered to your door.

Fish Tacos With Mango Salsa

Avocado Cilantro Sauce

Mango Margaritas

  • Recipes Recipe links are sent in your booking confirmation.
  • Ingredients Ingredients can be adapted for dietary restrictions or lack of availability and can be delivered by your preferred local grocer with the link below.
  • Technology Connect with the chef using Zoom on your computer, tablet or mobile device.
  • Class Participation Chime in with questions through audio or chat. Use of video is optional.
  • Class Size Public class sizes are between 4 to 20 connections to provide an opportunity for all guests to participate and ask questions. Private classes can accommodate up to 498 guests.
  • Event Duration 75 minutes
  • Labels Couples, Fun, Group, Mexican, Pescatarian


White-fleshed mild fish such as cod, tilapia, mahi mahi or snapper
Red onion
Red bell pepper
Corn, flour or gluten-free tortillas
Chili powder
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Orange liquor such as Cointreau or Triple Sec

Kitchen Equipment

Sauté Pan
Cutting Board
Chef's Knife
Measuring spoons and cups
Mixing bowls

You Keep Your Butter in the Fridge

In general, the impulse to refrigerate food is a good one. Cooler temperatures slow the growth of bacteria that can spoil your food or make you sick. Why not refrigerate everything?

Not so fast. First of all, it isn't necessary. Temperature is only one of six factors to contribute to the growth of bacteria. Moisture and protein are two others bacteria need an adequate supply of both in order to reproduce.

And while butter is considered a high-moisture food, it contains very little protein. So leaving a stick of butter out at room temperature for even a week will not cause it to spoil or make you sick. You have to guard against rancidity, which is caused by oxygen and light, but an opaque butter dish will take care of that. Which means you won't have to struggle to spread butter on your toast ever again.

The right way: Fearlessly store your butter on the counter in an opaque butter dish with a lid.

Marinating meats

Marinating is a great way to tenderize a cheaper, but tougher cut of meat while infusing it with flavor.

Left-over beer (as long as it doesn’t contain any saliva) is your best friend when it comes to marinating. It goes especially well with chicken. I remember making several zipbags of beer marinade for chicken when i was studying in Paris, where beef was too expensive because of the weak dollar and the beer was, of course, amazing. Without further ado, here are the backbones of my white meat and red meat marinades:

white meat: light liquid and/or an acidic liquid, veg oil, possibly a paste, an onion variety, garlic, salt+pepper

red/white meat: dark liquid , an acid liquid, veg oil, possibly a paste, an onion variety, garlic, salt+pepper (if soy sauce isn’t involved)

l ight liquid = light beer, white wine, champagne, seltzer, light fizzy drinks, yogurt
dark liquid = soy sauce, red wine, dark fizzy drinks

Of course, for each of these marinades, i always have variations and additions, which would be virtually any spice, herb, and/or citrus.

The basic premise of a marinade is to use a liquid to break the protein bonds that make meat tough and add flavor via vegetables, spices, and herbs. Liquids that can do the job would be any kind of acid and fizzy liquid. The acid is a proven strategy, but i’m not sure about the fizzy liquid, to be honest. I just sort of stumbled upon that one through experimenting. All i know is that it works, and i guess that’s all that really matters. And the yogurt works because it’s acidic. Yogurt marinades are common in Indian cuisine.

Marinades are easy because all you need to do is chop up your ingredients, throw them in a zipbag along with spices/herbs, throw in the meat, and submerge it in a liquid. Then all you gotta do is zip it, shake it up, maybe squeeze the meat here and there, distribute the ingredients evenly, and throw it in the fridge and let sit overnight, or better yet, for a few days. You can do your marinade-bags ahead of time and pull one out whenever you’re ready to cook (just keep in mind that although marinated meat, as long as the meat was fresh to begin with, does last longer than unseasoned meat, a few days is still the maximum fridge life). You can also freeze the meat in its marinade, and on the day you’re planning on having it, all you have to do is move it to the fridge before you go to class, and by dinnertime, it should be thawed and ready to go.

Also, an important difference between marinated white meats and red meats is that the former should not be cooked in its marinate while the latter could. The reason for that is white meat…particles? (i totally don’t know the chemistry behind this) escape from the meat during the marinating process, and when the liquid is heated, those particles cook and turn into disgusting, visible flecks of white meat goo. (God, somebody help me out here.) Red meats, on the other hand, cook very nicely in their own marinade. I’m sure it has something to do with the fundamental difference in the chemical structure of white meat and that of red meat i just don’t know what the difference is, and if somebody could enlighten me, i’d really appreciate it. Anyway, here are some of my marinade recipes:

5 Useful Reason Why Marinade Recipes Works

Probably the number one reason to use marinade recipes is for the flavor. Your freedom to choose ingredients that suit your taste, makes it easy (see reason number 3) to customize the flavor.

The flavor comes from all of the ingredients and can vary greatly. But, the choices of herbs, seasonings and spices are limitless when you consider the possible combinations.

Marinade recipes do not actually tenderize the meat. But, the acid in the marinade will chemically alter the muscle fibers, giving it that effect. Since acids can be vinegar, wine, beer, lemon juice, lime juice, etc., they also have a great influence on the flavor (see reason number 1).

This tenderization effect can also be caused by enzymes found in some foods. As with acids, the muscle fibers are denatured (broken down) by the enzymes, too. These enzymes are in foods such as raw onion, fresh ginger, pineapple, and green papaya.

Another even more powerful form of "tenderization" comes from fermented milk products like yogurt and buttermilk. It is the bacteria in them, with their digestive qualities, that acts upon the meat to denature it. Meat seems to stay moister when these are used.

Marinade recipes are simple in that they only contain an acid, oil, and seasonings. OK. maybe some recipes can get pretty long with all of their ingredients (seasonings, spices and such). Some people do tend to go overboard (like some BBQ rub recipes).

But, it is still very straightforward. Here is an example of a basic marinade recipe:

1 packet of Italian salad dressing

Blend all of the ingredients together and add the meat. Use a glass or non-aluminum bowl to prevent discoloration. All surfaces of the meat must come in contact with the marinade. So, turn the meat every 30 minutes. You might, however, rather use a zipped plastic bag. This will allow all surfaces of the meat to be in contact with the marinade at the same time. You will probably use less marinade, too.

Marinating times vary from a few minutes, to 24 hours. A combination of factors figure into how long the marinating should last. Type of meat, size of the meat, delicateness, strength of the acid, and temperature are some things to consider.

Small pieces of fish in lime juice at room temperature would only need a few minutes to marinate. A 10 pound beef brisket in soy sauce in the refrigerator might need to marinate overnight or longer.

When meat is flame cooked at high temperature, cancer-causing agents called Heterocyclic Amines (HCAs) can be produced. You may have seen it in the news at different times over the last few years. The use of marinades may actually discourage the formation of HCAs on char-grilled meats.

Of course you still have to be careful and follow some basic food safety practices when using marinade recipes, too. Clean surfaces thoroughly and avoid excess contamination. Throw out any leftover marinade that has come into contact with raw meat. And always marinate in the refrigerator.

5. It's Been Done for Centuries

In ancient times people tried different ways to preserve meat. If you remember from History class, refrigerators didn't work back then (no place to plug them in).

They tried salt, sun and other ways of drying the meat. They tried oils, and maybe even accidentally, acids of different types. People started using spices, (probably also accidentally), to improve the flavor. Worcestershire sauce is one of the results of those early attempts to preserve foods.

Today, marinade recipes are fairly standard (acid, oil, seasonings). But that's far from saying "they're all alike". You have the power to make them taste the way you want. Delete, add, or adjust ingredients to suit your own taste. You will get better with practice (you really will). Take the benefit of all those centuries of experimentation and try it. Get yourself another drink and create a marinade.

If You're Not Marinating Vegetables After Cooking Them, What Even Are You Doing?

I want my weeknight dinners to be easy. I want my dinners with friends to be easy. Essentially, I want to feel calm, cool, and collected anytime I bring a plate or platter of food to a table of hungry diners. Radical, I know. And in Paul Kahan&aposs new cookbook Cooking for Good Times, that&aposs the point.

Throughout the book, the chef details 13 tenets, each with a dedicated chapter, for dinner party home-runs (e.g. "Make Some Grains," "Braise a Pork Shoulder"). Most of these chapters start with a base recipe that you&aposll nearly have memorized by the second time you&aposve made it. And each of these recipes is delicious as prepared, with tricks that&aposll make you wonder why everyone doesn&apost cook this way every night of the week. But then those base recipes are followed by a number of fully composed dishes that elevate the base into something extraordinary.

For example: In the chapter "Roast Some Roots," Kahan suggests pan-searing root vegetables�ts, turnips, sweet potatoes, or any other root you like𠅊nd then roasting them in the oven with herbs until fork-tender. The base recipe then instructs you to toss those roasted roots into a marinade of citrus or vinegar, chile flakes, honey, and oil. After that you can either eat the roasted vegetables, thinking of the marinade as a dressing continue with one of the recipes that follow or toss those marinating veg into the fridge for up to five days, during which time they&aposll soak up all those flavors.

A big batch of roasted, halved sweet potatoes can be transformed into curry, soup, and even smoothies.

My favorite recipe suggestion instructs you to make a massaged kale salad and then let it, too, marinate in its Parmesan and garlic dressing for anywhere from 2 to 24 hours. When you&aposre ready to eat—whether with friends or all by your one and only—you char the roasted, marinated roots in a pan, then char the kale in the same pan. The dressings/marinades on each make sure that the roots and leaves develop color (and texture) quickly. You&aposll empty the pan onto a platter of torn burrata or mozzarella and drizzle the whole thing with a nutty vinaigrette.

With all the make-ahead elements of the dish made ahead, it literally takes 8 minutes to get from stovetop to table. Serve it to guests at a dinner party and they&aposll think you&aposre a genius. Serve it to yourself on a Tuesday night and you&aposll feel fancy but no more tired for the effort.

On a recent weeknight, inspired by Kahan&aposs laissez-faire approach, I roasted sweet potatoes because my farmers&apos market was out of beets. I also used walnuts instead of hazelnuts (don&apost like &aposem), and curly kale instead of Tuscan (can&apost win &aposem all). The dish was still a revelation. While eating it, I vowed that it would be on my Thanksgiving menu this year. And that it would be on my dinner menu again next week𠅊nd probably the week after that. Good times, indeed.

Watch the video: Σνίτσελ κοτόπουλο..αλλιώς!!! χωρίς αυγό!!! Ιφιγένεια Γ. (June 2022).


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