Imagine you've just had a long day at work, and you're tired. You're hungry too, but you don't feel like stopping off at the grocery store, so you head straight home, take a raw pork chop out of the fridge and slap it in a pan.
Sounds boring and awful, right?
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Well, that's not necessarily the case. If you were forward-thinking enough to marinate that piece of meat before heading off to the office, you'd be fixing up a five-star supper. It's not nearly as time-consuming as it seems, either. All it takes is a few key ingredients from the pantry and an extra five minutes in the morning, and you could be setting yourself up for a mouthwatering meal at the end of the day.
Here's a list of great dinner ideas that benefit from a long bath in a gourmet marinade.
(The Comfort of Cooking)
Sweet & Sticky Chicken Marinade
Georgia at The Comfort of Cooking puts a tangy twist on dinner with her sweet and sticky marinade. After a few hours in the fridge with some honey, vinegar, soy and brown sugar, her chicken drumsticks go straight into the oven and onto the plate in less than an hour.
(She Makes and Bakes)
Korean Steak Marinade
Emily at She Makes and Bakes suggests her best friend's Korean flank steak recipe, marinated overnight in a blend of ginger, garlic, soy and spices. It makes a flavorful weeknight dinner, but Emily insists it's equally great when cooked over the campfire.
(The First Mess)
Balsamic Tofu Marinade
Put a fresh spin on your next salad with this balsamic tofu recipe from Laura at The First Mess. These slabs of soy soak up her garlicky, vinegary marinade extra fast, and they grill up even quicker. For this recipe (as well as Laura's time-saving tofu cooking tips), click here.
(Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice)
Peanut Butter Chicken Marinade
(The Primlani Kitchen)
Jamaican Jerk Chicken Marinade
"I won’t call my recipe traditional but it certainly is addictive," says Rashmi Primlani of The Primlani Kitchen. Her Jamaican jerk chicken marinates for 24 hours in a blend of chilies, spices and aromatics, imparting its savory flavors directly into the meat. Get the full recipe here.
Mayan-Spiced Mango Marinade
If you've ever eaten Argentinean cuisine, you're probably familiar with chimichurri sauce. Diane at Suburbia Unwrapped marinates her favorite cut of grass-fed beef in her favorite recipe, which includes ingredients such as lime, olive oil and freshly chopped herbs.
(The Comfort of Cooking)
Saucy Barbecue Marinade
Georgia at The Comfort of Cooking has another saucy recipe up her sleeve, and this time, she's all about barbecued chicken. She recommends letting the bird bathe for at least four hours in her tangy BBQ marinade before baking.
Cherry Tomato Marinade
Not a meat eater? Try this cherry tomato marinade from Alida Ryder at Simply Delicious. Once jarred in a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice and herbs, these juicy tomatoes stay fresh in the fridge for up to two weeks, and they taste great atop salads, cheeses and toasted breads. Learn how to make them here.
Herb and Pomegranate Marinade