An All-Pepper Marinade With a Kick

poblanos

I like a lot of flavor and a lot of spice in my food.  I typically believe the hotter, the better.  When it comes to marinades, it’s hard to find one that has big flavor without having a lot of sugar, salt and oil.  I kept thinking that there has to be a better way to make a marinade out of great fresh ingredients, that has spice but not all the sugar and fat. So I started to play around with peppers.  To me peppers are the perfect vegetable.  They are versatile: great in salads, as a side dish vegetable (roasted, or sautéed), an accompaniment to a protein and even as a main dish (stuffed).  And as flavoring agents: jalapeños which I love for spice and dried peppers make for wonderful sauces, braises and stews. And they are healthy: a good source of Thiamin, Niacin, Folate, Magnesium and Copper, Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6 and more.

I used a bunch of fresh peppers (jalapeños, pasillas, anaheims) and puree them in the food processor with other spices like cilantro, garlic, scallions, and a little olive oil and lime juice to provide the acidity needed to break down the proteins…which is basically how a marinade softens and flavors meats.  I added very little oil and no sugar.  The result was so flavorful.  I use it as both a marinade and a salsa in the same dish.  If you don’t like food as spicy as I do, you can temper the recipe by using fewer jalapeños.

green sauce in cuisinart

I have used this beautifully green marinade on chicken breasts, fish, and flank steak. My favorite is using it on flank steak. I usually serve it with corn tortillas. This recipe calls for 2 lbs of flank steak. It can serve 4-8 people depending on serving sizes. I portion out 4-5 oz for my serving so I do not overdo it with the calories. I use half the marinade to tenderize and flavor the meat before grilling. I serve the steak with grilled onions and red peppers and serve with corn tortillas and use the remaining marinade to top off the tortillas. If you want to make a big batch, this freezes well.

Pepper Lime Cilantro Marinade: (makes 3.5 cups of marinade)

4 poblano peppers – stem removed, cut into big chunks, seeds regarded

4 jalapeño peppers — stems removed, sliced.  I use the whole pepper with seeds for extra spice. If you want it more mild, discard seeds and white pith and perhaps only use 1-3 peppers, depending on your palate

3 tablespoons of olive oil

Juice of two limes

Half a bunch of cilantro

4 scallions

I teaspoon of coriander seeds

1 teaspoon of black peppercorns

1 clove of garlic

1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt

Mix all ingredients in a food processor.  Process for 2-3 minutes.  Marinade will be finely chopped.  It will not be  a puree.

 

 

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