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Let's Get Grilling

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Summer is official grilling season in the USA, and marinades can bump your technique up to the next level of flavor. Learn more about marinating to punch up your summer barbecues.

Marinade madness

Bland food is boring food. Marinade maximizes flavor, adding more complex tastes to tickle your taste buds. The bonus? Marinades make tough foods more tender.

Marinade is a liquid made for flavoring and tenderizing meat and vegetables. Most marinades are made with some acidic ingredient, like vinegar, juice or wine. Other ingredients usually include oil, like vegetable or olive oil, plus aromatics like onion, garlic or ginger, plus spices. Meat or vegetables are covered in marinade and placed in the refrigerator for several hours so the flavors can soak in.

Marinating food changes both its flavor and texture. Marinades work by coating and absorbing into meat or vegetables. The acidic ingredients in marinade help break down the structure of the tissues of meat or vegetables. This softens and tenderizes the food.

Marinade is the secret to juicy meat, but vegetarians don’t need to miss out. This burger recipe switches it up by swapping a massive mushroom for a patty of ground meat. Not a vegetarian? Give it a try for a satisfying meatless meal.

Mega marinated mushroom burger recipe

Makes 2 servings.

Ingredients

  • Marinade ingredients:
    • 2 large portabella mushrooms
    • ¼ cup soy sauce
    • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 4 cup red wine vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • Burger ingredients:
    • 2 slices Swiss or provolone cheese
    • 2 hamburger buns
    • red leaf lettuce
    • red onion, sliced
    • tomato, sliced

Instructions

Combine marinade ingredients well in a glass or plastic mixing bowl. Marinate mushrooms for 5 minutes. Grill using an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan or grilling machine for 5 minutes on each side of mushroom. Assemble burger, adding cheese or vegetables if you wish.

Make your own marinade

Creating your own marinades is a fun way to invent in the kitchen. Think about what flavors might mingle well together: soy sauce, pineapple juice, garlic and ginger? Olive oil, sun dried tomato bits, oregano and red wine vinegar? What combinations can you think of?

Grill safety

Grills are just like the stove in the kitchen. A grill is a cooking tool that gets very hot and can cause burns.

Adults should grill. Kids should not!

Keep away from a grill when it is in use. Play at least 10 feet away from a hot grill. Be careful not to throw balls or other toys toward a hot grill.

Have little brothers or sisters? Use sidewalk chalk to draw a boundary around the grill area. Teach them not to go in that space when the grill is hot.

Have pets? Keep them away from a hot grill to avoid accidents or injuries.

Never play with a grill, even if it isn’t hot. Never play with fire.

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