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Jim Tarantino
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Equipment for Marinating

When it comes to equipment, I can count on a single hand the number of pieces you need to start marinating. What is imperative is that every surface a marinade contacts must be non-reactive metal; that is, there can be no aluminum foil, pots, utensils, or containers which will interact with the marinade's acid. You'll have aluminum and acid interacting instead of flavor penetration.

The single appliance that I would have a hard time parting with is a blender. A blender will grind spices, chop shallots, garlic, and ginger, and emulsify the oil in marinades in just one pass. You also need an inexpensive grater for citrus peel and ginger, a glass or wooden reamer for citrus, steel measuring spoons, and glass measuring cups. Marinades are user friendly and easy on your budget.

Avoid soft plastic or rubber containers that pick up odors and can be easily stained. My favorite marinating containers are one gallon zip-lock plastic bags, which can hold up to one pound of food and two to three cups of marinade. I suggest that you use them only once. For bigger cuts of meat, such as briskets, roasts, and whole turkey breasts, I use larger plastic oven bags. These bags travel better and, since they're disposable, you never have to worry about washing them or remembering to bring them back from a potluck dinner.

Jim Tarentino recreates marinades and flavoring pastes from all over the world, and provides instructions for preparing delicious seafood, poultry, meat, vegetables, and cheese - indoors and out. You can grill, steam, saute, broil, and bake with confidence that the marinade will provide the moisture and flavor you need without the added fat. Just assemble the marinade and leave your food in the refrigerator to soak up the flavors while you go to work. Then at dinnertime, it's a simple matter of cooking up these tenderized, flavor-filled foods.

Jim Tarentino is the author of Sorbets! For the past few years, he has prepared his outstanding recipes in Philadelphia's "The Book and Cook" festival.

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