Sunday, April 8, 2012

Herbal Marinade for Easter Lamb #GardenCuizine

Herbal Marinade
Delicious for Lamb l'Agnello 

This marinade recipe adds to the aroma of Italian flavors for lamb at Pasqua, Easter. The recipe was inspired from the cookbook, "Italian Family Cooking" Like Mama Used to Make by Anne Casale. We pretty much use the recipe as she suggests, but reduce the salt by more than half, and added more dried rosemary.


1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (reserve the lemon zest for use in other recipes)

1/4 cup olive oil

1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 Tablespoon minced garlic

2 Tablespoons fresh mint, minced

1 Tablespoon crumbled dried rosemary

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

Putting it all together
Combine all the ingredients. A whisk or spoon works well to give it a stir.

For Lamb: Place your meat in a large Zip-lock plastic baggie and add the marinade. Place in your refrigerator and let the lamb marinate overnight. Give the baggie a turn before going to bed. In the morning your lamb will be ready for cooking!

For Chicken: Follow the same procedure. You may want to cut back on the amount of rosemary used.
  • Chicken does not need to soak in the marinade as long either. Chicken can be marinated for whatever is convenient for you. Less than 6 hours is fine. 
What about Fish?
  • Due to the tenderness of fish and the strength of the natural acidity in lemon juice, we prefer not to use acid-based marinades for fish. We generally bake, broil or grill our fish using a small amount of olive oil and seasonings and no marinade at all. 
Why do people marinate fish in lemon juice?
The answer should not be to neutralize odor, although this is true. It would be best to try and purchase fresh fish, without any fishy odor. Ask to smell fish before you buy it. Fish is naturally tender, the reason to marinate it in lemon juice should be for lemony flavor!  

Decomposing fish is what causes an odor. Muscle in fish contains a chemical substance called trimethylamine oxide (TMAO) that breaks down when fish decomposes creating aromatic amines called trimethylamine and dimethylamine. These amines promote the anaerobic growth of bacteria creating a "fishy" smell.

Related Links:
Why do Fish Smell?

the photo I took to accompany this post seems to be forever stuck in my iphone! Whenever I figure out how to get it transferred, I'll add it to this GardenCuizine blog post!

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