BB: What creative cooking techniques can you share with us to maintain a healthy, but fulfilling diet?
I really like using rubs and marinades to inject a rich flavor into meats and fish without adding a lot of fat and calories. The key is knowing when to use each.
A marinade is a solution that’s usually comprised of oil, herbs and/or spices and acidity, such as lemon juice, orange juice or vinegar. It’s perfect for lean cuts of meat such as chicken breasts, pork loin, lamb loin, and turkey cutlets. Timing for marinades varies depending on the type meat and acidity of the marinade. For example, you shouldn’t marinade fish or shrimp more than 30 minutes because of its delicate proteins. It’s the same principal that makes ceviche safe to eat even though heat isn’t applied. It cooks from the acidity of the marinade. For chicken or pork (white meat), your best marinade window is 4-12 hours. For beef or lamb, you can marinate for 12 hours of more.
A rub is a combination of spices and herbs with seasonings like salt, pepper and sugar applied to exterior of meat and is dry. It’s typically used on fish or a muscle meat, like chicken thighs and breasts and beef steaks and ribs, so it’s fantastic for barbecue. When you leave it on extended time, the flavor permeates to the inside of the meat. It’s not just about making it salty, but infusing robustness. Rubs are also great for smoking meat for an extended period of time at a lower heat. This allows the flavors to meld.