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Simple Cooking: Ginger Lover's Steak Marinade with Whiskey and Jalapeno

By Caitlin Klein in Food on Aug 31, 2011 7:00PM

Back off, red hair enthusiasts. We’re talking about real fresh ginger today. If your regular steak marinade or seasoning is boring you, we have your cure right here, lover. This ginger and whiskey marinade goes especially well on steak, but could be used on poultry or other meats too. Control the heat by adding more or less jalapeno to your taste.

If you’ve never cooked with ginger before, it can be intimidating. The part you cook with is called a rhizome (and if you can get over the fact that you’re eating something called a rhizome, congratulations). Its tough skin and rootlike appearance can befuddle newcomers.

The best way we’ve found to cut ginger is to use a very sharp paring knife to cut the flesh free from the woody-feeling skin. Some people use vegetable peelers. We tried that once and ended up with a bloody finger, so proceed carefully. Human blood is not an ingredient in this week’s marinade (maybe next week). Once you have all the skin removed, you can cube, julienne, mince, or grate your ginger and add it to just about anything to give it a new zip.

Chicagoist’s Ginger Lover’s Marinade with Whiskey and Jalapeno

1 large ginger root, peeled and cubed
1 jalapeno (more or less), seeds optional, diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
Zest and juice of 1 small lime
1 Tablespoon whiskey
Olive oil

In a blender or food processor, puree the ginger root, japaleno, garlic cloves, salt, sugar, lime zest, lime juice, and whiskey. Slowly add olive oil, one teaspoon at a time, until the marinade emulsifies and the texture is smooth. Occasionally scrape the sides of the blender or food processor with a spatula.

Marinate steaks for up to 2 hours. We basted extra marinade onto our steak while it grilled, and brushed it again at the end of grilling for a little extra kick. This marinade should keep in the fridge, tightly sealed, for 2-3 days.