Tag Archives: Memorial Day

The Only Marinade You’ll Ever Need

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The official start of summer in the US – Memorial Day – is upon us this weekend.  In the UK it’s a holiday weekend as well, though it’s a generic “bank” holiday…don’t exactly know the significance, but I’ll take the holiday nonetheless.  Plus kids are off school next week for half-term break.  Yeah!!!!

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To kick-off the summer, I’m sharing with you my absolute favorite marinade.  It’s comprised of super fresh, Mediterranean flavors: lemon, olive oil and fresh herbs.  You can use it on chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, fish or veggies – pretty much anything.

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I use about half of it to marinade and then use the other half as a sauce.  You can marinade for as little as an hour, or if you want more flavor (and have superior planning skills to me) then marinade in the refrigerator overnight.

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Incorporate whatever fresh herbs might be growing like gangbusters in your garden this summer, or what looks particularly nice at the farmer’s market….or whatever bits and bobs you have in your refrigerator.

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1 year ago:  Mini Roast Beef Sandwiches with Horseradish Mayo

The Only Marinade You’ll Ever Need (makes 1 cup)

Note:  You can use this marinade on chicken, pork, steaks, chops, prawns/shrimp, salmon, vegetables – pretty much anything.  I like to use half of it to marinade the aforementioned items and save the other half to serve alongside as a sauce.

1/4 cup (60 ml) lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 strips lemon zest

3 garlic cloves, minced then crushed with the side of a large knife (see picture above)

1/4 cup chopped parsley (about a handful)

1/4 cup chopped mixed herbs (about a handful – dill, basil, cilantro/coriander, tarragon, oregano…use whatever combo you like)

1/2 cup (120 ml) olive oil


In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, red pepper flakes, pepper and salt.  Stir until salt has dissolved.  Add the lemon zest, garlic, parsley and herbs and stir.  Slowly add the olive oil in a stream, stirring continuously with a fork or whisk.  Pour over your poultry, meat, fish, seafood or vegetable of choice.  Let sit for at least an hour or overnight.  Grill to desired doneness (or if not grilling, can cook on the stovetop or in the oven).

Adapted from Epicurious

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Filed under Main dishes

Mini Roast Beef Sandwiches with Horseradish Mayo

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Summertime (or late spring, to be exact) entertaining has finally kicked in!  The warm, sunny weather is a big factor, but for us it’s really because we FINALLY have a functioning grill.

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Let me back up a bit.  Three years ago when we packed up our house in Boston to move to the UK, it involved quite a bit of sorting:  donations, air shipment, boat shipment, items for storage, items to sell at our garage sale (oh, I do miss that garage), etc..  Against my better judgement David sorted our monster, American-size, 6-burner gas grill into the “boat shipment” category – rather than the more appropriate “garage sale” category.

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It looked downright silly in our tiny, narrow, English terraced house garden.  But aesthetics weren’t the main problem.  The main problem was that the gas hook-up is different in the UK.  So David pulled a MacGyver, got all manly and rigged up his own gas hook-up with some random parts from the tool box.  I refused to touch the thing.  So he did all the grilling….that is until singeing his eyebrows.  Even then he couldn’t part with his big-old grill; it sat unused for the better part of last summer.

So last weekend we rented a car, dumped the old grill at “the tip” (a.k.a garbage dump), picked up a new grill, assembled said grill and now we are back in action.

And now to the point of the post.  If you’re planning to entertain this summer, including this holiday weekend, you’ll need a nibble to serve hungry guests when you’re hanging out in the warm, sunny weather and grilling.  And this is where these Mini Roast Beef Sandwiches come in.  They’re a perfect bite of roast beef with the crunch of the toasted bread, tang of the watercress and creamy zip from the horseradish mayo.  Those hungry guests will thank you!

Mini Roast Beef Sandwiches with Horseradish Mayo (makes about 30 appetizer-size sandwiches)

Note:  Use grated horseradish in a jar or buy a knob of fresh horseradish and grate it yourself.  Just don’t use horseradish cream or sauce as it already has cream in it and won’t give the same kick as straight-up horseradish.  I found it easiest to dollop the horseradish mayonnaise using small pastry bag, but you can also use a butter knife – dip it in the mayo, get a little dollop on the end, and plop it on the roast beef.

1 baguette

½ cup (125 grams) mayonnaise

1 tablespoon horseradish (freshly grated or grated in a jar)

Small bunch watercress

1/3 pound (150 grams) thinly sliced roast beef (rare, preferably)


Preheat broiler.  Slice baguette into ½” thick (1.25 cm) rounds and place on a baking sheet.  Bake until lightly toasted, about 1-3 minutes.  Be sure to check often as the bread can burn quickly.

Combine the mayonnaise and horseradish in a small bowl.

To assemble the sandwiches, place a small amount of watercress on the baguette round.  Top with roast beef, a dollop of horseradish mayonnaise and a small sprig of watercress.

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Filed under Appetizers and snacks