If you are hosting a big gathering for the Memorial Day weekend, most of us don't have a big budget to splurge on fancy cuts of meat. So a little prep with items you already have in your kitchen will make you an all-star cook this weekend.
With a few titles under his belt, including Houston Live Stock Show & Rodeo Cook Off champion, Randy Pauly, pit master with Holy Cow Cookers, knows how to create crowd-pleasing food. So Pauly is sharing a couple of his favorite Memorial Day marinades.
His first marinade is called Clean Out the Fridge Hamburgers.
"Quality is not going to be compromised at all. We are going to kick these up a notch where you are going to think you are at one of the top steak houses, ordering a burger. And you are cleaning out your fridge," he said.
Pauly literally cleaned out the fridge. From stir fry sauce to mustard and salad dressing, he will combine the condiments to create his burger marinade.
"Make sure you don't add to many salty things," Pauly said.
Once you have combined all your sauces, stir it up and taste it before you add your meat to the marinade.
The marinade goes back into a Ziploc, then Pauly grabs the ground beef and adds a cup of marinade to the beef. To take these burgers up another notch, he adds cheese and premium cut bacon to his burgers.
"And still have it very, very affordable," Pauly said.
That's because instead of cheese slices, he is using crumbles. And instead of bacon slices, he's adding bacon pieces.
"Now you have a deluxe, deluxe, well-seasoned burger on a budget," Pauly said.
His next recipe is the Tequila Lime Marinade, which is great for chicken.
Using a Ziploc bag, combine five fresh limes, one freshly squeezed orange, five sliced garlic cloves, 1/2 yellow onion, one sliced jalapeno, Italian dressing, chili powder, salt and pepper, and of course, 1/2 a cup of tequila. Then add your chicken.
"All those oils and all those seasonings are going to infuse into the meat and spend some beautiful time with it," Pauly said.
For something that doesn't need much prep work, Pauly's go-to BBQ protein is sausage. You can find premium sausages on sale just days before the holiday.
To save money on portions, he always slices his chicken breast in thirds. And instead of burger buns, he says a load of bread is a good money saver.
You should marinade your meats for at least four hours, but overnight will be even better.
Pauly's Tequila-Lime Marinade Recipe
1/2 cup tequila
5 fresh squeeze limes
1 fresh squeeze orange
5 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
table chili powder
2 Tsp. kosher salt
1 Tsp. fresh cracked pepper
1 sliced jalapeño
1 cup Italian dressing
6 boneless chicken breasts
Mix everything in a Ziploc bag, add chicken, refrigerate overnight, grill until done.
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