Do you suddenly find yourself sick of your Greek yogurt and granola breakfast? Don’t let that tub of tart, tangy deliciousness go to waste. Did you know you can use it for your dinner instead?
You can enjoy your yogurt in more ways than one, you know. Try adding it in your marinade. It not only improves the taste, but can also improve texture. Keep reading to learn about the benefits of Greek yogurt, and how using it will take your cooking to the next level.
Marinate Your Meat!
Soaking your meat in a seasoned liquid (also known as a marinade!) enhances flavor, adds extra moisture, and tenderizes your meat before cooking. If you find yourself with a lean or tough cut of meat, marinate it first.
A marinade is a mixture of an acid, a fat (or oil), and seasonings. The acid will initially break down the meat, making it softer. However, if left too long, stronger acids, like citrus or vinegar, can toughen your protein. On the other hand, dairy-based marinades, such as buttermilk or yogurt, are only mildly acidic, making them more effective for tenderizing. Yogurt marinades will work best when left for around 12 hours, but it’s still an effective and worthwhile step to do when you’re strapped for time.
You can use any type of yogurt to make a marinade so long as the flavor is plain. If you're using Greek yogurt, add a splash of lemon juice or vinegar to loosen it up as it contains less moisture.
Now that you know what marinating with Greek yogurt can do for your cooking, try one of these recipes and see the magical results for yourself.
1. Grilled chicken
Marinating your chicken in yogurt before grilling is a fuss-free guarantee for tastier, more tender chicken. I You don’t need to follow a recipe. Go with your gut and throw in any spices your heart (or stomach) desires.
You just need to decide which direction you want to go flavorwise. Keep it fresh and Asian-forward by adding some grated ginger, garlic, and lemongrass. Try going the Middle-Eastern route with ground cumin, cayenne pepper, garlic, and fresh coriander or parsley. Or keep things easy with a sprinkle of good ol’ salt and pepper and a crumbled-up Knorr Chicken Cube.
Whichever way you go, you must ensure to immerse your chicken in the spiced yogurt mixture before setting it aside. Cover and marinate for at least one hour before throwing on a nice hot grill. You can also try other quick ways to marinate chicken.
2. Spiced lamb chops
If chicken bores you, this quick spiced lamb chop recipe will impress everyone at your next dinner party.
Start with the dip. Grate some garlic into a bowl of Greek yogurt. Then add in lemon juice (half of the fruit will do), a dash of salt and pepper, and set aside for serving later.
Put ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, and allspice in your remaining yogurt. Sprinkle salt pepper over your chops before spreading your spiced yogurt mixture on your lamb. Add pesto if you like its flavor profile. Let it sit at room temp for 30 minutes or up to 12 hours covered in the fridge. To cook, wipe off the excess marinade before grilling. It'll take about three minutes per side or until nicely browned. Serve with your dipping sauce, and dig in!
3. Beef kebabs
This beef kebab recipe goes perfectly with some warm pita bread, pickled red onions, and a fresh Mediterranean salad (zhush up a tired salad with a few tips).
Start by whisking together lemon zest, lemon juice, grated garlic, Lady’s Choice Mayonnaise, and Greek yogurt. Season with salt and pepper and transfer some into a small bowl. Chill and serve later.
Grab your remaining yogurt. Add some tomato paste, ground coriander, turmeric, cumin, cayenne pepper, vegetable oil, salt, and a bit more lemon juice. Throw in some cubes of boneless beef short rib and toss until you coat each piece evenly. Cover the marinade and chill between one to 12 hours.
Once ready, skewer your beef cubes and grill. Turn them a few times until browned and just cooked through (about six to 10 minutes). Toast your pita while your kebabs cook. Serve with your yogurt sauce, pita, and your choice of accompaniments.
4. Lasooni Prawns
This recipe calls for a double marinade situation. And yes, it’s worth it. Use large, head-on prawns for maximum flavor and crunch.
Begin by cleaning your prawns. In a bowl, mix grated garlic and ginger, fresh lemon juice, and some salt. Add your prawns and toss gently, coating each one evenly. Cover your marinade and chill it for at least 20 minutes or up to 4 hours.
Then, whisk together some yogurt, cream cheese, chili powder, caraway seeds, garam masala, turmeric, chopped garlic, salt, and lemon juice. Remove your prawns from the lemon juice marinade and transfer them to the yogurt mixture. Toss to coat, then cover and chill one more time for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
Thread your marinated prawns on skewers and grill for about five minutes, turning and basting with melted butter. Garnish them with cilantro leaves, fried garlic, and a squeeze of lime before serving.
Greek yogurt isn’t just for breakfast. Enjoy it for lunch and dinner, too.