Spicy Spanish marinade for summer meals

By Patty Miller

CNHI News Service

Marinating is one of the newest trends in summer salads.

While it may sound like an unusual concept, escab?che (pronounced es-keh-BEHSH) has long been popular in international cuisine.

Escab?che, meaning "pickled," is a spicy marinade of Spanish origin, used to season and preserve fried or occasionally poached fish and sometimes poultry.

It consists of vinegar or lime juice, onions, peppers and spices. The fish is first fried, then marinated overnight and served cold.

It is frequently confused with ceviche, a Latin American appetizer that uses a citrus-based marinade to pickle, or cook, a particular fish or seafood.

Through the years, escab?che's popularity spread to other regions, as escab?che followed Spanish culture around the world, including North Africa, Jamaica, Italy, France, Belgium and South America.

Don't let the exotic name fool you ? the concept is easy. Escab?che is a flavorful marinade that is added to cooked meat, poultry or seafood, then chilled for an hour or overnight.

Once marinated, the ingredients can be tossed with salad greens or vegetables, rolled in a wrap, stuffed into a pita pocket, or served alone.

Because you're marinating already-cooked foods, the remaining marinade can be drizzled over the finished dish as a dressing.?

It's hard to beat escab?che for convenience. When it comes to marinades, anything goes!

Start with a base ? either vinegar, orange juice, lemon juice, lime juice, wine, rum, soy sauce, honey or vanilla extract. Next, add herbs and spices such as garlic, pepper, ginger, oregano, basil or seasoning blends.

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