Food & Drink

Spice up barbecue meat with tasty Portuguese marinade

It must be getting closer to the summer solstice (June 21), because more folks are sporting their shades — wearing sunglasses, that is. I know, because some have left them behind on the counter at the post office and, more alarming, are leaving their keys there, too.

I can’t imagine getting to the car, noting the missing keys necessary to drive off are not in hand, and not backtracking to locate them. And what does one do upon arriving at a locked house?

One such cluster in the post office’s lost and found box is attached to a long lanyard meant to be worn around the neck. Get that: meant to be worn around the neck!

I would scream if I had to pay a hundred dollars to replace one of the new kinds of key which must be calibrated with a computer, so I am constantly checking the special compartment in my capacious purse to make sure I have it. My eyeglass case, however, is a different story.

Before leaving the historic East Village of Cambria, I always stop and admire the progress on the Guthrie-Bianchini House (at Burton Drive and Center Street). Won’t it be wonderful when everyone has access to it for the intended uses? I encourage everyone to take part in our Heritage Day events Sunday, June 24; and, if you are a current member of the Cambria Historical Society, or ante up to become one, you’ll be able to get a sneak peak inside.

For a good old-fashioned time, with reasonably priced meal items, come on down and celebrate. Watch The Cambrian for details, or call 927-2891; and why not volunteer a little time to make the day successful?

Be sure to order an ice cream sundae. According to my files, that is so named because when a certain Midwestern state deemed ice cream sodas too decadent to buy on Sundays and passed an ordinance against doing so, an enterprising “soda jerk” eliminated the bubbly and prepared the ice cream with lots of chocolate syrup and accoutrements, serving it as a “Sundae Soda,” or sundae.

Eugenio Bianchini got around another prohibition in his own way, as did many others early in the 1900s, but was also noted for his barbecue, especially around the Hesperian Day Swiss Italian festivities. I don’t have his secret recipes, but here are a couple of marinades I found in the files of the Portuguese Heritage Society in Honolulu from the Azorean and Madeiran Portuguese immigrants there.

Red Wine Marinade(For beef, pork, or chicken)3 cloves garlic1 teaspoons of kosher salt5 black peppercorns1 tablespoon of Spanish paprika1 teaspoon of allspice2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil1 cup red wine (use white wine for chicken)Use a mortar and pestle to mash the garlic and salt, or mince fine and mash in the salt until a paste; mash in the peppercorns, paprika and allspice and blend well with the olive oil. (I usually add a few more herbs according to my taste for the day.) Rub into both sides of the meat and place it into a shallow dish. Pour the wine over, cover with plastic wrap and marinate overnight in the fridge. Turn at least once; barbecue or broil drained meat according to your taste.

White Wine Marinade(For chicken, pork, or fish)2 cloves garlic2 black peppercorns2 fresh bay leaves, or 1 dry1 cup white wine1 sweet onion, chopped1 sprig fresh parsley, choppedSalt and pepper to tasteMash the garlic, peppercorns and bay leaf as above; transfer to a shallow dish and stir in the wine, onion and parsley, seasoning to taste. Add the chicken or pork, cover and marinate overnight in the fridge; if using thick white fish filets, marinate no more than three hours. Broil or barbecue.

Please send recipe ideas to Consuelo, at The Cambrian, 2442 Main St., Cambria CA 93428; or e-mail to Find us online at; search for Culinary Corner.

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