Purée together a 2- to 3-inch piece fresh ginger, 4 large garlic cloves, and 1/3 cup each soy sauce and rice wine or dry sherry. Optional ingredient is 2 to 5 tablespoons sugar; another is Chinese Five Spice powder or 1 star anise, broken.
Blend together 2 minced large cloves of garlic with 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice, 1/3 cup good-tasting extra-virgin olive oil, a tablespoon of fresh rosemary or oregano leaves, and salt and pepper to taste.
Stem and seed 4 to 6 large dried mild to medium hot red chiles (Ancho, Guajillo or New Mexican). Soak them for 30 minutes in hot water to cover.
Drain the chiles and purée them in a blender with 2 large garlic cloves, 1/3 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup canola oil, 1 teaspoon dry oregano (preferably Mexican) and enough water to make a thick, creamy consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Perfectionists strain the marinade before using it.
Purée together the pulp and juice of 1 medium lime, a 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, 3 to 4 large garlic cloves, 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce, 8 branches fresh coriander or 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Add very hot fresh Thai chiles, or milder Serrano or jalapeños to taste.
Blend together 4 minced large garlic cloves, 1/3 cup each balsamic vinegar and good-tasting extravirgin olive oil, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and 1 tablespoon dry or 10 leaves fresh basil. (See Sidebar: The Balsamic Cheat.)
Purée together 1 fresh scotch bonnet or habanero chile (use gloves to handle these searingly hot beauties) with 1/4 cup each of good-tasting extra-virgin olive oil and cider or wine vinegar, half an onion and 1 generous teaspoon each of thyme, allspice, black pepper and cinnamon.
From A Summertime Grilling Guide by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift. Copyright © 2012 by American Public Media.
Bonnie Benwick translates chef recipes for the home cook in the Washington Post's Plate Lab column. She tells Melissa Clark about some of the challenges you'll face when attempting a restaurant meal in your own kitchen.