Garlic-Lime Marinade

Adobo de Ajo con Limón

A lot of Mexican grilled beef gets seasoned with little more than a squeeze of lime and a generous sprinkling of salt. That approach can produce thoroughly delicious results (especially if you’re tasting the beef made into salsa-splashed steak tacos late in the evening standing within ear shot of a sizzling street stall somewhere along Mexico’s coast line). But this version translates those street-vendor flavors into an easy-to-use, bright (but wonderfully balanced) marinade that is good on virtually everything from beef to fish. For times when the street vendor’s exotic sensory stimuli aren't within an easy stroll. A final tip: if you’re using this on fish, adding a little grated orange zest (colored rind only) is really good.

By Rick Bayless
Serves 3/4 cup

  • 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1 serrano chile
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or olive oil
  • A scant teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice

Heat a skillet over medium. Roast the unpeeled garlic and chile on the ungreased skillet, turning occasionally, until both are blackened in spots and soft, about 15 minutes for the garlic, about 10 minutes for the chile. Cool, pull the stem off the chile and the papery skin from the garlic.

Place them in a blender or food processor and add the oil and salt. Process or puree. With the machine running, dribble in the lime juice. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator up to a week or so.


Mexican Everyday cookbook by Chef Rick Bayless

Recipe from Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless with Deann Groen Bayless.