Miami Peppercorn Mortar and Pestle Marinade

My husband and I relocated to Miami Beach a little less than two weeks ago for a job he accepted, and from our previous visits, we knew where we were moving to — a strip of land enriched with an amount of culture that would force us to constantly remind ourselves we were still on U.S. soil and not vacationing on some island in the Caribbean. From the gorgeous (and I mean GORGEOUS) people to the incredibly diversified culinary establishments, our stay here thus far has felt like nothing short of a dream.

For years now, most of the time I’ve spent in the homes my husband and I have lived in has been in the kitchen where toying around with various flavors became one of my favorite hobbies. Now in Miami Beach, I’m influenced by the blending of cultures, and this marinade encompasses that very fusion.

I used this marinade on a steak I intend on featuring very soon, but the flavors will work with virtually any cut of protein you have on hand. Spiced with two types of peppercorns and a poblano pepper, the flavors and heat marry perfectly, creating a sheer force that is for sure to be reckoned with.

Culinary cultural influences: India, Mexico


Miami Peppercorn Mortar and Pestle Marinade

(produces roughly 1/4 cup, depending on the amount of oil used)

For the marinade:

1 tsp black peppercorns

1 tsp green peppercorns

1/4 poblano pepper, seeded and diced

2 garlic cloves

1 handful of cilantro (roughly 1/4 packed cup or 1/2 cup loose)

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 tb canola oil

With a mortar and pestle, mash the peppercorns until left with a coarse grind. Add the poblano, garlic and cilantro and continue to mash into a paste consistency. Scoop paste into small bowl. Add oil and salt and stir until fully incorporated.

 Creative liberties:

There are a few variations on this marinade that you can explore, all based on what you are using the marinade for and the gadgets you have to make this marinade in your house.

  • If you do not have a mortar and pestle, no big deal. Break down the peppercorns using a spice grinder or pound them out in a ziplock bag (food processors may not be able to grind the peppercorns to the right coarse consistency). Combine all ingredients into a food processor after the peppercorns are broken down, including the salt. Use 1/4 cup of oil to enable the processor to mix all of the ingredients properly.
  • If you intend on using the marinade for more than one piece of protein, add more oil to the marinade. If you need to go beyond 1/4 cup, double the amount of ingredients used in the recipe to avoid over-diluting the rich flavors.

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