Terrific -- yes, the key is equal parts of the marinade; oil, vinegar [I used vegetable oil and red wine vinegar], and sugar [careful here too, I went with my taste]. I did not use 3/4 of a cup, probably closer to a half cup of sugar. I also made this the night before I served it so that the marinade would marry with the other ingredients.
Also, yes, you can use this marinade with probably limitless ingredients. I just used one can each / dark red kidney beans, black beans, some onion, some celery and actually, threw in some corn. Omitted the green, garbanzo and wax beans. Notice however, that I am 3 bean/cans short of the recipe as written yet went with the same liquid measurements as written. I don't believe there's any harm in having extra marinade -- in fact, I think the more marinade, the more tasty this dish becomes. You can use a slotted spoon to remove and serve the beans from the marinade so that it does not resemble soup. Excellent dish -- my husband finished it before he even touched his burger. There's your sign.
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Terrific -- yes, the key is equal parts of the marinade; oil, vinegar [I used vegetable oil...