Most of the time a trip to the farmers market or grocery store determines what my column will be about.

That was the case this week when I spoke with Jim McCartt, meat department manager of Matherne’s Supermarket on Perkins Road. He was straightening a row of meat marinade bottles as I walked by and I said, “Is that any good?”

He said, “Matter of fact, it is good because I tried it last night on a pork tenderloin.”

That’s all it took for me to get interested in the Black Pepper Sauce he was holding.

He advised it was definitely spicy but had a good soy-based flavor he liked.

I seldom buy marinades because they are so easy to make, but I decided to try this one.

I used it to marinate chicken strips that I grilled and served in flour tortillas topped with a generous helping of quickly sautéed colorful peppers and onions.

If you can’t find that sauce or want to make your own, this recipe for quick and basic marinade is a favorite in my family. It is more of a fajita-type marinade than the ready-made, soy-based Black Pepper Sauce. You probably have the ingredients on hand, except maybe for a fresh lime, for the homemade one.

The marinated chicken was a nice change of pace for me in place of the plain grilled or baked chicken I’ve been doing most of the summer.

Corinne Cook is a columnist for The Advocate. Reach her at