Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Chimichurri Sauce



It's the very first recipe of 2014! I hope the new year has treated everyone favourably (and flavourfully). I'm very excited to share this sauce with you guys. It's super easy, super quick, super healthy and is amazing with steak. There is really no excuse why you can't make this at home so get on it. If you've never had steak with chimichurri then I am quite jealous of your first time. It will transform the way you think about it.

You can play with this recipe (for example, I added a little paprika to mine which isn't very traditional but worked fantastic). It works very well with chicken too, only if you use this for chicken I recommend white wine vinegar over red wine vinegar. You can use lemon juice as your acid too. Chimichurri, which is Argentinian in origin, is kind of similar to charmoula, a Moroccan sauce that we've used on the blog before. It's raw, fresh, bright, acidic, garlicky and everything that pairs beautifully with the richness of a juicy steak.  

You can use a blender to blitz all of the ingredients into a smooth paste. The results will be amazing. But if you want a truly astounding and complex chimichurri, grind your ingredients with a mortar and pestle. There's something about the old school pulverizing of the flavours and oils that an electric appliance just doesn't deliver. That's another call of yours (this blog is all about giving you options).  If you want to take your chimichurri to another level, buy your cumin seeds whole, toast them in a dry pan and grind them in a mortar and pestle. Your own ground cumin will kill any store bought ground cumin in a bar fight.

Ingredients

1 cup (packed) fresh parsley
1/4 cup (packed) fresh cilantro
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp dried chili flakes
1/2 tsp paprika
salt to taste
(feel free to add pepper to taste, I don't really think it needs it) 

There isn't really a recipe for this. You just make a paste out of all the ingredients. You can use a blender to blitz everything together, or grind everything with a mortar and pestle. If you use the mortar and pestle, finely chop the parsley, cilantro and garlic first. It will be much easier.

How hassle free was that? Serve that with a steak cooked just to your liking and you are in for a sensational meal...


 

For anybody who is interested, the photo above is of a pan seared rib eye steak with my chimichurri sauce. I love me some smoky, grilled steak but the weather in Toronto lately has been unforgivable so pan it was. Cooking steak in a pan is great though because it gives you the  freedom to add things like crushed garlic and sprigs of rosemary to the oil. Then at the end you can add a knob of butter, let it brown and baste the steak with the melted brown butter. Oh yeah, baby, that's right.

For the side dish I did a basic okra and tomatoes. I crushed four cloves of garlic and let them turn golden in a pan with some oil over medium heat. I halved some okra and cut some onion into wedges then added them. I let that sautée until the okra was bright and tender (about 10 minutes) before adding a few halved cherry tomatoes. I sautéed them for another couple of minutes until the tomatoes were just bursting then finished them with a splash of cider vinegar to brighten the flavours. 


  

Of course you can make any other sidedish you prefer. That's just an idea.

Well guys, stay tuned for more. In a couple of days I am getting together with a few other of my fellow MasterChef Canada contestants for a pot luck dinner party. As if that isn't going to make a great blog post! 

See you again soon,

B

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