Monday, November 22, 2010

Recipe: Chimichurri Sauce

Chimichurri is a popular sauce in Argentina and Uruguay. It is as common a condiment on those countries' tables as ketchup is in the United States or soy sauce is in Japan.

My first experience with chimichurri came one evening while I was dining at El Gaucho a very popular Argentine steak house in Ornajstadt, Aruba. I've since been back a number of times. In fact my recipe for chimichurri is modeled on the one from El Gaucho and it is close if not dead on.

Chimichurri's ingredients are common, and its preparation is quick and easy. It also will keep in the fridge for quite awhile. It can be used on all meats and fish and is especially good when those meats are grilled, where it can serve as both a marinade and a condiment, (keep those portions separate when doing that). Chimichurri is also excellent when used for dressing steamed vegetables such as asparagus and broccoli as well as salads.

Try this versatile South American sauce and you won't be disappointed

Recipe: Chimichurri

1 large bunch of flat parsley
2-1/2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup of white vinegar
1 pinch hot red pepper flakes
Coarse cracked black pepper
Kosher or sea salt

(Note: The ingredients can easily be adapted to personal tastes. Adjust the garlic and red pepper flakes to preference. The amount of vinegar can also be adjusted for the "brightness" of the sauce.)

Wash and drain the parsley.

Remove parsley leaves from stems, discard the stems and set leaves aside. You should have enough leaves to equal two cups, moderately packed in a measuring cup.

Place parsley, garlic, pepper flakes and vinegar in a food processor, or use a large mortar and pestle.
While adding the olive oil, chop contents in the food processor until parsley pieces are about 1/4" in size. The sauce should be thick and chunky and not pureed or smooth. Add remaining olive oil.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Place in a covered contained for 2-4 hours before using, (store unused portion in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks).

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