Friday, March 19, 2010

Chargrilled and Chimichurried... CHA! CHA! CHA!

As the weather slowly but surely begins to warm up here in Raleigh, I find myself lusting for the simpler cleaner flavors of Spring and Summer. After scoring a couple of beautiful New York Strips at our local Harris Teeter, I thought of the perfect accompaniment for a succulent piece of beautifully bar-b-qued beef- chimichurri. For those of you who aren't familiar with this funky sounding food, prepare to soon fall in love. Chimichurri is a sauce/condiment native to Argentina who's name sounds complicated but in actuality, who's recipe couldn't be more simple- fresh herbs, garlic, and oil. Combine ingredients. Pair with meat. Yum.

The beauty of this fine Argentinian condiment lies in it's pure simplicity. It takes a maximum of 2 minutes to throw together and it goes with just about any meat you fancy. It can be used as a marinade, a sauce, dip or however you'd like, really. The flavor is herbal and bright which leaves it no other choice than to pop in contrast to the rich decadence of meat, especially beef. The base for a chimichurri is more often than not parsely, though I have made it with both mint and cilantro and the result is equally as fabulous. I whipped this particular rendition up in about 60 seconds with a combo of the fresh herbs I had in my garden and grocery store purchased ones I had in my refrigerator. Creativity is not only acceptable but encouraged while making this tasty accoutrement.

As spring continues to play hide and seek with us what could be better than serving a dish that reminds us that the end of all of this winter gloom is near!?! Brush the dust off your BBQ grill and give it a shot this weekend. Trust me when I tell ya that you will be cheering for chimichurri!


You can chop all the ingredients finely by hand, or just toss in the food processor to make it really lightening speed. Simply combine all of the following and refrigerate for an hour or so before enjoying. To use as a marinade just add double the oil.

1/2 cup olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley or cilantro (I used cilantro today)
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
handful of minced green onion
1 tbsp fresh lemon thyme, minced
1 tbsp fresh oregano, minced
1 tbsp fresh basil, minced
pinch of salt & pepper