Thursday, April 1, 2010

Dirty Little Secrets...


CHIMICHURRI is an important part of Argentine cuisine, and is used all over South America.  Although mostly considered to be from Argentina, stories of its origin do vary, and even give credit to an Irishman for introducing this sauce to Argentineans in the 19th Century.  Wherever it first came from, it seems to be most popular in Argentina, and is a staple accompaniment to asado (a South American technique for grilling a variety of meats).  Though chimichurri has endless uses, such as a marinade for grilled meats and fish, a topping for fresh baguettes, and even salad dressing, it is most authentically used to go along with chitterlings and other internal organs.  It is generally served on the table at room temperature, in a small bowl with a spoon for scooping onto your plate.  It has a savory, herbal flavor, with an olive oil base, making it perfect for drizzling over foods.  The meats in Argentina are extraordinary and need no help in taste, but with a bit of chimichurri, the flavor is taken to a whole new level.  There are infinite variations on the popular condiment, including a red version made with tomato and red bell pepper, but the green seems to be most common in Argentina.  This sauce is so easy to make, yet it is still sold in markets, in packets of dried herbs to be added to olive oil for instant chimichurri.  Instead of searching for a packet of the dried stuff, try this easy recipe below, and use it on anything you like!

Chimichurri Ingredients:

1 bunch flat leaf parsley

8 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 lemon wedge (juice of)

1 tablespoon diced red onion

1 teaspoon dried oregano (optional)

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt


Pulse parsley in food processor to chop.  Add remaining ingredients and blend.  Separate sauce into equal parts.  Use half for basting or marinade. Use other half for table service.

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