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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Chim, Chim, Chim-Chim-Churri

What's all this talk about chimichurri sauce these days? I see it on tons of cooking competitions and cooking shows - it seems to be becoming more mainstream. I first tried it at a Cuban restaurant in Royal Oak several years ago, and it's a delicious fresh herb green sauce for dipping all sorts of things, often sliced skirt or flank steak. I love the cilantro flavor with bright lime and zesty garlic.

I've read that the sauce was originally from Argentina and the main herb used was parsley but I much prefer the cilantro version which hails from Cuba, as described in this recipe I used from Three Guys From Miami. I have used other recipes from them, including mojo marinade and twice fried tostones, and they seem like a great resource for making your own Cuban food at home. I made a double batch last time and that was way too much but it ended up being a great cooking sauce to jazz up regular chicken breasts later in the week, so maybe it was a good idea afterall! One thing to note is that it calls for a lot of olive oil and when I cut down on that (didn't want to use up my whole jug on this recipe!), I should have cut down on some vinegar also, so it was a little vinegary to me. Just follow the ratios as noted in the recipe and then tweak to your own preferences, you will not be disappointed. It was great to dip our flank steak in and a delicious marinade/cooking sauce for chicken as well.

Chimichurri Sauce – Garlic Citrus Sauce for Meat

By Three Guys From Miami 

1 large bunch cilantro leaves
8 cloves garlic
1/4 cup vinegar
lime (Juice only)
2/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup onion
Dash or two red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

Put everything except the olive oil in a blender and using the "chop" setting, pulse on and off until you have a thick mixture. Do not over process! This is the kind of dish you need to taste and adjust so that you get just the right flavor! So taste it! (The best way to taste it is with a piece of bread.) Whisk in the olive oil. (If you use the blender to incorporate the oil, the oil and liquids will emulsify, giving your chimichurri a white, paste-like texture.)
Add salt, pepper, more vinegar and lime juice as needed. The flavor should be very intense with garlic and cilantro. Don't be stingy with the salt either!

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