Chimichurri is a traditional condiment from Argentina. I’ve had it a handful of times at various restaurants, always loved it, but never made it. A couple weeks ago I made it to go along with some grilled steak, and it was delicious! Tangy, tasty, full of great flavor! The next morning I made us an omelette for breakfast — I filled it with some leftover green beans and a handful of baby spinach, and then topped it with a tablespoon or so of the chimichurri. OMG. Amazing. I Googled “what else to do with chimichurri” and got things like “great on all grilled meats and fish”…”as common in Argentina as ketchup is in the United States” (ugh) and “We’ve even seen it in tacos.” Tacos??? Tacos!!!
The next night we grilled up a couple of chicken breasts (glazed with garlic, honey, and olive oil) and then sliced them up into grilled flour tortillas along with some shredded lettuce and oven-roasted Roma tomatoes (with a bit more chimichurri over the top) and holy moly this flavor combination is insane. Trust me. You gotta try ’em. I’m making them again for friends next Tuesday night.
So my mom came over for dinner last night and guess what I made? Another batch of chimichurri!!! (Because obviously I’d run out by now.) The original recipe I made called for Italian parsley, cilantro, olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, crushed red pepper, cumin, and salt. But looking again to the internets, I found another recipe that added shallot, jalapeño, fresh oregano, fresh lime juice, and pepper! So I made that recipe and at first I thought it tasted a little too vinegar-y, but both of these sauces were even better the next day, and the next day I did not feel like there was too much vinegar at all.
Anyway, last night I sautéed some shrimp in the chimichurri and served them over a bowl of farro, wilted spinach, and more oven-roasted tomatoes (drizzled with, of course, more chimichurri). My mom said it was one of the best things I’d ever made for her. (Which is super nice, but I’ve made WAY more complicated cheffy things that I’d figure she liked more…this just goes to show you how impactful the flavors are in chimichurri. It’s like hypnosis. You may notice there have been no photos of this nectar of deliciosity (besides the one above, which I borrowed from Krista’s flickr account via a Creative Commons license), and that’s because you can’t stop to take photos of chimichurri. You just make it, and eat it, and it’s gone.
I sent my mom home with the leftover chimichurri. I held onto about two tablespoons I thought I might use today, and ended up using those to make a spicy broth for Kevin, who finally succumbed to The Christmas Cold. I sautéed some garlic and jalapeño in olive oil, then added cumin, crushed red chili peppers, star anise, two cloves, and a cinnamon stick, then added organic chicken broth, water, leftover chimichurri, soy sauce, and some Red Boat fish sauce, boiled it for a little bit, simmered it for a little bit more, then added the rest of the leftover chicken for a spicy Sickness-Hammering Soup.
So there you go. Chimichurri. Here are the recipes I used. Apparently it will last in the fridge for three months or more and still taste great, and it freezes well. I plan to make a big batch of it this weekend and freeze up some portions for the summer trips to AK and BC (where it’s hard to find fresh cilantro, parsley, etc.) And if you’re wondering, this part here is the part of this post that has anything to do with travel or boating. 🙂
p.s. I’ve been really kicking up my cooking game lately while we’re at home, so if you guys aren’t all “Oh no, not another FOOD post!” I’ll share some about what I’ve been making. There are quite a few things I’m planning to make batches of to take along on this summer’s trip to Alaska…so perhaps that’s helpful!
On to the recipes!
Chimichurri Recipe One
1 packed cup of fresh Italian parsley
½ cup olive oil
⅓ cup red wine vinegar
¼ packed cup of fresh cilantro
2 garlic cloves
¾ tsp dried crushed red pepper
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp salt
Directions: Puree all ingredients in processor. Transfer to bowl. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.)
Chimichurri Recipe Two
1 cup Italian parsley, stems removed
1 cup cilantro, stems removed
1 shallot, chopped
1 jalapeño, chopped, optional, but do it (remove the insides if you want it a tad less spicy)
3 garlic cloves
2 Tbsp fresh oregano (I didn’t have this so I left it out)
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
½ cup red wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste (I added a pinch of each)
½ cup olive oil
Directions: Combine parsley, cilantro, shallot, jalapeño, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, red wine vinegar and lime juice in the bowl of a food processor; season with salt and pepper, to taste. With the motor running, add olive oil in a slow stream until emulsified.
And here’s yet a THIRD more-authentic-looking recipe for Argentinian Chimichurri that has fresh oregano and no cilantro at all. I have not tried this one (yet) but feel free to truck on without me and let me know how it is. I’ll try it next, once I get my hands on some fresh oregano.