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CHIMICHURRI GREEN SAUCE

March 25, 2012 4:55 pm 0 comments

Chimichurri is a remarkable sauce made with fresh green herbs, garlic and chillies. It is one of the most delicious and versatile sauces around that originated from Argentina. Traditionally, this green sauce is served with grilled steak, chicken or fish dishes. Chimichurri works well as a marinade, and is also delicious on vegetables. Chimichurri is also prepared in countries like Uruguay, Nicaragua, Colombia and Mexico.

 

This natural green sauce is vibrant, bright green in color, tasty and generally Argentineans love to use this sauce on everything. It is also used as staple or for marinating as well as a condiment to be served at the table with grilled meats or sausages and poultry dishes. The actual origin of this Chimichurri sauce is unclear but sources states that the word chimichurri or chirriburri is attested in 1783 as a person’s nickname but not connected to the sauce.

 

The Argentine gourmet Miguel Brascó claims that the word chimichurri originated when the British were captured after the British invasions of the Río de la Plata. The prisoners asked for condiment for their food mixing English, aboriginal and Spanish words. According to this story, che-mi-curry stands for “che mi salsa” (give me condiment) or “give me curry”. The word then corrupted to chimichurri. Another theory for the name of the sauce comes from the Basque settlers that arrived in Argentina as early as the 19th century. According to this theory, the name of the sauce comes from the Basque term tximitxurri, loosely translated as “a mixture of several things in no particular order”.

 

Chimichurri sauce is an excellent condiment or relish (typically green though sometimes red from the addition of red peppers) that is very popular with steak in Argentina.  It’s sometimes also used as a marinade for beef or chicken.  Argentina is the world’s second highest consumer of beef, and it’s usually served with this tangy, garlicky sauce.  You can make chimichurri with simple and amazing ingredients that are easily available like the freshly picked parsley, cilantro and oregano from your own garden (if you have one J).

 

Authentic chimichurri sauce (very similar to the Puerto Rican mojo sauce) is basically garlic, vinegar, olive oil and red pepper flakes with lots and lots of chopped parsley.  You can add other fresh herbs or paprika, and play with different kinds of vinegars to make it your own.

 

Abundance of fresh greens gives a bright lime green yellow which makes the sauce visually stunning. Traditional classic Chimichurri sauce is made from finely chopped parsley, minced garlic, oregano, olive oil, white or red vinegar and red pepper flakes. Additional flavoring such as paprika, cumin, thyme, lemon and bay leaf may also be added. Best use the sweeter type of white or red vinegar as it compliments well with fresh herbs.

 

Garlic is an amazing ingredient with enormous health benefits. It is also extensively used in various cuisines mainly for its flavor and taste especially used more in Chinese cooking. There are several popular dishes using garlic as the vital ingredient such as Garlic pickle, Garlic pepper meat balls, fish curry with garlic, Garlic dal, Garlic toast etc.

It is considered to be an excellent food flavoring agent to condiments as well and also imparts the classic garlicky flavor and can be used fresh or in cooking. Italian cuisine just wouldn’t be the same without garlic. There are several differences in the eating characteristics of garlic mainly the flavor, taste, pungency or hotness of any raw garlic. Garlic’s medicinal uses include digestive stimulant, diuretic, and antispasmodic.

 

Oregano is a fantastic herb used widely in Italian cooking. It offers a complimentary flavor to basil and is widely used in tomato based dishes, meat or fish, as flavoring over pizza and in salads. It also tastes wonderful with beans or eggplant and in risotto.

 

The Chimichurri is a fabulous green sauce which has been steadily growing in popularity across the American restaurant landscape. For most of the Argentinean chefs, this sauce falls into that magical category of sauces which literally can go with everything. It is an excellent herby, garlicky, tangy, spicy and very green natural condiment, tastes great on all kinds of grilled meats, poultry, seafood, vegetable or just a piece of crusty bread.

To prepare the Chimichurri sauce, firstly add in the following ingredients in the blender: 4 to 6 cloves slices garlic, 1 large bunch fresh Italian parsley, 1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, 1/4 cup packed fresh oregano leaves, ¼ teaspoon cumin, and  ¼ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes. Pulse the blender or food processor to make a paste. Do not add water.

 

Transfer the mixture to a separate bowl and add ½ mild olive oil, 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar, ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper and ½ teaspoon salt to taste. Mix well and serve.

 

Tip: Add the liquids outside the blender that gives the chimichurri the correct texture.  Do not completely puree the herbs as this should give a rough texture.

 

Chimichurri green sauce looks natural green color, has a tangy flavor, but what I liked about it most is the freshness of the sauce. Try to use only fresh ingredients if you can find them. It really makes a difference with this recipe.

 

Enjoy Cooking!

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