Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Chimichurri

I don't know if this is a true chimichurri: if you want a discussion of what that means, read here. What it is is a zingy green-ish sauce that's good on meat and fish. It's very intense when you first make it, but it will mellow in the fridge. I used the herbs I had on hand--you can certainly alter these if you like. I actually left out the oil last time, since I wanted to use it as an extra-zingy topping. If you are going to use it as a marinade, add the oil, which will help with heat transfer when you cook with it, and will protect the herbs from scorching.

1/2 c. mild olive oil or grapeseed oil (optional--see note above)
1/2 c. onion
3 garlic cloves
1 c. chopped tomatoes
1 small medium-spicy chili
1 bundle cilantro
1/2 bundle parsley
2 limes, juiced
1/4 c. red or white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. dried mint, or several branches of fresh
1 Tbsp. thyme
1 Tbsp. marjoram
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. salt or to taste
2 bay leaves

Grind the onions, garlic, peppers, tomato, and fresh herbs in a blender or food processor. Add the lime juice, vinegar, and dried herbs and spices. Adjust the salt and sugar to taste. Add more vinegar if you want it to be more liquid. Add the bay leaves and let the sauce mellow at least 30 minutes before eating, though it can be used for weeks.

Use the sauce as a marinade, and/or spoon it over grilled, pan-fried, or roasted meat or fish. Hell, just eat it with a spoon!

NOTE:
Clever readers may notice this is similar to two other recipes: Spiedies, and Cilantro Chutney. This differs from Spiedies by the addition of cumin, tomato, chili, and the fact that oil is optional. This differs from Cilantro Chutney by the possibility of using oil, the use of citrus juice, and the wider variety of herbs and spices. All are delicious!

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