In Search of Best Chimichurri Sauce
I'm looking for a great sauce for meat that will keep in the fridge for a week. Chimichurri sounds interesting and I'd love to see your recipes for it, or something similar. If they contain cilantro I'd still like to see them but as I'm one of those people who may have the gene that makes cilantro taste too intense, I'll be thinking about substitues for it when I finally create my own Frankenstein adaptation from the recipes I find.
Here's a recent recipe from the NY Times to get us started:
1 tsp chix bullion powder (I'd use Better than Bullion jam base - NR)
8 garlic cloves
3 cups tight packed flat leaf parseley
1 c cilantro
1/2 c. evoo
1/4 c. lime juice
1/4 c. red wine vinegar (balsamic for a touch of sweetness? - NR)
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp fresh ground pep.
1/2 c. boiling water
Dissolve bullion in water
In food processor - pulse everything together.
May be used as sauce or marinade.
My cilantro recipe involves finely chopping a whole bunch of parsley (and about 1/4 cup or less cilantro, though you could omit). Put it in a glass bowl and add the zest and juice of 2-3 limes, salt, pepper. Add 4-5 finely chopped garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or diced jalapeño and mix. Add your favorite olive oil to loosen the mixture. You can keep it in the fridge for a while, but be sure you remove it a while before serving so the oil doesn’t get hard. It’s great, and I always serve it on flank steak with Mexican rice and beans – yum!
This one's from Epicurious, and is probably more typical in that it doesn't involve boullion. Chimichurri is more what I'd call a condiment than a sauce. It doesn't really blend.
I wouldn't suggest trying to substitute for cilantro until you have an idea of what you're going for. It's pretty central to the flavor. If it's any consolation to you, the garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil flavors are usually so intense that the cilantro is the probably the sixth or seventh thing that comes to mind when you're using it.
I also wouldn't go trying to sweeten it with balsamic, either, until you have an idea of what actual chimichurri normally tastes like. It's supposed to be sharp and tangy. Substitute for cilantro and an acidic vinegar right off the bat and you'll have a nice salad dressing but not necessarily chimichurri.
3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon minced garlic (4 cloves)
1/2 California bay leaf, broken in half
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Stir together vinegar, water, garlic, bay leaf salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper until salt is dissolved.
Whisk in oil until combined, then whisk in parsley. Let stand for 30 mintues at room temperature. Discard bay leaf and stir sauce before serving.
re: niki rothman
By golly, you're right! I haven't made this one. I just saw no boullion and no odd additions that would sweeten it or do other strange flavor things. So I guess I'll amend my advice and suggest you at least to try something like this unmodified before you start sweetening it up, removing bitter, sharp or salty elements, etc. ;)
I don't have a recipe, I'm pretty much processing herbs and acid and seasoning until it tastes good to me. But mine has no bouillon. It's fresh parsley, some cilantro and oregano, sometimes some mint, with red wine vinegar, lemon zest, chile flake, and salt and pepper. I don't always use garlic; sometimes red onion fits better.
Chimichuri is an Argentine steak sauce. The key ingredients are parsley, garlic, and vinegar. It is as likely to have Italian roots as anything Spanish or tropical. So it may include other herbs and spices like oregano, bay leaf, black pepper, red pepper to taste, and cumin or paprika. Cilantro is more likely to appear in a Mexican adaptation.