Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Quinoa with Chimichurri Sauce



Today finds us in Argentina being served an enormous grilled steak doused in chimichurri. The grill is burning, the smell of meat is in the air and this green, herby, garlicky sauce is being poured liberally over my meat and served to me by a handsome gaucho with massive arms and a cute tush. Don't I wish? Truth is, I don't eat meat anymore but I can assure you that if I was being served by a handsome gaucho with massive arms and a cute tush, well, I wouldn't turn him down.

Chimichurri hails from Argentina or Nicarauga. No one knows for sure. And it doesn't really matter as this sauce can now be found everywhere. It's a good one and one that can surely find a lot of uses in your kitchen. Typically it is served as a marinade for grilled meat and also as the sauce for that steak, I keep envisioning. But this sauce can do a whole lot more...

1. Drizzle over any meat, fish or chicken. Use as a marinade or sauce.
2. Perfect for baked potatoes or even on hash browns.
3. Dunk huge hunks of sourdough in this and you have a winner.
4. Pizza - yeah this would make a great base. And an extra garnish on top.
5. Cheese - Buratta or fresh mozzarella comes to mind. Drizzle, shmizzle. You get the idea.
6. Watermelon. Enough said.
7. Mix into mayo for a sandwich spread.
8. Drizzle, as is, to give that sub extra flavor.
9. Rice. Pour some on top, please.
10. Eggs. Use this over hard boiled eggs or scrambled and everyone will want more.
11. Pasta. Instead of pesto. Pesto tends to be a bit overused. And not that that's a bad thing, but it's time to start a new trend.
12. Quinoa. Kind of in the rice category.
13. Salad Dressing. Mix with sour cream or mayo and you have something fresh.
14. Stir into Cream Cheese for a new dip.
15. As the base for quesadillas, sprinkle with corn and cotija and grill this outside. This is really good. Throw a few mangoes on top, too.

OK. Let me know what you do with this. Or for that matter any of the sauces that have been posted. And what is your favorite sauce? That could be a long list!

I took a few liberties with this sauce and you can too. Use what you have on hand and make your own signature sauce. I served rabbit catcher this with chicken mango sausages grilled over the fire. They are made by Aidell's, a great brand. Labelled chicken mango habanero, they do have a bit of heat, but in our opinion not much. And the dogs like them, too. No complaints there. I also grill these and serve them with spicy mustard for an easy summer appetizer. Just sayin'.

Give it a go. This dinner comes together exceptionally fast, which is really good when you are hungry. And no it wasn't steak. And a handsome gaucho didn't serve it to me. But it was good and hit the spot!


Chimichurri (Makes 2 1/2 cups)

1 c flat leaf parsley, but I used basil
3/4 c cilantro
1/4 c fresh oregano
1 t dried oregano
1/4 c red wine vinegar, but I used sherry vinegar
2 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/3 c red onion, coarsely chopped
6 cloves garlic
1/2  of a jalapeno
Salt and pepper

3/4 c olive oil

Throw all but olive oil into food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Scrape down sides as needed. With motor running, add olive oil in a steady stream. Transfer to a container and refrigerate for about 2 hours. Bring to room temperature before serving. (I only used about 1/2 c of oil because I wanted a thicker sauce.)


Quinoa and Sausage
1 package Aidell's Chicken Mango Habanero Sausage 

Grill Sausage while quinoa is cooking.

1 c quinoa - cooked to package directions (I used chicken broth instead of water and added a garlic clove.)
2 T sliced mixed olives
2 T cilantro
1 T chopped fresh jalapeno
1 T dried currants
3 T minced red onion

Chimichurri

After liquid on quinoa has been absorbed add all of the above ingredients.  Stir. Top with sliced sausage. Drizzle with chimichurri. Leftovers make a perfect salad the next day!



A few more to try:
Mexican Shrimp Cocktail
Corn and Green Chile Quesadillas
Avocado and Corn soup


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12 comments:

  1. What a terrific meal! I've never made my own chimichurri, but I need to soon!

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    1. Thanks Liz. It was a good simple meal and it even got rabbit catcher to eat quinoa.

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  2. I have a pile of parsley in my fridge that's been begging for a Reason to Be...here it is!

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  3. Great reason! In fact there are about 15 above! Enjoy.

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  4. I love all of the parsley and/or cilantro green sauce-type thingies the world offers. So many different varieties, all wonderful. I haven't had chimichurri in ages, and you've listed some great ideas. Watermelon, for instance, wouldn't have occurred to me. But I notice you didn't include rabbit on your list - any reason for that? ;-) Good post - thanks.

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  5. A gorgeous meal Abbe! We eat grilled sausage sandwiches with chimichurri like crazy here, usually as the first part of a barbecue. And if you ever come down to argentina, don´t you dare say chimichurri might be from nicaragua... girl, you won´t make it out in one piece, jajajaja!

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    1. I wanted to do a sausage sandwich but he is on this no white stuff diet. So quinoa, being South American, sufficed. And it was good! But I love grilled sausage sandwiches. And I'm sure you are right about the chimichurri origins! JAJAJA!

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  6. Love this green sauce...actually I have been using it for my salad all the time. It's simple and quick to make.

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  7. Fantastic sauce! What a great dish.

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  8. wonderful! I'm thrilled, because i have both oregano and cilantro growing in my garden this year: the cilantro isn't hard to use up, but i'm struggling to keep up with my oregano. This recipe will make great use of it. thanks!

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  9. This looks absolutely wonderful, I am going to try it out over weekend. It's my partners birthday and it's Mexican on the menu :)

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