We’re Cooking: Grilled Steak and Veggies with Fresh Chimichuri

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Sometimes I just get the urge when walking through the store to cook something different.  Last night it was a hearty grilled strip steak for Gary….actually…he did the grilling and a gorgeous basket of grilled veggies for me topped with fresh Chimichuri sauce.  I love this spicy, herb filled sauce made famous in Argentina to coat their much loved meat, but haven’t ever tried to make it.  After a quick look at a few recipes I am slightly upset with myself that I hadn’t tried it before, because it takes about 2 minutes to make with ingredients I usually have on hand.  I doctored up the few recipes I looked at to make it more my own…and loved it.  Spicy, tangy and fresh…ideal for topping a herb rubbed steak and grilled marinated veggies.

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Recipe:

Grilled Steak and Veggies with Fresh Chimichuri
For the Chimichuri –
IMG_8868Ingredients:
1/2 cup parsley (leaves and stems…the stems are filled with tons of flavor)
1/2 cup cilantro (again leaves and stems)
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
5 large mint leaves
1/3 cup Sherry vinegar (usually red wine vin is used, but I like the sweetness and the tang of Sherry vin)
1/2 shallot, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/2 small jalapeno, seeds and stem removed (optional…this makes it very spicy)
pinch red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
optional – add an avocado in while blending to add additional creaminess to the sauce
1/3 – 1/2 cup olive oil, to your taste

Preparation:
Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse until chopped and well blended.  Pour into a bowl and cover.  Leave at room temp until ready to serve to let the flavors marry.

For the steak:
IMG_8875We just did one steak for Gary, but whatever cut you like and however many you like.  There will be enough sauce for at least 2 or 3 steaks and veggies.  Marinate the steaks by first rubbing them with a little olive oil, then season generously with salt and pepper, add a little wine (whatever you have open), 2 minced garlic cloves, a handful of fresh rosemary.  Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, then remove from the fridge and let the steaks come up to room temp.  Turn the grill or grill pan if doing this inside on to medium heat, allowing it time to warm up, brush with a bit of vegetable oil, then grill the steaks for 4-5 minutes on each side until medium rare.  The timing will depend on the thickness of the steak, but it should take about 8-10 minutes.  Let rest for a few minutes to let the juices reconstitute, then slice against the grain, top with the sauce and serve.

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For the veggies:
IMG_8874Use whatever you have on hand that will hold up nicely on the grill, we used a zucchini (sliced into strips lengthwise), red pepper (stem and seeds removed and sliced into strips lengthwise), mushrooms (stems and caps sliced in half) and a firm red tomato (sliced into 1/2 inch pieces).  Marinate the veggies for a bit before grilling by placing them in a plastic bag with 1 chopped shallot, 2 minced garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons Sherry vin, 2 tablespoons olive oil (I used a Sonoma smoked olive oil, adding to that grilled flavor), 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 2 whole sprigs rosemary, salt and pepper.  When ready to cook place a grill basket directly on the grill and let get hot.  Place all the veggies in and cook until smoky, tender and cooked through. You can also put directly on the grill, but be careful the veggies don’t fall through the grates.  Serve immediately with the sauce on the side.

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