Chimichurri Sauce

A spicy Argentinian parsley-based green sauce for …anything; soups, eggs, salad dressing, pasties, chicken, steak, or fish.

 

In a blender, add

1 1/2 cups olive oil
1/2  cup red wine vinegar
pinch or two red chili flakes
pinch or two of  salt
couple shakes of pepper
3 – 4 cloves fresh garlic
1/2 – 3/4 tsp. cumin powder
2 bunches fresh flat-leaf parsley – most of the stems trimmed
1 bunch fresh cilantro – most of the stems trimmed

Pulse on high or ‘ice chop; setting – more olive oil if needed – until just blended (rustic).

Taste and adjust spices as desired.

Other Variations:

red onions
fresh oregano
lime or lime juice
sherry or balsamic vinegar (instead of red wine vinegar)
basil

For a creamy version, add:

avocado
sour cream or
mayonnaise

Resources:

Skirt Steak, Chimichurri & Veggies | Feli & Jamie Oliver (herb brush seasoning)

Argentinian-Style Fresh Herb Salsa and Marinade

Creamy Chimichurri Dip

Traditional Chimichurri

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Triangle Baked Chinese Chicken

with-stir-fry

 

 

Preparation is the most challenging aspect of this recipe…chopping. Fresh ginger, cilantro, and the Hoisin Sauce give it its distinct flavor.

Instead of wrapping the chicken mixture in tiny 2″ square (folded into triangles), I opted to use large squares that measured the exact length of a 12″ roll of aluminum foil. While not as cute, the larger presentation doesn’t affect the taste. In many ways, I thought it similar to my Aunt Jeanette’s Teriyaki Chicken recipe.

The final product can be eaten alone, or crumbled into any combination of stir fried vegetables.

It’s a nice, ‘grab n go’ type of meal.
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From a standard 12″ aluminum foil roll, make 7 squares. Fold them into triangles.

Chopped Ingredients:

6 boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/4 to 1/8 inch squares

2″ long  x 1/2″ wide (roughly) fresh ginger root  – minced

4 lg. garlic cloves – minced

2 bunches fresh cilantro – finely chopped

Sauce:

1/2 cup cornstarch (* use less if you prefer a more runny sauce)

1/4 cup soy saucehoisin-sauce

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup Hoisin Sauce

Combine all sauce ingredients (add a little water if needed), blend till smooth. Add chopped ingredients, mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

meat-mixture-not-cooked

With the foil square open, place approximately 1/4 cup of chicken / sauce mixture in the center of one side. Refold the foil into a triangle and roll and fold each open side, two times. Make sure that the foil ‘envelope’ is completely sealed.

Place all the ‘stuffed’ triangles onto a baking tray. Cook at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

envelopes-in-the-oven

cooked-meat

 

Sauce Series – Brown Sauces & Thickeners – 3 of 5

Meat based liquids with thickening agents. Start with simple pan sauces or gravy and extend it into soups and stews.

 

Basic Brown Sauce

2 tblsp. Butter

3 tbslp. Flour

1 cup beef stock

½ tsp salt

Pinch of pepper

 

Melt butter in pan. Stir in flour and cook until browned, stirring continuously.

Little by little, add beef stock. Stir until it boils and thickens, continue to cool three more minutes.

Add any desired seasonings.

 

Pan Gravy

Approximate the amount of flour needed to thicken the volume of meat drippings available. Place flour in a dressing / gravy shaker or whisk with cool water and shake or blend till smooth.

To meat drippings (fat) [from a turkey, chicken, bacon, or roast] in a deep pan over medium heat, slowly add flour and water mixture. Stir continuously. After the mixture has thickened, continue cooking for a few more minutes to make sure that the raw flour taste has been dispelled.

 

Peanut Sauce

¾ cup organic creamy peanut butter

¼ cup + 2 tblsp. Water

½ tsp. Hoisin sauce

2 tblsp. Freshly squeezed lime juice (approx. 1 ½ medium limes)

4 ½ tsp. soy sauce

3 tblsp. Maple syrup

1 ¼ tsp. chile-garlic paste

1 med. Clove garlic, mashed to paste

½ tsp. toasted sesame oil

Blend, whisk or stir all ingredients together till smooth. Store in refrigerator, but let warm to room temperature before using.

Can be used a dipping sauce, over noodles, as a salad dressing or in spring rolls.

 

Cilantro Sauce (It’s green)

 

THICKENERS

Flour  – velvety texture – opaque

(can be stirred directly into fat – butter, meat drippings, etc.  If mixing with water first, it must be cooked for a while to eliminate the raw, starchy taste)

Instant Blending Flour – Wondra or Shake & Blend

Can add to liquids without lumps

Kneaded Butter (Beurre Manie) – equal parts butter and flour – kneaded till smooth and rolled into teaspoon sized balls (can be frozen for storage). Drop a ball or two into sauce when needed.

Cornstarch – smooth – glossy – clear

Mix starch with equal parts water, then add to warm liquid

Arrowroot flour | tapioca flour, rice flour

Gums – Xanthum gum, agar agar, pectin, and guar gum

Egg Yolks – velvety – smooth

Add to heated liquids (no hotter than 190 degrees) slowly and stir constantly – or scrambled eggs will be the result

High fat cream / yogurt – thick – smooth

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Additional Resources

WikiHow – thickeners

A Life of Geekery – guide to thickening sauces, soups, and stews

Youtube Videos

French Cooking Acacemy – What is a Roux – white, blond & brown

Beurre Maniékneaded butter

French Cooking Academy –  Hollandaise sauce tutorial for beginners (w/o double broiler)

Julia Child – The Hollandaise Family

Harvard University – Science in Cooking class – Working with Modern Thickeners

 

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Check out the other videos in this Sauce Series

Sauce Series #1 – taste bud training

Sauce Series #2 – red sauces

Sauce Series #3 – brown sauces & thickening agents

Sauce Series #4 – white sauces

Mock ‘Chopped’ #5 – group cooking challenge how-to

 

 

Gumbo

image by: Jmprouty, wikimediacommons

image by: Jmprouty, wikimediacommons

Okra as a thickener?  I must say it is a little ‘weird’ to observe the clear slime (mucilage) that interconnect slices of okra like spider webs when they are moved around in a saute pan. [It is also interesting to note that the viscosity of this substance increases with heat.]

No matter – the okra entertainment value is a ‘plus’ and it is delicious when combined with the other ingredients that make Gumbo!

 

Gumbo is a stew that originated in southern Louisiana during the 18th century. It consists primarily of a strongly-flavored stock, meat or shellfish, a thickener, and the vegetable holy trinity of celery, bell peppers, and onions. Gumbo is often categorized by the type of thickener used: the African vegetable okra, the Choctaw spice filé powder (dried and ground sassafras leaves), or roux, the French base made of flour and fat. The dish likely derived its name from either the Bantu word for okra (ki ngombo) or the Choctaw word for filé (kombo). – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Basic Gumbo Components:

Sauce:

6-8 cloves garlic – finely chopped
1 med. or lg. onion – chopped
meat | protein of choice chopped into bite sized pieces (my favorite is chicken thighs)
1/4 cup Dijon mustard (regular mustard also works fine)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 heaping tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Combine all and refrigerate for several hours to overnight.

In a large soup pot start with 2 tbslp. olive oil . Add 1 large package of frozen okra (thawed). Saute until brown. Add whatever other vegetables you wish to include.

In the version pictured at the far right, I used broccoli, turnips, carrots, onions and green beans. Cut these into bite sized pieces and saute with okra for about 10 minutes. gumbo

Spices:
1 tblsp. thyme
1 tblsp. oregano
1 tblsp. basil
2-3 bay leaves
salt to taste

*2 bunches of fresh cilantro – finely chopped – added right before serving

To soup pot, add 1 large can of diced tomatoes and 2 cups chicken stock –  set on low while you work on stage two.

Stage Two:

In a saucepan, saute sauce mixture from above until meat is cooked. Add this to the soup pot.

Stage Three: Additional thickener – roux

In a saute pan, melt 1/4 cup butter over low heat. Slowly, whisk in 1/4 cup flour until it is smooth and smells slightly nutty (about 3-4 minutes). Add to soup pot.

Simmer until Gumbo is the consistency of gravy.

Shrimp_gumbo

“Gumbo isn’t so much a recipe as it is a state of mind, complete with secret language and poetic license.” – Peggy Lampman, author of Simmer and Smoke and culinary food blogger. [click here to see Peggy’s Gumbo ya-ya reicpe]

 

Turkey – Brined & Self Basting – with Stuffing on the side

How do you know when something is done? When you can smell it…  This meal creates delightful aromas and flavors.

meal

Brine Mix:

Sea Salt
Dried herbs: juniper berries, rosemary, black peppercorns, cranberries, garlic, apples, thyme, rosemary, sage and orange peels.

In a heavy white garbage (compactor) bag combine 1/2 cup brine mix with 4 cups warm water.  Shake it around so that the salt dissolves.
Place bag inside of a 5 gallon bucket.brine mixture

brined

Remove packaging from turkey as well as giblets or packing in the body cavity. Rinse turkey with fresh water then pat dry.
Without poking holes, run your hands under the turkey skin on the breast and back to create skin pockets.
Use a fork or knife to pierce turkey meat in the breasts, thighs & legs.

Put turkey into basting bag inside of bucket. Fill bag with water until turkey is submerged. Place bucket in refrigerator several days prior to cooking.

Self Basting Herb Paste:

1  cup barely softened butter
4 strips bacon uncooked – chopped
1/2 onion – chopped
3 cloves garlic – chopped
1/2 bunch fresh parsley – chopped
Fresh sage – chopped (about 3 tblsp.)
1 preserved lemon – chopped (less if a less salty gravy is desired)

1 cup dry white wine

4-5 more strips of bacon

Use your hands to squeeze the mixture together till well mixed.

Gently place handfulls of the Self Basting Herb Paste into the skin pockets.

basting paste

Place turkey –  breast side down –  into baking pan.

Lay remaining strips of bacon on top of bird & cover tightly with aluminum foil.

Cook in 350 degree oven till done. (See package cooking instructions for how much time to cook based on weight.)

Check center of breast meat with meat thermometer. Once it’s reached 155 degrees it’s ready!

Adam prepares the 2013 Thanksgiving turkeys; a wild hunted bird and a store bought.

Adam prepares the 2013 Thanksgiving turkeys; a wild hunted bird and a store bought.

Strain out solids from turkey drippings. Place in pot on stove top. At medium heat, start adding sprinkles of Wondra Flour once bubbles start appearing at the edges.  Blend with hand-held whisk until desired thickness.

Stuffing:

Meyer Lemon Bread Crumbs – about 4 cups

1 bunch fresh cilantro – chopped
3 beaten eggs
1/2 onion  – copped
3 stalks celery – chopped
3 cloves garlic – chopped
chicken broth – enough to moisten bread crumbs
1 drop food-grade Oregano oil (stirred into broth)

Combine all ingredients, cover and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.

jaja with turkey

Poached Eggs on Cheese Bread

Delicious day old bread uses.

2 cups chicken broth

2 tblsp. cilantro sauce

day old bread slices

Kerrygold Dubliner cheese – shredded

IMG_1468a

Use a little bit of the chicken broth to poach the eggs in.

Slice and toast day old bread.

Place the toast into a baking pan.

Top each piece with shredded cheese.

To the remaining chicken broth, add cilantro sauce.

Pour chicken broth/cilantro sauce over bread then microwave for 30-45 seconds to melt cheese.
Let this sit until the bread has soaked up enough liquid to make it soft.

Remove cheese bread from pan, put on plate then top with poached eggs.

IMG_1472a

Click here for more uses for hard bread.

Salsa

Base:salsa web

2 tblsp. olive oil in saute pan
4 cloves garlic – chopped
1 habanero chili (or 3 Thai chilis…or any type / combination of hot peppers that you like) – finely chopped

Saute garlic and peppers in oil just long enough that you start to smell the aromas
(garlic should be slightly browned …turn off heat before it burns).  Remove from heat.

to the sauted oil, garlic & peppers add

1 can tomato sauce – set aside to cool

Chop:
4 stalks celery
1 large yellow or white onion
1 carrot
3 or 4 bell peppers
6 or more large fresh tomatoes
2 bunches fresh cilantro
juice and zest from 5 limes
salt & pepper to taste
1 tblsp. cumin seeds

Pour sauce base over chopped vegetables and mix.

Great freshly made…but even better after sitting over night!

Lisa’s notes:  Salsa…. I have been known to eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I love mexican food and can tell in the first few moments if a restaurant is good by their salsa; if it is awesome, then the rest of the food usually is too.

My favorite salsa of all time is Casa Lupe’s.  My parents first took me to a restaurant that was in Gridley, CA when I was a child. Since then I have eaten mexican food all over and have yet to discover a salsa that’s better.  ….I have often contemplated applying for a job there so I could learn their salsa secrets!  This recipe is the culmination of many years of experimentation in attempts to match Casa Lupe’s awesome salsa.