There’s something profound, maybe even a little magical, about a good steak sauce. And few places are as celebrated for its steak, and its sauce, as Argentina, the land of gauchos, open-fire grills and chimichurri — that bright, garlicky, perfectly tangy green condiment typically served with thick, marbled cuts of meat. “The first time I had steak with chimichurri in Argentina, its country of origin, I was struck by how similar [it] is to the mint and coriander chutneys that I grew up eating in India,” writes celebrity chef Floyd Cardoz in Flavorwalla ($20), his eclectically diverse cookbook from Artisan Books. “All of these are perfect to serve with grilled meat, because their bold flavor and moisture can even rescue dry meat.”
Though traditional chimichurri calls for three basic ingredients — olive oil, parsley and oregano — Cardoz here substitutes oregano with thyme and mint for a distinctive herbaceousness that’s suitable to marinate and season just about every family of beef, poultry and pork you plan to cook this summer. If you plan to make a batch in advance, just remember: “Chimichurri really is best if made the same day it’s to be served,” writes Cardoz. “However, if you want to prepare it a day ahead, leave out the vinegar (it will discolor the herbs if stored for more than a few hours). Then stir in the vinegar 30 to 60 minutes before serving and let stand at room temperature.”
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
3 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon minced serrano chile
Leaves from 2 parsley sprigs, stacked a few at a time and thinly sliced
Leaves from 2 thyme sprigs, chopped
Leaves from 2 mint sprigs, stacked a few at a time and thinly sliced
Leaves from 1 tarragon sprig, stacked a few at a time and thinly sliced
1. In a small, dry skillet toast the peppercorns over medium-low heat, shaking the pan frequently, until fragrant and several shades darker, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Repeat to toast the coriander seeds.
2. Finely grind the peppercorns and coriander seeds together in a spice/coffee grinder.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, honey, ginger, shallot, garlic, chile, parsley, thyme, mint, tarragon, the spice mix, and salt to taste. Let stand at room temperature for an hour. Taste and adjust the salt if necessary before serving.
Excerpted from Floyd Cardoz: Flavorwalla by Floyd Cardoz (Artisan Books). Copyright 2016. Photographs by Lauren Volo.
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