some food deserves to be loved just for the mere name of it… like s’mores (which, by the way, i believe is a fab invention and also love to eat). or many of the austrian specialities; like buchteln (an austrian, steamed yeast pastry that’s served warm with vanilla sauce), datschi (an austrian yeast fruit tart) or powidl (austrian name for plum sauce). another such an adorable food name – from the other end of the world, however, is chimichurri.
chimichurri is a bright green salsa, similar to a pesto, however without the nuts or cheese in it. it consists of mostly parsley and / or cilantro and garlic, and it’s commonly used on argentinian grilled meat. you see, chimichurri has many convincing and indulging aspects – however its name is what attracted me right away (yes, i fall in love quickly, madly and deeply, and there is often no way back, i fear). let me asure you: chimichurri did not, ever, let me down.
apart from the chimichurri however, on this night, i also made home made potato chips (or crisps, as the english fellows would call it). the plus side of making your own chips: they’re home made (obviously)! the down side however is, that it takes a lot of deep frying time. alas, a chip pan would have been wonderful. but… with a bit of patience (and the ability to still force a smile when you’re greasy after) you will have a wonderfully fulfilling result. and an added bonus for the possibility to add funnily colored potatoes!
so i’m sending you off into the day / night (on my side of the world) with some chimichurry-nice wishes! adios!
chimichurri on steak & home made chips/crisps
1 cup parsley leaves, washed and patted dry
1 cup cilantro leaves, washed and patted dry
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cm jalapeno or other green chile
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 tbsp. lime juice
1 tsp. fleur de sel, more to taste
6 black pepper corns, freshly ground
a food processor
combine the herbs, garlic, jalapeno, vinegar, lime juice and olive oil in a food blender. pulse a few times until the desired consistency is reached (note on that: i quite like my chimichurri not too smooth, i.e. with a few solid parts in it, too. because one, it’s not a pesto after all, and two, it looks better on the steak. but of course, feel free to blend it as much as you desire). season with salt and pepper.
if used immediately (which i recommend), then fine. if you want to preserve it or prepared it ahead, then simply drizzle some olive oil on top and cover with foil. don’t store in the fridge if you plan to use it later, because the oil will get hard. but you can store it in the fridge in a jam jar for up to 5 days (or so i think).
home made chips/crisps
4 large, firm potatoes, maybe one purple or blue colored one
3 cups peanut oil
maldon sea salt, to taste
fresh thyme sprigs, leaves removed
a vegetable slicer
a lot of paper towel
a small but steep saucepan for deep frying
first prepare the maldon sea salt and thyme spice mix: combine the salt and the thyme in a mortar, and grind well. put aside.
wash the potatoes and pat dry. i chose to leave the skin on, but you can peel them if you want. slice the potatoes into 1mm thin (almost able to look through) chips and spread evenly onto layers of paper towel, and pat dry firmly and thoroughly. heat the peanut oil in the saucepan, until tiny sizzling bubbles appear when you add a potato slice. now place a batch (about a handful, not more, otherwise they’ll stick together) of chips into the hot oil, allowing them to dance around the oil for 1-3 minutes. the best indicator for them is the color: when they’re golden to slightly brownish looking, they will be crisp! remove with the sieve and place on more paper towel to dry. sprinkle with the thyme salt immediately. now deep fry one batch of chips after another and proceed the same way, until all potatoes are deep fried. serve immediately.
note: the chips can be served on the next day, still, however they will likely turn a bit… soft and squishy. like any chip or crisp would…. so, not what you want from a crisp crisp, right? so, basically, they’re meant to be eaten just in time. munch-munch! enjoy!
of course, now a little side note for the meat…
well, you know me, i’m neither a meat lover, nor a meat expert… this ojo de agua (from argentina) beef filet however turned out nicely. probably because the meat itself was so good, i couldn’t spoil it? or maybe because i was just lucky. but anyway, here’s my meat advice: take the meat out 20 minutes before using them. heat frying butter in a frying pan, on very high heat. place the filets in the pan and fry, on each side, for 2 minutes. the cooking time depends on the thickness of the meat, of course, and your desired done-ness. i like mine medium. which basically means the meat has to feel as firm as the skin on the inner side of your hand, right below your thumb. you know that rule, right? it’s silly, but it’s also… sort of a good guide to the perfectly satisfying meat. then again… maybe it was just my lucky day? everyone has some of these, so i just say thank you to the god of beef filet. so, thank you, and god luck to you, too.
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