The origin of the word "chimichurri" is not clear; you can check Wikipedia on that. We called our first version Chim-chimichurri because we wanted a unique name and liked the way that sounded rolling off the tongue. We've since reformulated so it will keep longer naturally AND to give it company on the shelf with a brother and sister. They are now named Authentic, Spicy and Red Chimichurri. But I digress...
Fact is, Chimichurri is one of the most versatile, freshest tasting condiments there is. It's been a favorite of our family for many years. I first started making chimichurri back in the early 1990's. My father in law – who is just a delightful man – was an oil guy who spent a lot of time in Venezuela and Argentina, so he had quite a refined and extensive palette: He was always introducing us to delicious foods. Once our family went to visit him in Houston and we went to an Argentine restaurant and got to taste chimichurri for the first time and have been fans ever since.
When we got back from the trip I began looking for recipes for chimi. There was no Internet then, so I went to the libraries and bookstores. I found some but none fit the bill. It was time to experiment. The chimi I now make is the result of many years of developing my own recipe. I used to make it with cilantro, but many people has a severe dislike of cilantro, and it seems that the traditional Argentinian recipe is not made with it, so I leave it out unless I'm holding a barbecue for a small group of friends or something like that. But for Gypsy Grove Foods, we found that we can make a delicious chimi without cilantro.
So what is chimichurri? The way we make it is super healthy. I have many repeat customers who love the fact that it is made with 100% olive oil which is a mono unsaturated fatty acid (very healthy) and it also has a ton of fresh parsley which is a natural detoxifyer. Nor do we dilute the olive oil with canola, cottonseed or vegetable oil to save money. It has fresh onion, garlic, a little salt and seasonings mixed with red wine vinegar: No emulsifiers, food coloring or preservatives are added and we pack it – and keep it – cold. You should be aware that real olive oil will congeal when cold. This is a sign that you're getting an all natural product: Just allow to warm close to room temperature, still and serve.
Ironically, this fantastic condiment for meat is – vegan! So, you can put our chimi on black beans, cook it with red russet potatoes, or add it to grilled vegetables for a vegetarian dish.
But chimichurri is made for steak. The two flavors just go really well together. The brightness and the freshness of the chimi with that little bit of tang really brings out the flavor of the meat. It's also delicious on grilled chicken. I love to roast a couple of small pork tenderloin as a “go to” dish for a party. Thinly sliced and served with a nice amount of chimichurri in the center of the plate and people just slather it on and love it.
Even though it's Argentine in origin, it has a lot of Mediterranean flavors. It has olive oil, parsley and fresh oregano as well so it's great on dishes like white bean and tomato salad with tuna. I'm told it goes well with pasta, although I've not tried this. That could be really good on a pasta salad and I'll try that later and get back to you.
Get some chimichurri today, you'll be glad you did. I don't think I'm going too far when I say it's the best condiment in the world.
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