Green Jimmy Jerry Sauce ✠
Although the meaning of the word chimichurri has long been disputed, it is now fairly accepted that it sprang from a Spanish approximation of a Basque term that approximately translates as “a mixture of several things in no particular order,” from Basque immigrants to Argentina and Uruguay in the 19th century. Many in Argentina and Uruguay have alternate etymologies. Whatever its meaning, it is the most common condiment for grilled beef and lamb in these countries, where barbecue is a mainstay of the diet.
Their chimichurri is both a sauce and marinade, and made in both red and green varieties. Its chief ingredients are cilantro, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, onion, and perhaps paprika, with lots and lots of olive oil. Such ingredients make it very aromatic, flavorful, tangy, and unctuous. And while these South Americans use it on their grilled meats, I find many more uses for it than that. I’ve used my version of the condiment on fish, roasted chicken, steamed vegetables, and, with jalapeño, on my morning eggs.
My version below omits the salt and most of the olive oil, but retains the aroma, flavor, and tang of the original. It’s not a real chimichurri, so I gave it a name to remind you of its ancestry.
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup white wine vinegar
- 1 oz lime juice
- 1 oz extra virgin olive oil
- 1 shallot, chopped coarsely
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped coarsely
- 1 large jalapeño chile, stem removed, chopped (optional)
- ½ cup Italian parsley, leaves only, packed
- ½ cup cilantro, leaves and upper stems only, packed
- 2 tbsp fresh oregano leaves
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp xanthan gum
Start with the liquid ingredients in the bowl of a blender and turn it on to a medium speed. Add the remaining ingredients in the order given. Once all ingredients are in the bowl, turn the speed up to high and liquify for one minute. Pour into a glass container and refrigerate until needed.
Makes about 1½ cups.
Pico de Gallo ☆
Pico de gallo, literally rooster’s beak, also referred to as salsa fresca, is a Mexican-style sauce. It is a fresh, uncooked mixture of chopped tomatoes, onions, chiles, cilantro, lime juice, and salt. The distintuishing attribute of pico de galo from other Mexican-style salsas, is that its ingredients are always fresh. It is chunky. Each chopped ingredient is distinctly visible.
Except for the omission of salt, the recipe below is typical.
- ¼ cup onion, minced
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 Roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- 2 large New Mexico green chiles, roasted, seeded and chopped.
- 2 large jalapeño chiles, seeded and chopped, or to taste
- ¼ cup green bell pepper, minced
- ¼ cup red pepper, minced
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Combine and mix well all ingredients. Refrigerate at least 2 hours to blend the flavors. The preparation may be refrigerated for up to about a week.
Serve as a dip or a condiment