The Tastiest Chimichurri

The Tastiest Chimichurri

I don’t cook, but I know what tastes good.  That qualifies me to pass judgment on a good sauce/marinade/dipping thing when I taste it.

This one is super easy and tasty beyond belief.  You can marinate a steak in it, dip bread into it, or pour it over something grilled.  All credit goes to “How to Grill” by Steven Raichlen (although I use more mint than he recommends and citrus vinegar instead of white vinegar).

1 packed cup washed, stemmed, fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1 packed cup washed, stemmed, fresh cilantro leaves

1/2 packed cup washed, stemmed fresh mint leaves

6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon coarse salt, or more to taste

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/3 cup distilled white vinegar, or more to taste

1/3 cup cold water

Combine the parsley, cilantro, mint, and garlic in a food processor and finely chop.  Add the salt, black pepper, and hot pepper flakes and process to blend.  Add the oil, vinegar, and water and continue processing to make a thick sauce.  Taste for seasoning, adding salt or vinegar as necessary; the chimichurri should be highly seasoned.

La Señora

La Señora

My mother is “La Señora.” She’s the one who calls the landlord when the music is being played loudly at 7 p.m., the one who calls the police when kids are trying to skateboard off the roof, the one who doesn’t return baseballs that get hit into her yard, the one that yells at you to get off of her property.

My mother’s brand of law and order, if not appreciated by those under 40, is welcome by her elderly neighbors. But, for the most part, they’re not the ones prone to retaliation.

Yesterday, the under-18 set went to war with my mom. In the way of mischievous kids, they pelted my mom’s house with limes.

According to my mom, her peaceful afternoon was broken by the loud sound of citrus working against gravity. She heard branches break in the hedges, some loud booms on the garage, and a “thwhack, thwhack, thwhack” against the trash cans.

Because “La Señora” doesn’t ever expect to be under attack, she was more intrigued by the sounds than dismayed. After the first barrage she came out to investigate. As she walked the perimeter of the property she found one lime after another.

She went back inside. The next barrage started and this time she went outside—with a basket. She picked up every single one of those limes. “Y no lo vas a creer, eran de esos limones buenos,” she said. Twice she filled up her basket.

She couldn’t believe her luck. Fifty limes, all from the neighbor’s lime trees. All from trees that are normally just outside of her reach.

It was like manna from the heavens, but because she’s Mexican, even better.

Things to See At a Brazilian Churrascaria

Things to See At a Brazilian Churrascaria

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a churrascaria fan.  The Brazilian-themed all-you-can-eat restaurants are a big favorite of mine.  Visits to such restaurants in D.C., San Francisco, and New York have helped us hone our sense of the best. 

Until tonight, that was Fogo de Chao in Los Angeles.  Chicago’s Texas de Brazil, although part of a chain (like Fogo), may have unseated Fogo as the best churrascaria.  I say “may have” because we’ve only been there once, and thus can’t say much about the consistency of service or dining experience, but the meat is excellent, the salad bar (which we don’t ever really bother with, had chimichurri and cheeses to think twice about) is good, and the service is impeccable (thanks to Eric who knew a lot about Malbecs).  Other things to note:

  • They have a wine rack that’s two stories high and encased in glass.  That lets you watch the wine-getter, a woman who’s suspended in a harness and who does elevated backflips, twirls, and generally dances around in mid-air, as she awaits the order to retrieve your wine;
  • The ambiance is diverse.  In addition to a packed restaurant of locals, we saw an Amish family enjoying the salad bar and a guy wearing a t-shirt that read “Got GPS?” dining with his ate-like-a-vegetarian partner;
  • While the picanha and flank steak disappoint at other places, they were perfectly done here.  They tasted as good as I always hoped they did at the other places.

Sorry for the lack of photos, but tonight was all about the dinner.  I had no interest in picture-taking.