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August 24, 2012

Churrasco with Green Chimichurri Sauce

Churrasco is a Portuguese and Spanish term referring to beef or grilled meat, differing across Latin America and Europe, but a principal ingredient in many Latin American countries.

Chimichurri Sauce is a thick herb sauce that is as common in Argentina as ketchup is in the United States. Typical Chimichurri is a mélange of olive oil, vinegar and finely chopped parsley, oregano, onion and garlic, cilantro, all seasoned with salt, cayenne and black pepper.

Green Chimichurri Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup salmuera (3 teaspoons kosher salt dissolved into 1 cup water)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano
  • 2 bunches fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 package of fresh cilantro
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chart Spanish sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 jar roasted red bell peppers, drained and diced

  • 1 center cut beef tenderloin

    Instructions:

    Add salmuera, oregano, parsley, garlic, and olive oil to food processor and pulse several times until well blended. Add spices and white vinegar and pulse a couple times again. Transfer to bowl, and stir in red wine vinegar and then fold in diced roasted peppers.

    Holding the knife parallel to the cutting board, cut the tenderloin lengthwise into 4 flat, even slices. Place each slice between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound to a thickness of ~1/4-inch. Arrange the steaks on top of the chimichurri in the baking dish, and then pour another quarter of the chimichurri on top. Reserve the rest of the chimichurri for serving as a dipping sauce. Cover and marinate the meat for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Bring beef to room temperature before grilling.

    Set up the grill for direct grilling. Arrange the beef slices on the grate on the diagonal and grill until cooked to taste, about 2 minutes per side for medium-rare, rotating the slices 90 degrees after 1 minute to create crosshatched grill marks. Transfer the churrasco to plates or a platter and serve the remaining chimichurri sauce on the side as a dipping sauce. Cut the churrasco against the grain in thin slices.

    Thanks Mac for sharing this recipe. We all enjoyed it at one of our wine dinners, it was delish!

    Posted by terri at 02:21 AM | Comments (0)

    August 23, 2012

    Toasted Cereal Snack Mix

    Cereal is fortified with minerals and vitamins making it a very healthy snack. Make this in advance and take with you on trips, hiking, or just to cure the munchies

    Serves 24

    Ingredients:

  • 3 cups each Corn, Rice, Wheat square cereal (can use Chex or store brand)
  • 1 cup cheerios cereal
  • 1 cup mixed nuts, unsalted
  • 1 cup pretzel sticks
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning mix

    Instructions:

    Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Combine all ingredients into a large bowl and toss to coat. Bake until golden about 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes, cool. Store in airtight container.

    Cooking Wiser:
    Make your own Italian seasoning mix by combining 1 tablespoon each of dried basil, parsley and oregano, 1 teaspoon garlic powder and onion powder and salt and pepper to taste. You can also add dried red chili peppers to taste. I usually triple the recipe and freeze.

    Make it your own:
    Add chili powder, ranch dressing dry mix, hot sauce, or any dry herbs that you like. You could also add popcorn, cheese crackers, or bagel chips

    Posted by terri at 06:53 PM | Comments (0)

    August 13, 2012

    Cheesecake Parfaits with Rum glazed Peaches

    This is a no bake cheesecake that is unbelievably good and easy to make. Use peaches that are in season for best results. See my suggestions for using other fruits, remembering to always go with seasonal produce whenever possible. Plus see how to turn this into a deep dish pie.

    Serves 4
    Total time 30 minutes

    Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoon graham cracker crumbs
  • 4 firm, ripe peaches, , scrubbed peeled and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup rum
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Tablespoons toasted coconut

    Instructions:

    Beat the cream cheese with the powdered sugar and cream. Set aside. Melt butter in large skillet, add peaches and brown sugar and cook until peaches are slightly softened and sugar has melted. Add the rum and lemon juice. Cook until the sauce is slightly thickened.
    To serve: Put 1 tablespoon graham crackers into each of 4 parfait glasses. Top with cream cheese mixture and spoon the peaches and sauce on top. Garnish with the toasted coconut.

    Cooking Wiser
    To decrease fat use 1/3 less fat cream cheese and 2% milk
    Decrease sugar to 1/4 cup- I like it better this way, in fact you could use fresh peaches and omit the butter, sugar and alcohol.

    Make it your own
    Use your favorite fruit- strawberries, bananas, blueberries, mangos, etc.
    Use peach or coconut flavored rum
    you can even turn this dessert into a chocolate fantasy by using chocolate sauce and cherries.
    For a deep dish pie, prepare a deep dish pie plate with a graham cracker crust by melting 2 tablespoons butter in microwave and add 2 cups crackers, mix well then pour into pie plate and press firmly into plate. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool and fill with cream cheese mixture and top with fruit.

    Posted by terri at 02:41 AM | Comments (0)

    August 02, 2012

    Heirloom Tomato Salad with Capers, Basil and Sea Salt

    What to do with all of those tomatoes. There are so many recipes it is hard to pick just one. This idea brings in a touch of the Mediterranean with the addition of capers, flower buds that are usually preserved in a vinegar brine.

    Serves 8
    Prep time: 20 minutes
    Total time: 20 minutes

    Ingredients:

    4 pounds tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped
    1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced
    ½ cup capers
    ½ cup Flat leaf parsley leaves, minced
    1 cup fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
    ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
    Fine sea salt
    Freshly ground black pepper

    Instructions:

    Combine the tomatoes, onion, and capers in a large salad bowl. Sprinkle the herbs over the tomatoes. Drizzle with oil and gently toss tomatoes to thoroughly combine. Season with salt and pepper.

    Posted by terri at 03:14 AM | Comments (0)

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