03 September 2008

Chimichurri Wins the Day

For the past few weeks we've been getting a few ears of sweet corn in every CSA delivery. Though I normally love corn on the cob, lately I've wanted to try using sweet corn in things, instead of on its own. Remembering back to a phenomenal corn fritter I had while in San Fransico I decided to try to make my own. I knew I didn't want to deep fry (or for that matter even shallow fry) anything so I though about trying to make a sort of hybrid corn pancake fritter. I looked up several recipes online and decided to make an arepa style dough, but add in fresh sweet corn kernels.

I got a few recipes from the Food Network website and stopped off at the Latino market on the way home to buy some masa harina, a precooked corn meal flour. I made the arepa dough according to the directions, which involved mixing the masa harina with boiling water, salt and a bit of sugar and then stirring in the corn kernels. The dough needed to rest for 30 minutes, so while it did I made a chimichurri based on the recipe included with the arepas.* My only prior experience of chimichurri was when Zach and I were in Argentina and a little bowl of it came with, well, nearly every meal. It's a condiment not dissimilar to pesto in form, but much thinner and generally based on parsley and cilantro instead of basil. I blended the juice of 1 lemon with big handfulls of cilantro and parsley, along with garlic, salt and a tiny hot pepper.

Then I pan fried the arepas with just a brush of oil in the pan and topped them with some soft cheese (also from the Latin Market), chimichurri and a piece of tomato. The arepas were all right- good flavor in general but just too dense for what I was looking for. The chimichurri, on the other hand, was amazing. The flavors were so refreshing- the tang of the lemon, the cilantro and parsley and just a hint of bite from the chiles, it gave the arepas a great flavor. Since the recipe made about 2/3C, we've had it on baked potatoes, veggie burgers and a few other random things- it is a great all purpose condiment and the flavor is different enough from typical things we eat to hit my tastebuds every time.

* I cannot for the life of me find the webpage with the arepa recipe I used so I apologize for not providing the link.

Yield, approx. 2/3 C.
Adapted from the same phantom webpage mentioned above

Juice of 1 lemon
2 big handfulls parsley (about 1/2 C. firmly packed)
2 big handfulls cilantro (about 1/2 C. firmly packed)
1 fat clove of garlic
3 T. oil oil
1 chili pepper
3 sprigs fresh oregano
salt and pepper to taste

- Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor. You are looking for a smooth sauce that still maintains small pieces of the herbs. The chimichurri should easily pour off a spoon. If it's too thick, add a bit more lemon juice and oil (or you can just add water if you don't want to add more fat).

- Serve immediately or keep for up to a week, tightly covered in the fridge.


kat said...

Wow, this sounds so awesome! I can't wait to try them

kittie said...

Oh this chimichuri sounds delicious... I thinking it might be nice over some roasted summer veg!

Sue said...

I love stuff like that, that you can fling on many different dishes to add great flavor and zing. This would be good on top of polenta - you still have the corn meal idea without the frying - or grilled chicken, flatbread, steak of course, or even huevos rancheros. Good recipe!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Hello and yum! That looks great!

Jen said...

Thanks all- I think I'm going to have to make up another batch to try with roasted veg and maybe some polenta although Zach would really love some steak.