Monday, March 5, 2012

Ummm that’s not soup

columbian style flank steak w/ chimichurri

On our first date Josh told me to pick where I would like to have dinner. I chose a Colombian steak house that a girlfriend of mine had introduced me to awhile back. It was such a cute place for a date. The restaurant looks like a Spanish palazzo. The place had large Spanish tiles on the floor with high ceilings and interesting artwork. The ambiance was great, they had a live band and the food was pretty fantastic too. I was so nervous for our first date I went up the elevator to my neighbors and had a cocktail (ok maybe it was more than one). I tried on every outfit and every shoe I owned and finally settled on an ensemble. He picked me up and we were on our way. We were seated immediately and we tried looking at the menu but we just couldn’t stop talking. The waiter probably came around 2-3 times before we finally ordered our dinner. The waiter brought out a bowl for each of us and a spoon. Josh kind of looked at it and hesitated for a second and proceeded to reach for the spoon and the bowl. I didn’t want to embarrass him but I thought it would be more embarrassing for him to find out what it really was later. So I bit the bullet and said, “Ummmm, that’s not soup, its chimichurri sauce for your steak.” “Oh ok, I didn’t know what it was”. We both looked at each other and cracked up. We didn’t talk about the normal stuff people talk about on their first dates. We didn’t ask, so what do you do and what are your interests? We talked about plastic tubing and the real estate market crash (I know very interesting topics).  We talked so much that the waiter came back to ask us if something was wrong with our meal because we hadn’t touched it. On our second date we went to a Tapas joint. I was looking extra cute in my skinny jeans, heals, and a sparkly shirt. It was towards the end of March so it was still snowy and wet outside. To my horror when we entered the restaurant not only did I slip and do the splits once, not twice, yes my friends, I fell and slipped three times in my extra cute outfit. You know you just met the person you are suppose to be with when you mistake sauce for soup on your first date and you slip and do the splits 3 times on your second date and you still like each other. Our three year anniversary is coming up in a few short weeks. This dish is what we had on our first date. Colombian style marinated flank steak with chimichurri sauce (not soup).

The recipe called for 1 packet Sazon Goya with Achiote.  The package didn't say that it has Achiote but I know that Achiote is what gives the orange color.  My fingers were stained so I think I am good here.
This is what the marinade should look like.  I had to transfer to a bigger bowl because I under estimated the weight of the meat.  My first bowl over flowed.
Put all the ingredients in for the chimichurri and blend.
This is what is looks like.  If you prefer it a little more thinner just add a tablespoon of water to thin it out.  I like mine thick!
Cooking shows always tell you to wait 15 minutes to let the juices redistribute and to cut on a bias against the grain.  First of all, I can wait all day and the juices still run out (is it just me?)  Secondly I finally understand what they mean by bias against the grain.  You see how the grain is running up and down.  You cut it on a NW and SE bias direction (only took me 5 years to figure that one out).

 I served with grilled asparagus lightly dressed with lemon zest and Parmesan cheese but Josh did not like the lemon zest.  His exact words, "it's too lemony".
Colombian Steak Marinade:
(recipe from here)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup orange juice
juice of 3 limes
4-6 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon cumin
1 packet Sazon Goya with Achiote
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients for marinade into a deep dish and mix.  Marinade flank steak for at least 24 hours and grill.

Chimichurri Sauce:
(recipe from here)

1 cup Italian Parsley
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup cilantro
2 cloves of garlic
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt

Put all the ingredients in a blender and mix. If you like a thinner texture add 1 tablespoon of water as you go.

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