Photo courtesy of Dominic Lockyer.
By Ryan McKay
With homemade tortillas under your belt, I felt it was time to share one of my favorite things to top it with, Chimichurri. This aggressively herbaceous sauce rests comfortably in my personal top five of all time. It will level up pretty much anything it touches, offering complexity and boldness where there was none before. Acidity, heat, spice, and salt, it covers all the bases (as well as your next taco).
Chimichurri hits the sweet spot as a sauce because it is so diverse. Marinade, sauce, green, or red (add tomatoes or peppers), it does it all. No cooking necessary, and it keeps for weeks. It’s classically added to steak, but trust me, it goes on EVERYTHING!
Some after the fire critiques: This is an aggressive sauce and, as such, the heat level of this Argentine creation varies from recipe to recipe to help tame it. Adjust the red pepper flakes to your guests’ comfort, but it is a needed component. Play with different vinegars too, white, tarragon, etc. Oregano is traditionally called for, but cumin is a nice alternative and easier to find.
1 Cup Flat Leaf Parsley
1/3 Cup Cilantro
3-4 Cloves Garlic
¾ Cup EVOO
¼ Cup Red Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp. Red Onion or Shallot, diced
1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
1 tsp. Cumin
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Pepper
Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
Place all the ingredients except the red onion/shallot in the food processor and pulse until chopped. Add the red onion/shallot and mix until combined.
Ryan McKay is a 12-year fire service veteran and a firehouse cook from Atlanta, Georgia. His goal is to bring the fast-paced lifestyle of the fire service with the slow-paced art of cultivating family and crew through the tool that is food. He has made an appearance on NBC’s primetime show “Food Fighters,” is a co-founder of the Metro Atlanta EMS Conference, and works intimately with the SafePath Child Advocacy Center.