Summer is in full swing, and in Houston, that means >90F blazing sun and unbearable humidity day in and day out. That also means a refreshing look for my wardrobe: shorts and sleeveless tops and sundresses. Especially now that I finished my last rotation as a third year medical student (hooray!), and am officially on a two weeks summer break, it’s quite nice to change out hospital scrubs for breezy summer blouses.
My first activity on official summer break was cooking. Not a terrible surprise, I know. But this time, I was cooking for a large group of 50 people. To be honest, I’ve never been a fan of cooking in bulk or industrial-sized kitchen production, so to speak. I’ve always felt that it takes away from the subtle gourmet-ness and homey touch that I want my cooking to embody. However, this experience proved me wrong.
So how did this opportunity come about? My bible study small group was assigned to be in charge of food preparation for the monthly young adult fellowship gathering, where we worship, share meals together and participate in a topic discussion. Being the ambitious and foodie-filled small group that we are, we decided that instead of catering, we would make everything from scratch. The theme being a Latin American fare.
Among dishes in the menu that we brainstormed, there was brisket with chimichurri sauce, cilantro lime rice (spin-off Chipotle rice), beans, baked potato wedges with ranch dip, Brazilian cheese puffs and a mango lime salad. Beside the meat dish, we made everything in three hours ahead of the fellowship gathering, with ten of us fumbling in the church kitchen, washing, chopping, seasoning, saute-ing, blending. Everyone was assigned a task, and foodies were in charge of coordinating and taste-testing. It was a pretty epic ten-people effort. During fellowship, everyone kept on praising the dishes and some even asked if it was catered from a restaurant! WIN!
As for me, I was assigned to make the chimichurri sauce ahead of time. It was pretty exciting for me since chimichurri is one of my favorite sauces. It is an Argentinian dip that is popular throughout South America, it’s very acidic and also fragrant, with parsley and cilantro serving as the base. It’s great to use on meat, as dips, on portobello mushrooms, whatever you name it. It’s also a perfect sauce for summer, since it’s best served chilled. So I decided to make extra, to go with my skirt steak.
Enjoy it, savor every drop!
Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce
Ingredients for skirt steak:
- 4 large pieces of skirt steak
- salt and pepper
- 1 Tbsp canola oil
Ingredients for chimichurri sauce:
- 1 cup of chopped parsley
- 1 cup of chopped cilantro
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tbsp dry oregano
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 pinch of black pepper
- 1/2 jalapeno pepper, minced
Marinate steak with canola oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top. Let meat sit for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, add all sauce ingredients into a blender. Blend for 10 seconds or until parsley and cilantro leaves are broken up but not completely mashed. Add a bit of water if sauce is too dry. Chill sauce in the fridge until ready to serve.
Heat up a flat pan over high heat. Lay skirt steak flat against the bottom of the pan. Sear each side for 1-2 minutes over high heat. Since skirt steaks are thin, it’s best to do this part fast and avoid overcooking the steak.
Slice the steak against the direction of the grain. Serve with chilled chimichurri sauce.
Note: chimichurri sauce can keep in a closed jar in the fridge for up to 5 days.