This is gonna be a little long-winded, but what do you expect from a Texas gal, right? I’m going on a well deserved vacay and won’t be posting next week, so I thought I would give you a couple of recipes to get you thru the Fourth of July festivities including a Texas style Bloody Mary!
I don’t know if y’all are familiar with chimichurri sauce, but it’s this wonderful little Argentinian creation that they love to put on grilled meat, poultry and seafood. Down in Argentina, grilling is king. That’s kinda what they are known for. Them and the Brazilians. I see all these Brazilian steakhouses here in the U. S., but I don’t recall many Argentinian steakhouses. As a matter of fact, when I Google Argentinian steakhouses in my area, Brazilian steakhouses pop up. Why do I care? I don’t know, I’m a food geek. Things like this matter to me. If I was from Argentina, I’d be ticked!
Anyway, back on track (my mind some days, wow!). Chimichurri is traditionally made with either fresh parsley or oregano and sometimes both, with lemon juice, garlic, sometimes red pepper flakes or black pepper and vegetable oil. The ingredients vary depending on personal taste and region. I, of course, put my Texas spin on it and used a jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice and for a little extra flavor boost, the zest of one orange! I think you’re going to LOVE it! I used this sauce to marinate and to baste a boneless, skinless chicken breast. I also reserved about 1/3 of the sauce to drizzle on top for serving. Believe it or not, it’s really not that spicy, just packed with flavor! This sauce can be used on just about anything; grilled pork tenderloin, steak, shrimp, fish, you name it! Just make sure if you are marinating seafood of any kind, only marinate for 15 minutes max; otherwise, the acid in the chimichurri will make the meat tough. Hope you enjoy!
Texas Chimichurri Sauce
Chimichurri is a traditional Argentinian sauce for grilled meats where grilling is king! I’ve put my Texas spin on it using jalapenos, cilantro and lime. Use as a marinade for chicken, beef, pork or seafood.
Yield: Approximately 1/3 cup sauce
1 jalapeno including seeds, coarsely chopped
1 green onion, coarsely chopped
Juice of 1 lime
2 garlic cloves
Zest of 1 orange
½ cup of cilantro leaves
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
- Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until the ingredients are chunky and well chopped, but not pureed. You should still see small flecks of orange zest.
- Use 2/3 the sauce as a marinade and to baste the meat while grilling and use the other 1/3 to serve with the meat.
- Do not marinate seafood for more than 15 minutes as the acid in the sauce will toughen seafood.
Now for the Papas Bravas! Papas Bravas (pictured above with the chicken) is a traditional tapas served all over Spain in restaurants and bars. I like to serve them as a side dish because they are so incredibly yummy and delicious! Shout out to Chef Knowles, one of my instructors in culinary school for this fabulous recipe! It’s not healthy, by any means, but I don’t fix it everyday either! Special occasions only! You’ve heard of the 90/10 rule? Yeah, eat good 90% of the time and eat bad 10% of the time. This is part of my 10%!
The good thing about this recipe is you can prepare the sauce and par fry the potatoes the day before, keep them chilled in the fridge and finish them off right before the meat comes off the grill! Hey, if you’ve got the Bloody Marys mixed up, sip on one while these babies finish frying! Makes it all go by faster!
Papas Bravas is a very popular Spanish tapas dish served in bars and restaurants all over Spain. The deep fried potatoes are sometimes served with a spicy tomato sauce or aioli. This recipe is the aioli version with a little spice!
Yield: 12 to 14 tapas, 8 to 10 sides
6 Russet potatoes, scrubbed, rough cut in 1 ½” cubes, reserved in water
2 cups mayonnaise
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
¼ cup lime juice
1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
½ teaspoon salt
- Mix the mayonnaise with the next 6 ingredients and place in the refrigerator.
- Meanwhile, remove the potatoes from the water and pat dry.
- Par fry the potatoes in oil just until they start to brown. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels. Place in the refrigerator.
- Once you are ready to serve, fry the potatoes until they are golden brown.
- Toss thoroughly with the sauce in a large mixing bowl until all the potatoes are coated.
- Garnish with thinly bias cut green onions, white and green parts.
- You can prepare the sauce and par fry the potatoes the day ahead of time. Just make sure everything is held in the refrigerator.
And, now for the Bloody Mary recipe! I’ve put my little bit ‘o Texas spin on it, of course! I’ve used smoked Chimayo chili powder in this recipe. I order it over the phone from a little old guy in Chimayo, New Mexico. If you’re interested in getting some, just contact me in the comments with your contact info and I’ll let you know how to get some. The Tajin seasoning is in the Hispanic section of the grocery store. There is no substitute that I know of. If you can’t find it, maybe a combination of mild chili powder and margarita salt would do. Enjoy!
Bloody Mary (Texas Style)
This Bloody Mary uses cucumber flavored vodka made right here in Texas with smoked Chimayo chili powder I picked up on a trip to Chimayo, New Mexico. I order this stuff by the pound now! Tajin Clasico Seasoning rims the glass!
Yield: 9 – 8 oz drinks
6 cups V 8 Vegetable Juice
3 cups cucumber vodka (I used Western Son brand)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon smoked Chimayo chili powder
Juice of 1 fresh lime
Extra lime cut in wedges for glass rims and garnishing
Tajin Clasico Seasoning
- Place the V 8 and the next 5 ingredients in the large pitcher and mix well. Refrigerate.
- Pour a generous amount of the Tajin Clasico Seasoning in a saucer.
- To serve, rub the rim of a tall glass with a lime wedge and turn upside down in the saucer, coating rim with the seasoning.
- Stir the Bloody Mary mix and pour into a shaker with crushed ice and shake. Pour thru strainer into the prepared glasses.
- Garnish with your choice of condiments – lime wedges, celery stick, jalapenos, etc.
This meal makes a great Fourth of July cookout. It’s a great alternative to the usual hot dogs and hamburgers. I served it with sauteed green beans and yellow bell peppers, but it would be great with some grillin’ beans, potato salad, grilled corn on the cob and deviled eggs!
Y’all have a joyful and blessed July 4th!
God Bless America!