Chimichurri Sauce

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This morning I noticed that my cilantro has been growing quite nicely with the relatively cool weather that we have been having, so I decided to pick a bunch to make Chimichurri Sauce. (Once it gets hot, cilantro goes to seed quickly.) Chimichurri Sauce is an Argentinian condiment that is traditionally served on grilled meats, especially grilled steak. It can also be used as a marinade, dipping sauce or salad dressing. Shown above, I have served it on a grilled portobello mushroom with salad greens and avocado. Yum! I hope that you enjoy the recipe!

Chimichurri Sauce

2 c. fresh cilantro, packed

5-6 cloves garlic, peeled

2 T. chopped yellow onion

1 fresh Fresno chili pepper, chopped

1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil

2 T. fresh lime juice, or to taste

1/4 – 1/2 t. sea salt, or to taste

1. Wash cilantro and remove any large stems. Blot leaves dry with a paper towel.

2. Place cilantro, garlic, onion, and Fresno pepper in a small food processor. Pulse until ingredients are finely chopped. Transfer ingredients to a medium size bowl.

3. Stir in olive oil, lime juice, and salt to taste. Refrigerate until serving.

Variations: Substitute flat leaf parsley or spicy oregano for part or all of the cilantro; substitute lemon juice or red wine vinegar for the lime juice; substitute red pepper flakes for the Fresno pepper; add cumin, thyme or paprika; add tomatoes or red bell peppers.

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Piquant Pieper Sauce and Pieper Eggs

My husband always tells me that the one draw back to my recipes is that I am not sufficiently creative when it comes time to name them.  Despite the unimaginative name -when writing my first cookbook, I ran out of appellations and named this dish after myself – this is quite delicious. It can be served warm or cold to top eggs, tofu, pasta or pizza. It can also be served as a dip for French bread, pita bread or chips. Shown below, Pieper Eggs … what else?

Piquant Pieper Sauce

4 lg. ripe red bell peppers

1 1/2 c. tomato sauce (unseasoned)

1/2 c. chopped white onion

1 jalapeno pepper

1 T. extra virgin olive oil

1 T. granulated sugar

2 to 3 T. fresh lemon juice, divided

2 t. paprika

1 t. salt

1/4 t. salt

1/4 t. fresh ground pepper

1 pinch ground thyme

1 clove garlic, crushed

(1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange peppers on parchment paper. Place baking sheet in the oven and  roast peppers, turning them occasionally with a pair of tongs, for about 20 minutes or until their skins are very blistery. Place peppers in a paper bag. Close the bag and let the peppers cool for 10 to 15 minutes or until they are cool enough to handle.

(2) Meanwhile, wearing plastic gloves, remove the stem and then chop the jalapeno. Place jalapeno in the bowl of a food processor.

(3) Working over the food processor bowl, peel the peppers, removing as much of the skin as  you can. Remove the stems and slice the peppers open. Remove and discard the seeds. Place peppers in the bowl of the food processor.

(4) Add remaining ingredients, starting with just 2 T. of the lemon juice. Process until almost smooth.

(5) Preheat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Pour the sauce into the skillet and cook for about 20 minutes or until the liquids have cooked off and the sauce is very thick. Stir frequently. If the sauce begins to spatter while it is cooking, reduce the heat.

(6) When the sauce is thickened, taste to see whether it needs more lemon juice, salt or pepper. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Use right away or store in the refrigerator in a covered glass jar. Yields about 1 quart.

Pieper Eggs

(per serving)

1 t. unsalted butter

2 lg. eggs

1 T. milk

3 to 4 T. warm Piquant Pieper Sauce, divided

2 slices French Bread, warm and buttered

1 c. baby spinach, optional

1 T. chopped fresh parsley

(1) Preheat a skillet over medium heat. Add butter and swirl it around the skillet. When butter just starts to sizzle, the skillet is ready.

(2) Meanwhile, beat together the eggs and milk. When the skillet is ready, pour in the eggs. Let eggs start to set on the bottom. Use a turner to pull them toward the sides of the skillet. Repeat, without stirring constantly, until the eggs are about half-cooked. Add 1 t. of sauce to eggs and continue to scramble until they are set.

(3) Place French bread on a warmed plate. Optionally, top with spinach. Then top with eggs. Garnish with remaining warm Piquant Pieper Sauce and then parsley. Serve immediately.

Variation: add 1/4 c. shredded mild cheddar cheese to eggs while they are cooking.