Monday, May 28, 2012

Grilled Steak Sticks with Vegetables and Chimichurri

My nephew Jake decided to have an international food taste testing for his 11th birthday.  Being a chef I knew he expected something amazing from me (my sister also gave me the heads up).  Our whole family enjoys beef so I brought Argentinian beef kabobs.  I also brought french pastries because Jake requested them.

The french pastries are not exactly made with pure foods but they don't really turn out with whole wheat flour and sucanat.  I love to eat real foods but I also believe in living my life 80/20.  80% of the time we eat really good and are very active but the other 20% (vacations and special occasions) I just roll with the punches.

I have a lot of friends that bring all of their food on vacation so that they never eat anything processed and I admire that but for me that would be stressful. I always try to use the good, better and best method for vacations, eating out and special occasions.  I make the the best choice from what is available instead of stressing myself  out about not eating the right foods.  Sometimes the best choice might even mean bringing french pastries to your nephew's birthday party because he asked you to and you want to make his day special. Of course I had to try them to make sure they were up to par!!!  His party may have been a more 50/50 day food wise but it was 110% fun and yummy!

Grilled Steak Sticks with Vegetables and Chimichurri
This thick herb sauce, common in Argentina as ketchup is in the United States. Chimichurri is a melange of olive oil, vinegar and finely chopped parsley, oregano, onion and garlic, all seasoned with salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Served as a condiment, with grilled meat and vegetables.
1 ½ cup olive oil
¾ cup red wine
¾ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons oregano, chopped
9 cloves garlic minced
1 ½  teaspoon crushed red pepper
Salt and pepper
1 flank steak cut into ½ inch strips
2 small summer squash cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
2 small zucchini cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
1 pint mushroom
1 pint grape tomatoes
3 heads of garlic broken into cloves and peeled
16 bamboo skewers soaked in water for 30 minutes

  • Whisk together oil vinegar, parsley, oregano, garlic and salt and pepper to taste (about 1 tsp of each)
  • Place beef strips in a zip lock bag with a ½ cup of sauce.  Turn to coat.
  • Place vegetables in a zip lock bag with a ½ cup of sauce.  Turn to coat.
  • Marinate beef and vegetables for 15-30 minutes.
  • Thread beef on skewers.
  • Thread vegetables on skewers leaving ¼ inch space between vegetables.
  • Grill kabobs over and open grill for 6-8 minutes for beef and 8-10 minutes for vegetables turning once.
  • Arrange kabobs on platter serve with remaining sauce.
Chef tips
Leave space between vegetables so they will cook evenly.
This marinade taste great on pork and chicken too!
I prefer making it with basil rather than oregano but for the party I made it the traditional way.

French Pastries:Cream Puffs and Fruit Strips

Meringue Update
In my post Mother's Day and Carson's Cookies I said I would try to make meringue with palm sugar and let you know if it worked.  The answer is...I didn't.  They cookies never became crispy and I did not like the flavor.  Next I will try to make them with honey and let you know how that goes.

Have a great great week!! 
Take it one prep at a time,
Chef Jackie

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