Wednesday, July 13, 2011

See? I Told You She Had Long Titles

Chicken and Shrimp with Pancetta Chimichurri (pg 118) may have suffered from inaccurate expectations on my part, or maybe it was just bad.

I've never had chimichurri. The closest I've gotten to it is watching Tony Bourdain talk about it on Travel Channel. This tasted like salad dressing, which shouldn't have surprised me, since it's a butt-load of olive oil (what a waste of a cup of oil), red wine vinegar, processed with parsley, oregano, garlic, and lemon juice. Is chimichurri supposed to taste like a vinaigrette? If it is, then I guess this was a successful one, and now I know I don't like it. If it's not supposed to taste like salad dressing, this failed utterly.
I curse thee, chimichurri.
I omitted the shrimp, because I'm on a budget this week, and just grilled up chicken, seasoned with salt, pepper, and oregano. This took forever and the cutlets were burning on the outside long before they cooked in the middle. The kitchen filled with smoke. When I expressed concern as to how this was going to taste, Matt said, "I have to admit, it doesn't smell good." No, it did not. The only good thing about this was the browned pancetta sprinkled on top. Not even baconish meat can save this.

To make matters worse, I had to eat mine cold, because I was pushing up on my wee laddy's bedtime, and he pitched a fit just as we sat down to eat.

Conclusion: Have to say, I hated this.


  1. know a dish is bad when bacon can't salvage it. Kudos for trying though.

  2. This post makes me sad. Chimichurra is supposed to taste like a rough parsley pesto, not a vinagrette! It is a fantastic, addictive condiment and I highly recommend you try making it from an authentic Argentian recipe. First off, I would say a cup of olive oil is going to make a whopping amount of chimichurri- I would only use a recipe that calls for 1/2 cup. I would also steep a bit or red pepper and paprika and salt in the oil. the chopped garlic can be very slightly warmed in this oil mix too, in the microwave, low, for just a minute. The key to the great taste is the flavor mix of the garlic and oil and pepper. A couple TBs mild white vinegar, or better mix in lime/lemon juice added to taste only, just to give it a bit of pungency.Chopped Flat leaf Parsley is added last-then the whole thing should rest overnight to mix flavors.

  3. Plus if she called for processing this in a food processor longer than 2 pulses that is not Chimichurri either- it needs to be chopped roughly, then mixed very gently- it is not a blended sauce like basil pesto. I suspect she ruined the recipe with too much red wine vinegar and too much processing. Don't curse the Chimichurri because if you had it in a proper Argentinian steakhouse you would be asking for more! tsk, tsk Giada!

  4. Oh dear. Well...I guess she can't win them all?

  5. I need to find an Argentinian steakhouse. Ha--fat chance here in the booming metropolis of Corpus Christi. What you describe sounds much more delicious, Stacy. I'm glad to know that this was just a crappy recipe.