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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

What is Chimichurri?

Spy photo of Chimichurri sauce from the Shultzy's R&D Lab.

The origin of this month's cheesesteak was fairly simple: free association.

Cheesesteak -> Steak -> Argentina -> Chimichurri

I've been to Argentina a couple of times, and Argentinians both love steak and cook great steaks. Argentina's favorite condiment is probably Chimichurri, a spicy-tangy pesto-like sauce that goes great on grilled beef. What's in the sauce? Fresh parsley and garlic, lemon, olive oil, and a little crushed red pepper.

So, it wasn't a great leap of imagination to think that it might make a dandy cheesesteak.

So, off to the Shultzy's R&D labs. We started off with a Chimichurri steak with no cheese; I loved it, but it's too hard to explain a cheesesteak without cheese to customers, so we started exploring cheese combinations. Provolone worked best, and we were on our way. The sandwich was tasty, but a few slices of sweet roma tomatoes perfectly complemented the other ingredients in taste and texture.

And, the Chimichurri Cheesesteak was born...

But we weren't quite finished. Emily Schulze liked the ChimiCheesesteak (as it is affectionately known here), but wanted to try the same preparation with a veggie burger. Eureka! The Chimichurri Veggie Burger was born. Emily tried adding some grilled onions and liked it, so some onion-lovers may want to try that option. Yes, I know Argentina's not known for vegetarians, but perhaps they'll forgive our successful experimentation.