Chimichurri sauce enlivens a grilling favorite
Seafood is a natural menu choice at the beach. But in Jonathan Spivak’s experience, coastal diners are just as interested in the unusual as the expected. He should know. The restaurant veteran is the former owner of Sedona in Bethany Beach, Fusion in Rehoboth Beach and Salt Air, which is located in Fusion’s Wilmington Avenue space.
Even as early as 1993, the year Sedona opened, he served wild game. And many coastal diners appreciate a juicy steak, even if they’re steps from the ocean.
Spivak, who lives near Bethany Beach in the Salt Pond community, is now the owner of Home on Your Range, which provides customized dinner parties, typically for six to 12 people. One of his favorite dishes to prepare is grilled New York steak with chimichurri sauce, which he often serves family style. The fresh green herbs are a vivid addition, and you can buy them from local vendors at farmers markets. The uncooked sauce’s lemon, vinegar and garlic create a bright note that’s perfect for spring. Serve it with red potatoes and carrots for an additional pop of color.
It’s not surprising that Spivak would create a pretty plate. He’s also an abstract artist, a passion that he pursued after being successfully treated for stage 3 lymphoma. (He sold Salt Air in 2011 due to his illness.)
Now that it’s time for everyone to dust off their grills, add this dish to your Memorial Day menu. Much of the prep is done before guests arrive.
The chimichurri sauce is also good with lamb, pork, chicken and, for die-hard pescatarians, a meaty fish, such as halibut.
Grilled New York Strip Steak With Chimichurri Sauce
For the chimichurri
1 cup of lightly packed chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 minced garlic cloves
2 tablespoons of minced shallot
2 tablespoons of fresh oregano leaves
1⁄2 teaspoon of chili pepper flakes (more for greater heat)
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
1⁄2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
3⁄4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons of sherry or red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons of lemon juice
Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until well chopped. Don’t puree. Refrigerate the sauce for four hours before use. Allow time for the chimichurri to come to room temperature before serving. It keeps for one week in the fridge.
For the steak and vegetables
2 well-trimmed New York strip steaks, about 1 1⁄4 inches thick
Ground black pepper
2 pounds of small redskin potatoes, washed
1⁄4 cup of extra virgin olive oil for the potatoes
2 dozen baby carrots
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil for the carrots
Generously salt and pepper each side of the steak. Refrigerate the steaks for a minimum of one hour. Remove the steaks from the refrigerator a half-hour prior to cooking so they reach room temperature. Place the steaks on an outdoor grill or pan-roast them on medium-high heat on your stovetop for five minutes a side, turning two or three times until the internal temperature is 120 to 125 degrees. Remove from heat and allow the steaks to rest for five minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the potatoes in half and place them in a medium-size mixing bowl. Add the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the potatoes on a sheet pan and roast them in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes or until the potatoes are golden. When you can pierce them with a small knife, they are cooked through. Remove from the oven and let them rest until they can be removed from the sheet pan without sticking.
Use the same process to cook the carrots for 15 minutes.
Place the potatoes and carrots in the center of the plate. Slice the steak on the bias, against the grain. Fan the steak on top of the potatoes and carrots. Spoon the chimichurri on the steak and around the plate. N
Salting the meat for up to an hour before you grill it gives the salt a chance to break down muscle fiber, which results in a tender steak. Letting the meat come to room temperature ensures that the meat cooks evenly throughout. When you let any cooked meat rest before cutting, you give the juices time to redistribute.
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