Thursday, January 24, 2013

Chimichurri Sauce

As the new year has rolled in so have the new years resolutions.  In general in our home we are trying to get back on track with eating healthy, exercise and the like.  So I am cooking all paleo dinners for the month of January to get us started of right.  This is my husbands preferred way of eating and since he has been mostly paleo for the last 3 years I have seen him feeling healthier, have more energy and of course his clothes are fitting very nicely:)  So while I was resistant in the beginning I am now more on board with the whole idea.

If you don't know what paleo eating is, it is simply cutting out grains and sugars in your food.  This eliminates almost all processed food (which I love) (eliminating it that is!), sweet treats, baked goods (boo) and high starch veggies and fruits like potatoes (also boo!).  What's left? Well, mostly proteins, including nuts, meat, poultry and fish; vegetables (lots and lots of vegetables) and most fruits.  Some people continue to eat dairy, others eliminate it, but we do include dairy in our diet.

How does this all relate to chimichurri sauce?  I thought you'd never ask:)  I am not a huge meat fan.  And since I have taken away all the yummy, starchy sides that I adore, I needed to find a way to enjoy my healthy eating experience.  I have found that any way I can season or sauce up my protein is very beneficial in my eating enjoyment!  I do love food, remember? So what's to love if you don't enjoy what you're eating.

Chimichurri sauce reminds me of a mexican pesto.  It's got a beautiful bright green color and lots of spice and flavor from jalepenos, cilantro and lime juice.  It's perfect to brighten up grilled chicken or steak and light enough for fish, too.  The added bonus- it's super easy to make!  Here's how I make mine...

Begin with a jalepeno or 2 with seeds and ribs removed.

While the food processor is on drop them into the bowl and chop fine.   Scrape the sides of the bowl down.

Add cilantro, parsley, lime juice, oregano, salt and pepper to the bowl.

Pulse til finely chopped and combined.

Stream in the olive oil until it's the consistency you desire. This is not as thick as pesto because it doesn't have pine nuts or cheese.

Feast with your eyes first!  Enjoy.

Chimichurri Sauce

1 c cilantro
1/2 c flat leaf parsley
1-2 jalepenos
1 t crushed oregano
juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

With the food processor or blender on, drop in the seeded jalepenos to chop fine.  Place cilantro, parsley, oregano, salt, pepper and lime juice in the bowl.  Pulse to chop fine.  Stream in olive oil to desired consistency. Taste to adjust seasoning.  Top over meat, chicken or fish.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie

I have to admit that I am a cookie lover.  In fact, I have not ever met a cookie that I didn't like.  I'm not picky when it comes to my cookies, I like store bought and homemade.  I like healthy breakfast cookies and rich, decadent cookies.  I like both soft and chewy and  crispy, crunchy. But nothing beats a classic chocolate chip cookie, and this is my favorite recipe.  It's soft, chewy and has just the right buttery, chocolatey goodness that you want in a classic:)

Begin by creaming your melted butter and sugars.

Add in the vanilla and milk.  Make sure to stop the mixer and scrape the bowl before you continue to the next step.

Add in the combined dry ingredients, mix til just combined being careful not to over mix

Lastly add in the chocolate chips.

This recipe chills before you bake the cookies, so its perfect to make the dough the day before you bake them.  Cover and refrigerate for a couple hours, up to over night. When ready to bake- preheat oven and scoop spoonfuls of dough onto a baking sheet.  Bake for 9-11 minutes.  Let set for a couple minutes on the cookie sheet, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

It's tough to resist eating these while they're fresh out of the oven, but if you can't eat them all freeze the leftovers...they're ridiculously good right out of the freezer too;)  Hope you enjoy!

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Alton Brown

2 sticks salted butter, melted
1/4 c sugar
1 1/4 c brown sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 T milk
1 1/2 t vanilla
2 1/4 c ap flour
1 t baking soda
1 t kosher salt
2 c chocolate chips

Melt butter in microwave.  Measure both sugars into a large mixing bowl, add melted butter and cream together.  Add in eggs, milk and vanilla and mix well.  Add in combined dry ingredients and mix just til combined.  Mix in chocolate chips.  Cover and chill for at least 2 hours, up to overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 375F.  Spoon about 2 T dough onto a baking sheet and bake for 9-11 minutes.  I like to bake mine a little under and let them sit on the cookie sheet for a couple minutes, once set move to a wire rack to cool completely.

*this dough freezes well.  I like to freeze it in single cookie portions.  When ready to bake- preheat oven to 325F and bake for 16-18 min.  Remove immediately to a wire rack to cool.