Previously, on tastingmenu.wordpress.com –
…I went to work at a Japanese restaurant in the capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires…I had only been in the country for a year… –Nobu: The Cookbook, p. 15
…we’ve added a green chimichurri salsa from Argentina that uses lots of Japanese shiso and Peruvian huacatay – distant cousins of basil and mint… –N.M. –Nobu Miami: The Party Cookbook, p. 114
I’d been meaning to getting around to trying this chimichurri from Nobu Miami: The Party Cookbook. Since I was planning on doing steaks this weekend, I thought this would be a good time to do the shiso chimichurri recipe (see Nobu Miami: The Party Cookbook, p. 184; an online version can be found at: http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1000283841 ). Looking over the recipe, I knew I could get most of the ingredients; but how to obtain the huacatay? Fortunately I had a friend/acquaintance that came through and helped find me a bottle of Dona Isabel huacatay paste/puree in the local area. Obviously it wasn’t exactly the fresh leaves, but it
Now the recipe request of the juice of 1 1/2 lemons became 3/4 lemons. My experience taught me that the juice of a lemon was about 1 3/4 oz. So I’d need about 1 1/3 oz – translating that would be 2 tablespoons+2 teaspoons of juice.
So a half recipe would look like:
2 tablespoons+2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon (1 teaspoon+1/2 teaspoon) rice vinegar (there was no red rice vinegar available)
5 shiso leaves chopped up (I could get those at Ebisuya in Medford, MA)
1/2 tablespoon (1 teaspoon+1/2 teaspoon) of chopped up huacatay mint (in this case, the paste)
1/2 tablespoon (1 teaspoon+1/2 teaspoon) garlic puree (read: grated garlic)
1/2 cup (30g or about 1.05 ounce) chopped parsley
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
So the recipe indicates to mix the juice and the vinegar first and to set that aside. At that point everything (less the
olive oil) is tossed into a blender (read: food processor) at low speed and the oil is slowly added in a thin stream to the
mix. I imagine the lemon juice/vinegar is added at the last minute so as not to discolor the parsley and the shiso.
So like the entry in the Nobu’s Miami book, I also went ahead and made red and yellow anticucho sauces to go with the meal. As an added bonus, I decided to join the shallot tosazu sauce to the mix as well. So I would have a steak dish with a palette of 4 sauces.
To go with the meal, I made skewers of (2) zucchini, baby tomatoes and (1) yellow squash that I tossed with some olive oil and about 3 3-finger pinches of 4:1 salt/pepper mix. Those skewers were roasted at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes in my countertop oven and then broiled for another 5 to finish. As a starter, I got ‘individual’ packages of kinugoshi (silken) tofu, to which I added a 1″ long dab of grated garlic to each, cover with minced scallion and then topped with a dab of grated ginger. To the started, I added 2 tablespoons of nikiri sake/soy (1 oz nikiri sake/tablespoon of soy) and then poured Nobu’s new-style oil (9:1 olive oil/sesame oil, heated to smoking hot). over each starter.
As for the steaks, I went and got a london broil cut, seasoned each portion with about 2 3-fingered pinches of 4:1 salt/pepper mix on each side. The steak portions were seared both sides in a hot wok with a little rice oil and cooked it about 7 minutes/side on medium heat to reach a medium doneness.
On trying the shiso chimichurri with the steak, the shiso subtly shone through with the herbacious hints of the parsley and huacatay. I didn’t get the citrus hit I expected from the lemon/rice vinegar, but they did add a bright acidic note. And while I didn’t get that expected raw garlic bite, there was definitely that ‘savory’ garlic aroma.
My wife made an interesting observation: on a whim, she made a separate mix of the yellow anticucho and the shiso chimichurri. She also made a mix of the red anticucho and the shallot tosazu. She looked thoughtful for a moment and said she liked the combination of the yellow anticucho and the shiso chimichurri. After the meal and noticed that I had some remaining shiso chimichurri. I’ve heard about
the Nobu restaurants using the shiso chimichurri with salmon and baby squid. I can’t wait to try it on atlantic swordfish ‘toro’!