Every Monday night the girls and I indulge in our guilty pleasures of good food and The Bachelor/Bachelorette/Bachelor Pad. Or more like it’s the one night of the week we can stuff our faces with dinner and dessert (and sometimes wine!), and make snarky comments about the cheesiness of “the most dramatic season ever!”
Last week was my turn to cook dinner. We had been stuck in a rut of pizza delivery and pasta due to our busy schedules, so I had been anticipating making chimichurri using fresh basil.
Chimichurri is a marinade for grilled meats from Argentina made with parsley, garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar and crushed red pepper flakes. While chimichurri is traditionally used as a sauce for beef, it is also served well with white fish (halibut, tilapia, cod).
I chose polenta as a side dish because I wanted an alternative to potatoes, and the basil and oregano variation of chimichurri I made reminded me a lot of pesto. The chimichurri even tasted great on top of the polenta! Believe it or not, prep and cooking time for this meal clocked in at just an hour, so it ranks as a perfect weekday dinner to impress in my recipe book. And I quickly roasted zucchini and carrots seasoned with EVOO and salt and pepper alongside the sirloin in the broiler.
Sirloin with Chimichurri
3 – 3 1/2 lbs. top sirloin roast
1/2 cup EVOO
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup white vinegar
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
1 cup fresh parsley
1 cup fresh basil
1/4 cup fresh oregano
4 cloves garlic
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Preheat the oven on broil to 500 degrees. In a large roasting pan, rub 1/4 cup EVOO on the sirloin. Season generously with sea salt and pepper. Pour water and white vinegar into bottom of roasting pan for basting. Roast sirloin in oven for approximately 30 minutes, basting occasionally for medium-rare to medium temperature, or until a meat thermometer reads 145 degrees.
In a food processor or blender, combine parsley, basil, oregano, garlic, lemon juice, remaining 1/4 cup EVOO, red wine vinegar and crushed red pepper flakes. Pulse until ingredients combine to create a smooth sauce.
2 tablespoons EVOO
1/2 large red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 quart chicken stock or broth
1 cup polenta (also called cornmeal or corn grits)
3/4 cup grated Parmigiano cheese
3 tablespoons butter
In a large non-stick pan, heat EVOO and saute red onion until translucent on medium heat. Add garlic and saute for another 3-4 minutes until fragrant, being careful not to burn garlic.
Add chicken stock or broth and bring to a boil. Combine polenta and lower heat. Simmer and stir frequently until polenta becomes thick and smooth. Before serving, add butter and Parmigiano to melt into a creamy mixture.