Best of all, the two sauces below can be made in 20 minutes in a food processor and in advance. Try the rub as a marinade, the beautifully green chimichurri as a condiment/dipper.
Spiced and Spicy Jerk Rub
3 Scotch bonnet or habanero chile peppers, seeded and chopped
6 scallions, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons dark or amber rum (optional)
3 tablespoons ground allspice (also known as Jamaica pepper or pimento)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2-3 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, removed from stems
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. The mixture will be thick and pasty. Add a bit more oil if mixture is too thick. Use immediately for marinating or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, where mixture will keep for a few weeks.
Makes approximately 2 cups, enough for a whole chicken and then some, chicken thighs for six, or a five-pound pork tenderloin.
Use as a condiment for grilled meat, fish or shrimp
4 cloves garlic
Handful parsley, stems removed, chopped
Handful cilantro, stems removed
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves (approximately 10 sprigs)
1/4-3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white wine or wine vinegar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Coarse salt, to taste
With a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic with about 1/2 teaspoon salt. (Alternatively, puree in food processor.) Add the rest of the ingredients and taste for salt; adjust for seasonings. Sauce should be intense in flavor with piquant, salty notes.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups, enough for dipping for a sauce-lusty party of five. Will keep in refrigerator in airtight container for about two days.
- Kim O'Donnel
Culinary questions? Reach CL's Kitchen Witch at firstname.lastname@example.org.