On this week’s episode of Chefs at Home, chef Douglass Williams whips up his version of chimichurri—and uses the green sauce three different ways.

By Bridget Hallinan
November 02, 2020
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We’re big fans of green sauces. They’re a great way to use up herbs you have lingering in your fridge, and depending on what kind you make, you can serve them on everything from pasta to grilled fish and vegetables. On this week’s episode of Chefs at Home, we’re joined by Douglass Williams—chef and owner of MIDA in Boston, and a 2020 Food & Wine Best New Chef—who shows us how to make his version of chimichurri, an Argentine condiment. He explains that uses for the sauce include a dip, a marinade, and a “side sauce,” and pairs it in this video with grilled steak, shrimp, and vegetables. Along the way, he also shares what inspired him to become a chef, as well as his favorite culinary term.

Read on for his step-by-step method, and follow along with the video above.

Make the Sauce

You’ll need Dijon mustard, chile flakes, red onion, red-wine vinegar, garlic, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, salt, black peppercorns, and parsley or cilantro for this sauce, along with canola oil to emulsify it all. Start by blitzing everything but the herbs and oil in a blender, ensuring the seeds have broken down. Then, you add in the parsley—when you cut it up, be sure to finely chop the stems so they don’t get caught on the blender blade. Once the parsley is blended in, slowly drizzle in the canola oil as the blender is running to emulsify the sauce.

Williams says the sauce can last a week and a half in the fridge. Enjoy it within four days if you want “optimal flavor.”

Get the Recipe: Spiced Chimichurri with Cilantro and Dijon

Marinate Everything

With the green sauce prepared, it’s time to marinate the vegetables, shrimp, and skirt steak. For the vegetables, Williams has whole Jimmy Nardello peppers, whole patty pan squashes, and a quartered white onion (he also suggests trying this with eggplant, mushrooms, or zucchini). Add them to a bowl and coat with the marinade, adding a little salt for extra seasoning. You can grill them immediately, or leave them in the marinade for up to a week. The shrimp, on the other hand, go on wooden skewers—soak them before grilling so they don’t catch on fire—and can be grilled immediately or marinated up to one day. After two days, Williams explains that the “vinegar and some of the ingredients” will start to cook the shrimp, and you’d end up with ceviche

Finally, the skirt steak goes in a bowl and takes a marinade bath, too. (Be sure to spread it out so the sauce goes on evenly.) Just like the vegetables, you can marinate it up to a week, but Williams feels the optimal time is up to three days.

Time to Grill

Heat your grill as hot as it will go (or fire up a grill pan on the stove). Williams recommends starting with the vegetables, which will take roughly 15 minutes to cook, and utilizing a grill tray so the smaller pieces don’t slip through the grates. (He puts the squash and onions on the grill tray, and the peppers directly on the grate). You’ll want to cook them until they’re slightly shriveled.

Next, kick the peppers to the side and place the steak on the hottest part of the grill, cooking for about 90 seconds to two minutes per side. To achieve a nice char, try to avoid moving it. 

Williams then moves the peppers onto the tray with the rest of the vegetables, flips the steak, and adds the shrimp to the grill, cooking them for two minutes per side. (You don’t want too much char on these, he notes, as they could get rubbery.) As each item comes off the grill, he places them on a wire rack set in a baking sheet wrapped with foil, which will allow air to circulate around them as they cool.

Serve

With the food grilled, you’re all set to serve and enjoy. Williams puts the vegetables, whole, on a plate with a little bowl of the sauce for dipping; the skirt steak is sliced against the grain, and both it and the shrimp are finished with a drizzle of more sauce. 

“Once you have the marinade made, I mean you really can do anything,” Williams says.

Come back on Monday, November 9 for our next episode of Chefs at Home featuring cookbook author and food stylist Samantha Seneviratne.