Dinner Tonight: Ted Allen's Grilled Steak with Roasted Jalapeño Chimichurri

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[Photograph: Blake Royer]

Chimichurri with steak is certainly not a new idea, and in fact it's probably the most common way that this Argentinian sauce is used (and they know a thing or two about steak in that country). The garlicky, herbal flavors marry beautifully with the richness and fattiness of steak, not to mention its visually stunning contrast of green against red. Flipping through this month's Esquire magazine, I was immediately drawn in by this variation on chimichurri from Ted Allen's new book In My Kitchen.

Why I Picked This Recipe: I've had chimichurri in a few different variations, but never with roasted fresh chiles, in this case jalapeños, which lend some body and thickness to the sauce. Once they're blackened and charred (then peeled and seeded) they also bring a smoky, grassy, sweet flavor. It ended up being one of the best chimichurri sauces I've tasted.

What Worked: Besides the roasted jalapeño addition, I also loved the subtle but effective use of red wine in the recipe (just 3 tablespoons, in fact). Obviously red wine and steak go well together, and I found that it added complexity and richness to the chimichurri that red wine vinegar along couldn't achieve. It highlighted that same richness in the steak.

What Didn't: In this case, nothing. No complaints about this recipe whatsoever.

Suggested Tweaks: Skirt steak is unfortunately getting expensive in some markets, and I actually ended up using a flat piece of hanger steak for half the price that grilled up beautifully. Any well-marbled cut will work (and a little bit of chewiness is actually preferable), since it will be sliced thinly against the grain anyway--though skirt steak is the best option.

Adapted from In My Kitchen.

About the author: Blake Royer is a food writer, photographer, and filmmaker based in Chicago; he has been writing for Serious Eats since 2007. You can follow him on Twitter @blakeroyer.

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