My husband is quite clever with his cooking and serving tactics. He pulls his favorite garden chair close to the grill, which, he is proud to announce, is not some massive fifteen- foot long steel contraption that doubles as a speed boat, but rather, a flimsy metal square the size of a serving platter, piled high with coals, patience, expertise and nothing else.
If you want food, you must come to him, and we do.
When the first chorizito is ready, he’ll slice that sausage up right then and there and pop a sizzling sliver of garlic and herb-infused deliciousness into the closest mouth, setting the stage for an experiment in survival of the fittest which would have made Darwin proud.
“So, how is it?” He’ll ask as we elbow our way towards the prime feeding spot.
I don’t know why he asks.
He knows it’s killer good.
We all circle around him like desperately hungry chicks waiting for momma bird to drop another worm.
Maybe some of us are dripping wet from the pool, maybe some of us are pouring more wine, maybe some of us are arriving late, straight from work; we know to head to the back for my husband’s sizzling, carnivore feast, because over there, past the modern kitchen and the inviting dinning room, outside in the tiny western patch of neglected garden, just left of the overgrown hibiscus and the dried-up orchids is where the culinary going gets good.
Everyone gets a prized sample of sausage or grilled garlic bread or rib-eye seasoned with Sal de Ibiza and nothing else.
And then another.
This is how we have dinner, all of it, little samplers sliced on the spot and passed around by greasy fingers to assorted hungry mouths. Sometimes a juicy morsel will be balanced precariously atop a slice of crusty bread; sometimes it will come dripping all on its own.
I set out plates, forks and knives beforehand, I always do. But they remain unused, with the exception of a parked piece of corn (I’m just resting, the eater assures), or maybe, pooled in the center of one dish that inconspicuously becomes the communal dipping spot, a drizzle of chimichurri sauce, made hastily with the parsley and jalapeño growing inelegantly near the grill. That stuff goes great with everything offered: the steak, the sausage, the bread, the corn.
The evening passes quickly like this.
Even the mosquitoes fail in deterring us: good company, great wine, and incredible food serve as an indomitable antidote.
- ¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- ½ - 1 fresh jalapeño, minced (for less spiciness, remove the seeds)
- 5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup canola oil
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Mix parsley, garlic, oregano and jalapeño well. Add vinegar and combine into a paste. Combine both oils and drizzle in, mixing steadily. Add salt and pepper.
- Let chimichurri sit for at least 10 minutes before serving (the longer it sits, the better!) Can last up to four days in the fridge.