Sunday, May 22, 2011

Asado / Mangal: Argentine-Israeli Fusion

In honor of the Jewish holiday of Lag B'Omer, I took out our tiny charcoal grill and played with matches until I had something I thought might cook some bits of meat and veggies.  Israelis take their barbecue, called "Mangal," very seriously.  On Independence Day, "Yom Ha'atzmaut," the parks are so full of smoke from everyone's little grills you can hardly see a couple meters ahead.  On Lag B'Omer the predominant tradition is building bonfires.  

Growing up in Florida, we often went to my grandparents' house for "asado," Argentine barbecue involving a variety of meats.  I remember a lot of eating as things cooked on the grill, and then more eating when we all sat down to eat.  At the table a jar of chimichurri was always passed around to put on the bread and top the meats.  As I write this, my Aunt is preparing to have my grandparents over for asado this evening.  


I put together some skewers with small pieces of turkey, baby portabella mushrooms, red bell peppers, yellow cherry tomatoes, and red onion.  In honor of my Argentine heritage, I prepared homemade chimichurri. 

My chimichurri included

  • A LOT of fresh Italian/flat leaf parsley
  • some fresh cilantro, four cloves of garlic
  • ground coriander
  • ground cumin
  • oregano
  • thyme
  • olive oil
  • cider vinegar
  • salt
  • ground red pepper flakes


You can search the Internet for recipes and choose the one that appeals to you.  Mine was more of a sharp pesto, but I also like the type that is a salsa verde with bell peppers, tomatoes, and onions that have been marinading for a long time.  There is a fancy restaurant chain in Israel, called El Gaucho, that makes an excellent chimichurri with tasty fresh bread, but you can also get it as a topping at the more casual Burgers Bar chain, and probably in your local grocery store.

1 comment:

  1. That chimichurri sounds amazing. I have been wanting to try it for years and never have. Maybe I will get adventurous this summer. My herb garden is growing beautifully and this would be just the thing to put some of its bounty to good use!

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