Chim Chim Cher-Ee

Whenever I hear the word chimichurri I always think of the song from Mary Poppins. It’s such a happy little song and who doesn’t love Dick Van Dyke – the man exudes happiness.

But chimichurri obviously has nothing to do with sweeping chimneys, rather it’s a sauce used with grilled meat that originated in Argentina. It can also be found in Uruguay, Columbia, Mexico and…Nicaragua!

So for our last Nicaraguan recipe we bring you a delectable steak recipe featuring the chimichurri sauce for what we’re calling Nicaraguan Tenderloin. We started by preparing the sauce using Italian parsley, olive oil, red wine vinegar and garlic.

The parsley and garlic were chopped in the food processor and then the olive oil, red wine vinegar and salt and pepper were tossed in and pulsed to form the sauce. It’s important to sample the sauce at this point and adjust the seasonings as necessary to ensure that it’s strong and flavorful.

We then divided the sauce into two bowls – one for serving with the meal and one for the marinade. Then we turned our attention to the tenderloin.

We sliced the tenderloin lengthwise into 1/2 inch strips and placed it between two sheets of plastic wrap. Miss A then brought the hammer down…or meat mallet as it were. (And no – she’s not pouting. She’s posing. LOL.)

She had a great time pounding away.

And she even did a nice job getting our steak strips to about a quarter-inch thickness.

We then tossed the steak strips into a bowl with the chimichurri marinade and set it aside for 30 minutes.

After flipping the steak in the marinade a few times, we were ready to grill. We heated the grill pan over high heat and then oiled it before tossing on the steaks.

We grilled the steak for about 1 or 2 minutes per side and then set the meat aside to rest.

As most of you know, we served our Nicaraguan Tenderloin alongside our Utah Johnnycake and Nicaraguan Gallo Pinto.

It was a delicious, fun meal and one in which we all found something we enjoyed – even Miss A. While the Johnnycake and gallo pinto weren’t quite up Miss A’s alley, this steak was a very different story. Miss A actually devoured her serving and asked for two additional helpings! You know what that means – 4 spoons.

This was also easily a 4 spoon recipe for me too. I’m not a particularly big meat-eater and it’s not usually anything I would order at a restaurant, but this dish was right up my alley. The chimichurri really took steak to a whole new level for me.

The boys, however, had a different take on the tenderloin. Mike, someone who does enjoy his meat, only gave it 2-1/2 spoons. He thought it was just “fine” – not great. The sauce was a bit too acidic for his tastes. Mr. N also gave the steak 2 spoons; although this wasn’t really a surprise. He’s a chicken and fish guy. What was a surprise was that he was able to name the ingredients of the chimichurri on taste alone. Impressive for a seven-year old I thought.

While each dish came in with varied reviews from the four of us, we’re going to call it a success. We all found something we really enjoyed and aside from Miss A’s feelings toward the Johnnycake, no one really disliked anything. And as Mike will tell you the steak and gallo pinto leftovers made for a great burrito the next day. Well, it’s now farewell to Nicaragua and off to our next international location with Mr. N as our tour guide. I’ll give you a hint…he’s a big fan of Asian food. 😉

Print this recipe: Nicaraguan Tenderloin

61 thoughts on “Chim Chim Cher-Ee

  1. Stefanie says:

    I’ve seen chimchurri before, but have never tried it. It looks great, especially with the tenderloins! Adds a nice pop of color! And it must be so nice to have such adorable help in the kitchen 🙂


  2. Karen says:

    Miss A has made me laugh out loud with her cute looks so many times. The two kids will probably be on the food channel anytime now. I wanted to comment on your chimichurri sauce being too acidy. I make mine with fresh lemon or lime juice…lime being the less acidic. If you want, look at my buffalo ribeye post for the recipe. Maybe you can get four spoons from the whole family if you don’t use vinegar. Hope it helps for the future. I have been out of town for awhile and am just catching up with your posts.


  3. Caroline says:

    Miss A has perfected the Mary Kate and Ashley pursed lip pose, haha! I love it. Chimichurri sauce is one of my favorites…pure garlic deliciousness. Still drooling over that plate of food. Everything looks SO dang good!!


  4. Kay aka Babygirl says:

    I see Miss A is already perfecting her “Don’t mess with me look”.. she will definitely need it when she gets older :). She’s still a cutie though. And I did tell you I thought Mr. N’s palate was amazing. I really do love visiting your space Kristy.. you are such a wonderful person and from what i see a wonderful mom. Tell Mr. N I love this blog for me 🙂


  5. spicegirlfla says:

    Oh no Kristy, you did not put that song in my head!! Now and forever when I see that sauce that tune will pop in my head!! It’s always a perfect compliment for steak. At an latin restaurant I frequent, they use it for their dipping oil served with freshly baked bread. It’s torture to stop eating!!


  6. Geni - Sweet and Crumby says:

    It’s funny, but I believe my husband and I would have the same number of spoon rating as you and Mike. My husband is a huge red meat lover. He likes his steaks mooing and could eat them daily if I didn’t shove healthier fare his way, but I am NOT a meat person and yet this chimichurri sauce is calling to me and making me crave this steak. Hmmmm? You now have Mary Poppins stuck in my head. P.S. I love the food and your charming writing Kristy, but I must admit my very favorite thing here are always pics of your adorable kids cooking. What a happy and lovely family you have. It’s so weird to me that mine are 17 and 13 now. I see your pics and think back to those little years…


  7. Charles says:

    Thanks so much for “educating” me on your latest leg of your round the world trip Kristy. I think this has probably been my favourite so far of all the countries you’ve visited, although I enjoyed when you went to the Phillipines too!

    Really looking forward to seeing the next destination… I’m guessing maybe China? I hope one day you can “go” to Vietnam and have a try at making Pho – did you try that before? The stuff is freaking amazing 🙂

    The steak looks fabulous, indeed the marinade is a fabulous colour and I bet gave a wonderful flavour – Miss A did indeed do a very pro job at smashing them down too… Go Miss A! 🙂


    • Kristy says:

      Wow! Yay for Nicaragua! I’m not sure what my favorite country has been so far. We’re going to have to dig into that. 🙂 It’s not China or Vietnam – but I’m going to have to look into Pho. I haven’t had that before. 🙂


      • Charles says:

        Oh, it’s *amazing*! Just make sure you get all the correct accompaniments if you ever try to make it. The right noodles, star anise and good bones for the stock are critical to its success, but aside from that, you need some raw onion, bean-sprouts, lemon slices, hoi-sin sauce (I think) and the herbs – mint, and “cilantro” and “basil”. I put them in quotes because they’re not exactly those – they’re slightly different plants, in the same family and so they have very different leaves, but similar taste. Tear them up on top of the fresh bowl of soup… SOOO good!


  8. profiterolesandponytails says:

    I’m impressed that you put Miss N. to work pounding the steaks! Looks like she did a great job. I have to admit that I think of that song with this dish too….although I’m often singing several songs from that movie. My girls both love it, and we went to the play in November and the girls had a blast.


    • Kristy says:

      Oh how fun! We would have loved that play too. Miss A and Mr. N watched the movie for the first time last spring and both enjoyed it. Let’s go fly a kite is one of Miss A’s favorite bedtime songs. 🙂


  9. Mel says:

    Yummy yum yums! And you are giving Mr. N some excellent chef training 🙂

    I am listening to the whole mary poppins soundtrack now. Still one of my favourites!!


  10. Courtney says:

    Okay, first off, the pose from Miss A is priceless. Second, my oldest would die to get his hands on a meat tenderizer – and I think it could possibly be dangerous. Third, Mr. N can name all the ingredients?!? Impressive, because I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to. And finally, wow does that (still) look good!


    • Kristy says:

      I know I wouldn’t be able to guess the ingredients either. Mr. N ceases to amaze me. The meat mallet has to be one of the kids’ favorite kitchen gadgets. They especially like crushing pecans and walnuts. 😉


  11. sallybr says:

    Chimichurri is pretty big in Brazil too, although we just call it a “vinaigrette” – in those restaurants (rodizio) where you can eat all the meat you want until a comma, chimichurri is always placed at the table. It is nice indeed, and I confess to loving it on top of white rice, together with some black beans.

    And “farofa” is a must. I should really make a blog about farofa one day, but I need to find the right flour for it.

    I won’t even comment on the cuteness level of the photos. You’ll kill us all one day.. 😉


    • Kristy says:

      Now that does sound wonderful – chimichurri over white rice and black beans! Yum!!!! And farofa looks really good too. I had never heard of that before. Mmmm. I think I’m going to be stuck on this black beans thing for a while. I still have some parsley leftover….


  12. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles says:

    We have another gender split here, interesting… the flavourings in the sauce sound perfect to me and I also love dividing sauces into marinades and serving top-ups … that way, you’re sure to enjoy the taste while keeping things moist and juicy. That’s quite a ‘look’ that Miss A is sporting ;). Lovely photos Kristy!


    • Kristy says:

      Thanks Kelly! I know this gender split thing is interesting lately. Usually Miss A and Mike are more closely linked. That said – we know she’s a huge fan of vinegar. 😉


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