By Adam Price, Executive Chef at Victory Ranch
Welcome to May and the unofficial beginning of summer. Summer brings with it the wonderful gift of the Barbeque and all the great times that go along with it—from the delectable smells of grilled meat wafting through the yard to lightly charred vegetables and satiating summer cocktails. After all, you are not really grilling without a refreshing beverage in hand. Here at Victory Ranch we love our barbeque; whether it’s prepared at the new addition to the Golf Grill kitchen, on the back patio of the Freestone Lodge or over the open fire at the Bugle Inn, grilling is part of our culture and we embrace it fully.
While marinating meat for the grill is not mandatory, it certainly adds an element of complexity to the flavors. It also allows us to savor a larger variety of cuts and types of meats or fish than we are normally comfortable using on the grill. What really excites me is that we can create a basic marinade and make small adjustments to adapt to a wide array of uses.
The best example of such a versatile marinade is the multi-purpose “Chimichurri.” This traditional Latin American paste can be made as a marinade, relish, vinaigrette, or pesto style garnish. The basic ingredients for a Chimichurri include fresh parsley, garlic, oregano, olive oil and white vinegar. The recipe can, however, be modified to fit specific tastes. Common substitutions include cilantro or mint for the oregano or lime juice for the vinegar.
Below you will find a recipe that we created here at Victory Ranch. We are big fans, and have used it for dishes as varied as grilled lamb chops, salad dressings, chicken skewers, salmon garnish, fish tacos and flank steaks. As you can see the uses for a good Chimichurri are limitless. As long as you use fresh herbs, garlic, a mild olive oil, and an acid (either vinegar or citrus), you have a very versatile and flavorful marinade. Try using less oil for a paste like consistency as a garnish, or add more oil and increase the vinegar for vinaigrettes to dress your fresh greens, drizzle over grilled asparagus, or toss with steamed leeks.
Have fun playing around with the ingredients and developing your own family Chimichurri recipe. If you have an herb garden at home, this is a great way to keep that mint plant under control or use the parsley before it flowers. I have also included the recipe for one of our newly developed summer cocktails, the “Mandarin Mechanic.” Its citrus-heavy palette will complement a Chimichurri spiced meal perfectly. It uses muddled blood orange and mint to create a light and refreshing summer drink.
1C Fresh Mint Cleaned
1C Fresh Cilantro Cleaned
.5T Red Pepper Flakes
.5T Onion Powder
1T Ground Coriander
.5T Ground Cumin
2T Lemon Juice
Mild Olive Oil blend
Salt and Pepper to taste
Place all ingredients in food processor and slowly add olive oil until desired consistency is achieved. Finish seasoning with salt and ground black pepper.
1 round Muddled Blood Orange
1 sprig Muddled Mint
4ea. Muddled Blueberries
1.5 oz. Absolut Mandarin Vodka
Splash Izze Clementine Soda
4-6 ea. Blueberries
Blood Orange Round for Garnish
In a strong tall glass, muddle together the rindless blood orange round, blueberries and a small sprig of mint. Top the glass with ice and then add the Vodka. Shake well. Fill the remainder of the glass with ice and add a generous splash of Izze Clementine soda. Treat with a Cointreau topper and garnish with 4-6 fresh blueberries and a blood orange wheel. Enjoy!
Adam Price joined the Victory Ranch staff as Executive Chef in May 2013. Growing up in New York City, Adam started his culinary career at an early age. After working in restaurants in New York, Ohio and New Hampshire, he landed in Park City in 1997. Adam began his journey into the club and resort lifestyle as Chef de Cuisine for The Talisker Club and Canyons Resort. There, he helped open and run a variety of restaurants over a stretch of eight years. Adam also spent time perfecting his craft at other Park City locations such as Sundance’s Zoom Restaurant and The Deer Valley Café. Adam has a BA in Human Ecology from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio.