Question: Could you please tell me where to find chimichuri. It's a wonderful condiment eaten with grilled meat, mostly in Argentina, but also other South American countries. Better yet, if you could provide a recipe, I would enjoy trying to make it myself.
Answer: We'll do both. You can find chimichuri at Liborio, 864 S. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, or prepare it from the following recipe.
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup wine vinegar
1/2 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced parsley
1 teaspoon ground oregano
Dash cayenne pepper
Combine oil, vinegar, onion, garlic, parsley, oregano, cayenne and salt and pepper to taste. Stir with whisk or fork. Let stand at room temperature 2 to 3 hours to develop flavors before serving. Makes about 1 cup.
Q: Is it safe to leave unused portions of canned foods in the can after opening?
A: All of the references we checked agree that it's safe to store food in the open can, but recommend covering the can opening with plastic wrap and placing it in the refrigerator.
Acid foods, such as grapefruit juice or tomatoes, may dissolve a little iron from the can and develop a metallic taste if stored too long. Unless stored for short periods, it might be best to empty these foods into a plastic or glass container.
Q: I have olive trees in my yard and would like to know how to preserve them. None of the books I have cover this subject. Do you have any suggestions?
A: A leaflet, "Home Pickling of Olives," is available from the University of California. This publication gives simple, concise working directions for pickling, canning and curing olives in the home. To obtain a copy, send a check for $1.25, made payable to U.C. Regents, to ANR Publications, University of California, 6701 San Pablo Ave., Oakland, Calif. 94608-1239.
Q: I'm always forgetting to defrost the meat I plan to serve for dinner. Then I get home and have to figure out something else to cook. It occurs to me that perhaps meat can be cooked from the frozen state. Are there any guidelines for doing this?
A: Meat may be cooked from the frozen state by simply allowing additional cooking time, according to the National Live Stock and Meat Board. Frozen roasts require about one-third to one-half more time to cook.
The extra time needed to cook frozen steaks, chops and patties varies according to the surface area and thickness. When broiling thick frozen steaks, chops or patties, place them farther from the heat source than defrosted ones so they don't become too brown before they're cooked to the desired degree of doneness.
When panbroiling these frozen meat cuts, the board recommends using a preheated skillet to brown the meat before it has a chance to defrost on the surface. Reduce the heat after browning and occasionally turn the meat so it will cook through without becoming too brown.
To braise frozen pot roasts, allow about the same cooking time you would for defrosted cuts.