Chimichurri “Air” – Adventures in Molecular Cooking [7]

After learning the simple recipe for making flavored “air” at Molecular Gastronomy Class, I thought long and hard about what I wanted to aerate first. Multiple visits to the the Bazaar by José Andrés had me familiar with Bar Centro’s “salt air” topped margaritas, and my favorite “new way” martini with spherified (Ferran Adria) olive is topped with a tangy brine “air”. 

Peter and I love grilling flatiron steak, and I make homemade chimichurri sauce at least once a week. But in our house it’s not just for beef. We also add it to eggs, quesadillas, pastas, and even tuna salad.

Chimichurri "Air" photo 10 by MyLastBite.comTo make the “air”, there are actually only two ingredients needed: some sort of liquid and the lecite (aka lecithin), a natural soy-based emulsifier (links below).

Traditional chimichurri is usually made with two liquids: olive oil and acids, usually limes or vinegar. To make my chimichurri air, I left OUT the olive oil and just drizzled the oil on the steak directly, BEFORE adding the “air” on top.

I like my chimichurri REALLY spicy and wasn’t sure the heat would remain after straining and aerating, but it did. The light (and well, airy) texture was a refreshing change from the standard sauce. 

I certainly don’t plan on going crazy with the lecite (although I do think a Heinz 57 “air” would be an awesome return to my childhood). To me, it’s simply about learning yet another delicious (and fun!) cooking technique at home.

My Recipe for Chimichurri Air:

Chimichurri "Air" photo 2 by MyLastBite.com9 oz liquified chimichurri sauce (recipe follows)
1.5 g lecithin (aka lecite), food grade
Olive oil (to drizzle on steak) 

To make the chimichurri sauce:
1 cup chopped parsley
1 cup chopped cilantro
2 medium jalapeno chilies (or more if you like it spicy)
8 oz of fresh lime juice or red wine vinegar
2 or 3 cloves of garlic
Fleur de sel (or sea salt) 

Place all ingredients in a mini-chop or food processor and blend until liquified.

Chimichurri "Air" photo 3 by MyLastBite.comMeasure 9 oz of liquid (add vinegar or water if needed). 

Then pour the liquid through a fine strainer to remove any large pieces.

Make sure it’s 9 oz of liquid to 1.5 g lecithin (again, add vinegar or water if needed).

Place the chimichurri sauce and lecite into a large bowl and blend with a stick-blender until foaming. Note: I have a large, plastic container that I use for this. It can get pretty messy in a standard bowl, so wear an apron!

Chimichurri "Air" photo 9 by MyLastBite.comPrepare the steak:
Grill steak to desired doneness and let meat rest for at least ten minutes.

Cut and plate then drizzle olive oil directly on steak.

Add salt then scoop out whipped “air” from bowl and gently place on meat.

If the “air” becomes watery, simply blend again (not too long) until foamy. Serve immediately!

Chimichurri "Air" photo 11 by MyLastBite.com

Mentioned Above:

Bazaar’s Martini w/ Brine “Air”

About Texturas (in English)

Albert & Ferran Adria Textura site (spanish)

About Texturas – Lecite (airs)

Where to buy molecular ingredients

Molecular fun at home

My ChimiTuna (tuna salad with chimchurri)

My visits to the Bazaar

Ferran Adria’s “Liquid” Olive

El Torito’s Deep-Fried Ice Cream photo

Adventures in Molecular Cooking 6 (Trisol)

Adventures in Molecular Cooking 5 (Class)

Why I call it “Molecular Cooking”

All my chimichurri “air” photos on Flickr

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20 Comments

Filed under Molecular Cooking, Recipes

20 responses to “Chimichurri “Air” – Adventures in Molecular Cooking [7]

  1. This looks beautiful and delicious!!! Jo you did an awesome job.

    I love the pictures of your visits to the Bazaar.
    xo

  2. This is a great idea for an air, Jo. Very thoughtful, well prepared, and incredibly stiff. Some airs that I’ve tried (certain juices) required me to beat the hell out of them before they’d stand up. This looks like it behaved very well.

    D-lish.

    p.

    PS: NICE WEDGE SALAD!

  3. oh wow… Iron Chef might be in trouble!

  4. Who needs expensive molecular gastronomy classes when I have your wonderful posts?

    • Hi Jessica,
      I definitely loved taking those beginner classes because I was so intimidated at first. It’s when I stopped thinking it was “science” and really just a new way of cooking, that it got to be fun.

      Thanks so much for your support!

      Cheers!
      Jo

  5. Fabulous! Your chimichurri air came out just perfect! Do you get lecite online? I’m looking for a good brand of lecithin to get. I’ve been playing around with molecular gastronomy this week too inspired by the excitement of finally getting to go to Alinea this weekend. Fun stuff!

  6. oh wow…talk about impressive! molecular gastronomy seems sooo high up there for me, but you make it sounds quite doable! yours look absolutely perfect!

  7. In college it was airbands and now we have air food. Love the air food better. The chimichurri sauce is a great first pick to aerate. Looks like alot of fun.

  8. Please let us know WHENEVER you want to have us over to sample your beautiful work! xox

  9. thanks for the education looks great

  10. So glad to have discovered your blog. We love chimichurri…and never tasted molecular gastronomy until at taste of the nation…now we’re tempted.. :)

  11. frantic foodie

    wow. this is so well done.

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