Once upon a Christmas Eve a few years back I experienced the spirit of Colombian Christmas like never before. There was chorizo and empanadas and aguardiente and arepas, but the one item that caused me to fall to my knees in gratitude was the cilantro crack sauce. We put it on everything that night. There wasn’t a piece of chorizo, empanada, arepa or piece of cardboard that didn’t get smothered in this sauce.
Now don’t be thinking that there was actually crack in that sauce because I am Colombian. Remember, we don’t do the drugs, we just sell them to you. The reason we named, or maybe I named, the sauce “crack sauce” is because I have heard that this crack substance is quite addictive and so is the silky green sauce to which this post is dedicated.
For a while, I tried to imitate it from memory, but it never quite had that “yo no se que” that it did that Christmas Eve.
Luckily, the other day, I saw my cousin Naty who hosted said Christmas Eve and asked her for the recipe. I tried to make it as per her directions, but it just didn’t come out, so I bought a ton of cilantro and tweaked and measured until I came up with what I felt was a nearly perfect match.
Please do not take this recipe lightly even though it seems simple. It WILL change your life. I know that most of you don’t have Colombian chorizo and empanadas around to cover with this sauce, but alas, the possibilities are endless and I will list some below.
I am going to give you the recipe and then ideas of how you non-Colombian folk can partake lustfully in this silky and mind-blowing sauce. (Gosh, I really do hope you like it because I will never hear the end of it otherwise.)
CILANTRO CRACK SAUCE
2 bunches of Cilantro washed and shaken. Chop off stems. (the extra water will help the sauce)
1 Large garlic clove or 2 small (add more if you love garlic)
1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 T Mayonnaise
2-3 T White vinegar (secret ingredient)
1 t sea salt
Place all ingredients minus 1 T vinegar in a blender. If you have a powerful blender, begin on a slow speed. Stop the blender intermittently and push ingredients down with a wooden spoon to help out. (don’t push ingredients while blender is on. Duh.) You may also use a food processor. If you would like a thicker and creamier sauce to use as a spread then use half the olive oil and double the mayo.
You may also substitute mayo for Greek yogurt, but it may not be as silky. Taste the sauce. If it doesn’t give you that instant, “wow, I am alive” feeling, then add the rest of the vinegar. If you don’t have white vinegar, you may use lime juice instead, although it won’t be quite as “zingy”. It is a word now.
IDEAS FOR USE:
Grilled food: Drizzle over shrimp, skirt steak or flank steak.
Tacos: Put a dollop over fish tacos or any tacos.
Sausage: Eat with grilled Bratwurst or any sausage that might go well with cilantro.
Salad: Use as a salad dressing, but use sparingly.
Pasta: Toss with penne and grilled chicken and top with chopped red peppers for a fresh pasta dish.
Crostini: Rub a little of this sauce on a piece of toasted baguette and lay a little piece of grilled carne asada on top with some Piquillo peppers
THE SAUCE should keep for about 3-4 days in the fridge.