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Chili Pilaf with Steak and Chimichurri

Serves 4


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup orzo pasta
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1/4 cup pimentos, drained well and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (about a palmful)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika (about 1/2 palmful)
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 large shallot, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, grated or minced
  • 1 cup packed flat leaf parsley
  • 7 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped
  • 6 sprigs fresh marjoram, leaves stripped
  • Peel of 1 lemon, grated
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Four strip steaks (8 ounces each), at room temperature


  1. Pre-heat a grill pan or large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the orzo and cook, stirring, until toasted and golden-brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in the chicken stock, rice, pimentos, chili powder and paprika and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 18 minutes. Remove from the heat and fluff with a fork.
  2. While the pilaf is working, using a food processor, pulse the vinegar, shallot, garlic, parsley, thyme, marjoram and lemon peel until finely chopped, scraping down the food processor occasionally. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the EVOO; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Season the steaks with salt and pepper. Cook on the grill pan, turning once, for 8 minutes for rare. Let the meat rest for a few minutes, then serve with the pilaf and chimichurri.