Kid-friendly Argentinian Chimichurri Monkey Bread Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Argentinian Chimichurri Monkey Bread

Recipe: Argentinian Chimichurri Monkey Bread

Argentinian Chimichurri Monkey Bread

by Erin Fletter
Photo by Carey Jaman/Shutterstock.com
prep time
40 minutes
cook time
35 minutes
makes
6-12 servings

Fun Food Story

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Argentinian Chimichurri Monkey Bread

Chimichurri + Parsley!

Cooking is such a cool form of art, isn’t it? It’s truly the only artform where we get to use our five senses: touch, hear, see, taste, and smell. When reading about our Surprise Ingredient (Parsley!) with your kids, guide them in using their five senses as they’re mincing the leaves. Have them visually observe, then smell the parsley, feel the leaves, taste a tiny bit, and listen to what the leaves sound like when you crinkle them in your hands and snap the leaves off the stems. Using herbs and spices in cooking is a sensory experience that continues to the plate when you’re ready to eat. Herbs create the aroma that gets your mouth watering and ready to taste your food. We wanted to emphasize parsley not only for its aromatic qualities but also for its nutrition benefits. Parsley is fantastic for digestion! The first food we thought of when brainstorming ways of incorporating parsley into kid-friendly recipes was Chimichurri. Chimichurri is Argentina’s most popular “sauce.” It’s commonly served with grilled red meat, their other well-known food. Monkey bread is a fan favorite, and instead of writing a recipe for the beloved sweet version, we decided to go savory and add Chimichurri to the dough. We’re also adding parsley to our drink, an Agua Fresca (translation: Fresh Water) made with pink grapefruit. Enjoy these flavor-packed recipes!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • blend :

    to stir together two or more ingredients until just combined; blending is a gentler process than mixing.

  • crush :

    to put pressure on a food, like a garlic clove, to break the skin and release its flavor; or to pulverize or grind a food, like a cracker, into small particles with your hands, blender, or food processor.

  • mince :

    to chop into teeny tiny pieces.

  • pulse :

    to process just short of a purée in smooth, rhythmic bursts of power with a blender.

Equipment Checklist

  • Cutting board + kid-safe knife
  • Blender (or food processor)
  • Measuring spoons
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Oven
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Wooden spoon
  • Muffin pan
scale
1X
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7X

Ingredients

Argentinian Chimichurri Monkey Bread

  • Chimichurri Sauce
  • 1 to 2 bunches flat leaf parsley (about 2 C packed)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 T red wine vinegar
  • 1 T honey
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (or vegetable oil)
  • Chimichurri Monkey Bread
  • 1 tsp dry active yeast
  • 2 T warm water
  • 2 1/2 to 3 C all-purpose flour **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY sub gluten-free/nut-free all-purpose flour)**
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 egg **(for EGG ALLERGY sub 2 T water + 1 T oil + 2 tsp baking powder)**
  • 4 T softened butter **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub dairy-free/nut-free butter, like Earth Balance)**
  • 1/2 C + 2 T whole milk **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub dairy-free/nut-free milk)**
  • 1/2 C Chimichurri Sauce

Food Allergen Substitutions

Argentinian Chimichurri Monkey Bread

  • Gluten/Wheat: Substitute gluten-free/nut-free all-purpose flour.
  • Dairy: Substitute dairy-free/nut-free butter, like Earth Balance. Substitute dairy-free/nut-free milk.
  • Eggs: For 1 egg, substitute 2 T water + 1 T oil + 2 tsp baking powder.

Instructions

Argentinian Chimichurri Monkey Bread

1.
rinse + tear + mince

First, rinse **1 to 2 bunches of flat-leaf parsley** (you want 2 cups of packed leaves total). Save a small handful of leaves for Awesome Grapefruit Agua Fresca (see recipe) if you are following the meal plan. Then tear leaves from the stems and mince them into tiny pieces. The tinier, the better! Add the minced leaves to your blender or food processor.

2.
crush + peel + mince

Crush 1 garlic clove and peel it. Then mince it finely and add to your blender or food processor.

3.
measure + add

Measure 2 teaspoons oregano, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1 tablespoon honey, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1 pinch of black pepper, and 2 tablespoons of water and add to your blender or food processor.

4.
pulse + stream + blend

Pulse the ingredients a few times, then stream in 1/4 cup olive oil while your blender or food processor purées the Chimichurri Sauce!

5.
preheat + measure + sprinkle + bloom

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Measure 2 tablespoons of warm water with 1 teaspoon of active yeast in a small bowl and whisk. Sprinkle some sugar in it and whisk again. Set aside to let the yeast “bloom” or “wake up!”

6.
measure + add + mix

Measure 2 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons sugar, and add to a mixing bowl. Use a whisk or a fork to mix.

7.
crack + whisk + mix

Crack 1 egg and whisk it in a separate mixing bowl. Mix in 4 tablespoons of soft butter (break the butter up into individual tablespoons to make it easier to mix). Then add 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons of milk to the egg and butter and mix well. Add the yeast and water mixture and mix again.

8.
mix + knead + add

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with a wooden spoon. Using your hands, knead the dough in the bowl, adding more flour by the tablespoon if the dough is too sticky (dough should be somewhat sticky, but not so much that it completely sticks to your hands).

9.
tear + roll + add + bake

Tear off small chunks of dough and roll them into golf ball-sized pieces, using more flour if the dough is still too sticky. Add the dough balls to a big mixing bowl and mix in 1/2 cup of Chimichurri Sauce (save the rest for dipping!). Make mini chimichurri monkey breads in a muffin pan by adding 2 to 3 dough balls to each cupcake well. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until the bread is golden brown on the surface and the dough is cooked through. Serve with extra Chimichurri Sauce for dipping!

Surprise Ingredient: Parsley!

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Photo by Tamara Elnova

Hi! I'm Parsley!

“I'm an herb with small green, aromatic leaves, and I add a fresh, bright flavor to foods. Try me! Taste a salad or other dish, then chop or tear some of my fresh leaves into it and taste again. You may be surprised at the flavor I add to your recipe! When you hear my name, do you also think of sage, rosemary, and thyme? That's because I'm part of the line, 'Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme,' in the traditional English ballad 'Scarborough Fair' made famous by Simon and Garfunkel!"

History

  • Today, parsley is the world's most popular herb. Nobody is sure where parsley originated, though it is said by some to have originated in Sardinia (an island territory off the western coast of peninsular Italy). It is native to the central and eastern areas of the Mediterranean.
  • The Ancient Greeks believed parsley sprung from the blood of the hero Archemorus after a dragon killed him!
  • Humans have been cultivating parsley for 2,000 years!
  • Like many vegetables and herbs, parsley was first used as medicine before being consumed as food. 
  • In some countries, the curlier variety of parsley is more popular. People say this is because the flat leaf type resembles a poisonous weed called Fool's Parsley.
  • California produces over forty percent of the parsley in the United States.

Anatomy & Etymology

  • There are two parsley varieties commonly used as an herb, curly leaf and flat leaf. The flat leaf type is often referred to as Italian parsley. 
  • Parsley is a biennial flowering plant—it will grow back year after year in prolific bushes. Its leaves are scalloped, small, and hardy. They can survive colder temperatures and grow best in partial shade. 
  • Parsley plants can grow up to 2 feet high the first year after flowering (their flowers are small and white). 
  • A relative of celery (try celery leaves some time—they taste a lot like parsley), parsley gets its name from the Greek word for "rock celery" (petroselinon) because it thrives on rocks and walls. 
  • The word "parsley" combined the Old English "petersilie" (same as the current German word for parsley) and the Old French "peresil." These are from the Latin "petroselinum" from the Greek "petroselinon."

How to Pick, Buy, & Eat

  • When selecting parsley for cooking, choose the flat leaf (Italian) variety, which is milder, less bitter, and more fragrant than the curly variety. 
  • Select parsley that is bright green and fresh-looking, with no brown or rotting leaves. Store fresh parsley sprigs wrapped in a damp paper towel in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge. 
  • You can also add a parsley bunch to a glass of water and tie a plastic bag loosely over the leaves, then store the glass in the fridge. Wait to wash its leaves until just before you're ready to use them by swishing them around in the water to loosen any clinging dirt.
  • Make a tea from parsley to help with colic, gas, and indigestion. 
  • Add raw chopped parsley to salads, soups, and burger patties. Add some to your morning smoothie, or tie up a few fresh sprigs with other herbs, like thyme and bay leaf, to make a bouquet garni (an herb bundle) used to season sauces and broths. You can also make pesto with parsley instead of basil or use it in chimichurri!
  • Tabbouleh, the well-known salad from the Middle East, is made mostly with parsley, tomatoes, onions, olive oil, and bulgar. Gremolata is an Italian condiment made with parsley, garlic, and lemon zest. 

Nutrition

  • Often ignored, parsley has been most frequently used as a garnish at restaurants (especially in the 80s and early 90s—remember that sprig of curly parsley placed on the side of your dinner plate?). But cultures around the world have long recognized the health benefits of parsley and used it more liberally in cooking methods, such as in chimichurri.
  • Parsley is full of vitamin C. Vitamin C is necessary for the body to make blood vessels, skin, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments, and it helps repair wounds.
  • Some cultures use parsley as a digestive aid because of its fiber.
  • Parsley is also a natural breath freshener. It reduces the odor of garlic breath when chewed fresh, thanks to parsley's high chlorophyll levels.
  • Two tablespoons of parsley meet 153% of the Recommended Daily Value of vitamin K1. K1 is essential for healthy blood. Our bodies also convert K1 to K2, and K2 is needed to deposit calcium into bones. 

 

What is Monkey Bread?

Photo by Stephanie Frey for Shutterstock
  • Also called Monkey Puzzle bread, Sticky bread, Hungarian coffee cake, golden crown, pinch-me cake, and pluck-it cake, Monkey bread is a soft, sweet, sticky pastry usually made with caramel and cinnamon. However, it can also be savory with additions like garlic, cheese, and herbs! It's popular in the United States and is commonly served at fairs and festivals. The bread's name came about because you pull it apart to eat it—how we'd imagine a monkey would eat it if given the chance!

Let's Learn About Argentina!

Photo by Ruslana Iurchenko for Shutterstock
  • Argentina is officially called the Argentine Republic. This South American country has a population of more than 45 million people, and the official language is Spanish. Their government is a federal presidential republic with a president, vice-president, cabinet, supreme court, and congress. 
  • Buenos Aires is Argentina's capital and largest city. 
  • Native Americans lived in Argentina thousands of years before Spanish settlers arrived in 1536. 
  • Argentina is the largest Spanish-speaking nation and the eighth-largest country in size worldwide! Other languages spoken here include English, Italian, Arabic, German, Yiddish, Guarani, and more.
  • Argentina is a country with rainforests, grassy farmlands, and even glaciers. This country is located at the very bottom of South America, and it has a little bit of everything. In the north, where Argentina meets Brazil, the weather is wet and warm where cougars, jaguars, alligators, turtles, flamingos, and many other reptiles and animals live. To the south is the Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia, which have an extremely cold climate. The Tierra del Fuego is a group of islands at the southern tip of Argentina. 
  • Western Argentina has the Andes Mountains, which form the natural border with Chile. The Andes include the highest peak in the southern and western hemispheres, Cerro Aconcagua, at 22,838 feet!
  • The name "Argentina" came from the Italian word for silver, "argento," which is from the Latin word for silver, "argentum." European settlers believed mythical indigenous stories about a mountain of silver.
  • Here's a cool fact: In 1917 and 1918, Argentine cartoonist Quirino Cristiani made and released the world's first two animated feature films.
  • El Día del Amigo (Friend's Day), on July 20, is a national holiday in Argentina and is a day dedicated entirely to friendships.
  • Popular foods from Argentina include "asado" (traditional bbq), "dulce de leche" (caramel sauce used in cakes, ice cream, cookies, and other desserts), "empanadas" (stuffed pastries), "mate" (herbal tea drunk in a gourd), and an indigenous stew called "locro" made with corn, beans, potato, and pumpkin. 
  • Bueno Aires has the world's widest avenue, called the "Avenida 9 de Julio" or "July 9 Avenue." It has 14 lanes, plus 4 lanes of parallel streets. July 9 is Argentina's independence day.

What's It Like to Be a Kid in Argentina?

  • Kids in Argentina go to school 200 days per year. That's about 20 more days than in the United States. However, in many schools, students are in class for only four hours, either in the morning or afternoon. Also, since Argentina is south of the equator, their seasons are opposite the US. So they attend school from March to December, with up to two weeks off in July and for major holidays like Easter. 
  • Football (soccer) is the most popular sport kids play. In addition, they may play rugby, basketball, baseball, and tennis. 
  • For breakfast, kids may eat "tostadas" (toast) or a "factura" (pastry), like churros or a "medialuna" (Argentine croissant). They'll drink orange juice, or perhaps yerba maté, or a little coffee with lots of milk with their toast or pastry. If kids go to school half the day, they'll have lunch at home and may eat empanadas, humitas (a dish of cooked corn wrapped in corn husks), milanesas (breaded meat cutlet), or asado. For a sweet treat, "alfajores" are popular. They're light and tender sandwich cookies filled with dulce de leche.

That's Berry Funny

"Knock, knock!"

"Who's there?" 

"Yeast."

"Yeast who?"

"At yeast I knocked!"

THYME for a Laugh

What did the yeast say to the bag of flour? 

Come on, we knead to be serious!

That's Berry Funny

While cooking today, I accidentally rubbed some herbs in my eyes.

Now I’m parsley (partially) sighted!

That's Berry Funny

What did the yeast confess to the bag of flour? 

I loaf you dough much!

Lettuce Joke Around

What is green and sings? 

Elvis Parsley.

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