Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Gazpacho A Hot Weather Cooler

During these hellish times it's nice to have a cool, soothing meal. Gazpacho, that Spanish classic  fits the bill nicely, Made right it's a refreshing meal, perfect for a mid summer heat wave.Best of al it's easy to whip up , another plus in the depths of ultra hot weather.

Julia Moskin wrote about this summer treat in today's New York Times Food section. Americans have been making it - wrong - for years. Ours looks like a home made V-8.Aother wrong doing, we're guilty of  - adding croutons or vegetable cubes.  The true version is silky, a celebration of summer harvests , perfect with any tapas.Also it should be eaten as soup in a mug, more of a refreshing drink than an actual potage. It should be served in a pitcher, poured, not ladled into glasses or tumblers either. Another idea to get into the gazpacho mindset is using the right ingredients.The key ingredient is olive oil, This is the fat that gives the soup it's creamy orange color. Ms Moskin and I both recommend using an extra light virgin olive oil.A Spanish oil is preferred because it  has a peppery taste that will come through in the mix. This will give the soup a kind of fluffiness.Another must have is the right  pepper. Buy the cubanelle or the Italian frying pepper.If you can't get that then sub in the Anaheim. These have a definite bite, unlike the average green pepper which can have a grassy flavor.

Gazpacho is also tomato heavy as well. Use any ripe red ones, but the plum ones do have a extra sweetness to them . They need to be cored and roughly cut into chunks. You'll also need an eight inch cucumber and one mild small onion and garlic splash of sherry vinegar is also added.Once you have these then the next step is having a good blender. THis is crucial in creating a silky texture.The water content of  both the cukes and tomatoes provide the liquid, however if it does get too thick, then add a few tablespoons of water.If you don't have a power blender that completely liquefies the veggies, then  next step is poring it through a food mill or a sieve to get rid of any skins.The liquid should be transferred to a large pitcher and chilled for at least six hours before serving. The best bet is to make it the night before and then serve it for lunch the next . You can do this too for a party, making it the night before   as a  different side with  barbecue.

Gazpacho is the perfect antidote for these oven like days and nights It is cool and refreshing, along with being a perfect mix of the summer harvest. Make one to ice down. It's the culinary equivalent of running through a sprinkler.

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