All righty, then, today, in a little something I like to call From Our Kitchen, we’ll be making Gazpacho, a cold tomato soup, perfect for a Summer meal.
Now, there are all kinds of recipes, and all kinds of techniques, but I like mine like I like my men, Latino and spicy, so let’s rip….
Peel, seed and dice one Cucumber and finely chop ½ of one Red Onion.
Slice, and remove the seeds and the ribs — though I saved some seeds for the heat — of one Jalapeno Pepper; add to the Cucumber and Red Onion mixture.
Roast one Poblano Pepper and one Bell Pepper until the skins are charred. Place them in a plastic baggie to steam and wait a few minutes; then, under running water, peel the charred skins from the peppers, remove the seeds and the ribs and give them a rough chop.
I used five hothouse tomatoes; I charred two on the stove and used the other three in their raw state. But the way to work them is the same. You cut them into wedges, and scrape out the seeds — and some of the skins of the charred ones — into a strainer; save that Tomato Water.
In a food processor, puree the Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Onions, Peppers — all three varieties — in batches until all the veggies are blended; add in the saved Tomato Water to thin things out and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, finely chop some Cilantro — as much or as little as you like — and fold into the chilled soup.
Then, peel, seed and ice one-half of a Cucumber, one half of a Jalapeno, one quarter of a Red Onion, and one Garlic Clove — yes, AM, you can omit the garlic! Mince these finely as they will be served on top of the Gazpacho.
And because I like my Gazpacho a bit smoother, I use a blender and, working in batches, add the Gazpacho and puree until smooth; you can add tomato juice to thin it out — but I chose some organic tomato paste and a small amount of water, to do the trick.
Once all has been pureed smoothly, begin The Seasoning Process.
Add Ground Cumin and Chipotle Powder, to taste, along with salt and pepper and some Chili Powder. I like mine spicy so I add more, but do it how you like it. Also, for some zing, add some lime zest and juice, some olive oil — as Martha might say, the very best olive oil — along with red wine vinegar.
Taste, adjust the spices if need be, and put it back into the fridge.
Now, for the Shrimp; I use a method I learned from Ina Garten — ‘How easy is that?’ — where you toss the shrimp in olive oil, salt and pepper — and I used a little lime zest — and then bake in a 400 degree oven for 6-8 minutes; I took that to mean seven minutes and it was perfect. The shrimp are not overcooked and rubbery, but perfect and moist. Now, chill them, too.
To serve: ladle the soup into a bowl and add your chilled shrimp. Sprinkle some of the Cucumber-Pepper dice over the top, have a piece of crusty bread and you favorite beverage. It’s perfect for a hot Summer night and really easy to make and tastes even better the next day.
Have at it ….