Gazzzzzzpacho ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

27 July 2007

Gazzzzzzpacho

I probably don't have to say anything at all about this:

Good summer tomatoes. Mostly I am just eating them totally plain. I don't even put them in mixed salad; I just cut them up and maybe add a little salt, because salt and tomato goes together like That.

So this was a little bit of a stretch for me. Maybe sometime I will expand my repertoire even more and start applying heat as well. Ok, I've clearly cooked with them before, but you know what I mean.

I have been all about the beverage class of consumable this summer. It would be a pretty convenient time to have my jaw wired shut. Of course in that case I am positive I would be smacking my head against the wall in frustration over my inability to gnaw a beef bone or something similar. When I had my wisdom teeth out it took about eight hours before I said OH GOD I DON'T CARE ANYMORE and started slowly sucking triscuits to death. So maybe I should just shut up and start talking about food.

Yeah, I made a variation on this gazpacho. Gazpacho has never been a great desire of mine, mostly because my brain is wired to think soup is hot. So I've had all kinds of hot and spicy and interesting tomato soup, and for instance regularly finish the bowl I make for grilled cheese, but I haven't ever gone cold. Cold is for beverages. Fortunately, that's how I wanted this: as a cold spicy tomato beverage.

Gazpacho

3 tomatoes
a cucumber
a jalapeño
bread
a shallot
water
salt, pepper
parsley

First, skin the tomatoes. No, seriously. We are going to blend this, but skin them anyway. It will be substantially less of a pain in the neck by the end. Bring a pot of water to a boil; score shallow crosses through the underside of each tomato; add tomatoes to pot; remove after one minute; peel off skin with hands. The end. See, that was nothing, and the pot practically isn't even dirty.

Chop up tomatoes. Chop up cucumber, skinning it if it's a serious gourdy hollow-sounding American one. I use Persian cucumbers for everything, so that's what I used. Chop and seed a jalapeño. Skin and chop a shallot. All your chunks can be big, since you're going to blend them. Rip some parsley off its stems. Find some stale bread and rip that up as well. I tore the insides out of a couple pieces of stale sourdough.

Put everything in the blender. Add about two cups of water, plus some salt and pepper. Blend it until smooth.

Taste. How do you like the spices? Do you want to add anything else? Do it; blend again.

Now is the time for straining. If you are going to have a drinkable spicy juice, you have to do this. Otherwise there will be a billion little chunks of things everywhere and you'll be annoyed. Get a wire mesh strainer, put it over a pitcher or pot, and pour soup into it. Use a rubber spatula to force the soup through the strainer; chuck the leftover solids. This is the point at which you may notice the value of preskinning tomatoes. I had not skinned mine, and ended up scraping all kinds of gack out of the strainer between each measure of soup. It makes sense to limit the solids before you even start.

Now you are left with a relatively thick, dark pinkish liquid. Pour it and drink it. My gazpacho was slightly thick, so I put it in a bowl. Then I drank it out of the bowl. Drinky goodness! It was good as soup; I imagine it would be extremely good as homemade bloody mary. Sometime we'll have to try that.

I also tried to make crostini with the end of the sourdough, but managed to burn it under the broiler while spatulating. We tore out the insides of each piece and ate them anyway. I didn't take any pictures of the pile of blackened crusts, though. I know you are crushed.

1 comment:

mbent said...

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