Friday, June 22, 2012

Three Pepper Gazpacho

Three Pepper Gazpacho
When it's near a hundred degrees a couple of days in a row it's natural to contemplate what you can cook without turning on the oven... with the most obvious choice being gazpacho. This recipe is not traditional... having more of a Latin than Andalusian flair... using three different varieties of peppers (green, poblano, and jalapeno). Made it last night from a Whitney Chen recipe over at Gilt Taste. The recipe calls for shrimp, but I wanted to keep it vegetarian/vegan so I made some basil croutons from a demi-baguette... just a 1/4 cup of basil leaves blended with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil that is then spread over bread cubes and baked at 350F for 10-15 minutes (kind of ruined the "not turning on the oven" plan). My other modification was to take the diced green bell, poblano, and jalapeno peppers plus the shallot put them in a ziploc bag and freeze them for 30 minutes... and then let them defrost on the counter for another 30 minutes. It's a technique known as "cryo-blanching" that helps draw out more flavor as the freezing/defrosting bursts cell walls. I wouldn't say it's necessary by any means... and dumping everything in the blender is obviously much quicker... but I wasn't pressed for time and loved the results when I've done it with more traditional gazpacho in the past.

Flavor-wise I would say this gazpacho is very "bright" with the lime juice and white wine... and the heat is subtle at first and builds in a pleasant way as you eat. I really enjoyed the soup and heartily recommend this recipe.

One thing I'll note is that the recipe says it serves four, but based on the amount of liquid I got I'd say it only serves four as an appetizer... as a main we got two bowls with no leftovers... so adjust quantities accordingly. Though if you double it you will likely have to blend in batches.

Oh, if you're wondering what's up with the picture... it's HDR, but you're not supposed to notice that, as I tried to tone map it in a way that seemed natural while still letting the detail and textures stand out. If you didn't notice anything then yay me.