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What's Cooking?! Real Spanish Gazpacho

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Saturday, July 9, 2011

What's Cooking?! Real Spanish Gazpacho

I'm home now after what seemed like an eternally long time scrunched up in the backseat of my parents car with both of my kids yesterday.  We made it though safe and sound, and my own bed felt OHHH so good last night!

This morning we went out for bagels (which is a very common Saturday morning ritual for our family,) and then we went downtown to the market.  Greenville is a SUPER cool town and all summer and into the fall, there is a fabulous market on Main Street with local yumminess abounding.  I was super stoked to pick up some gorgeous tomatoes (some of them heirloom even) for $0.50/lb since I didn't mind choosing from the "ugly" tomato box.  I'll take an ugly tomato anyday for a full $0.80 less than a pretty one.  Same tomatoes, just not as pretty.  Nothing a good knife can't take care of.  They'll look ugly by the time I chew them up anyhow.

And to really give some love to my ugly tomatoes, I made Gazpacho this afternoon.  I have the MOST amazing recipe for Gazpacho that my grandmother got from a Spanish lady about a zillion years ago.  I've yet to find any recipe that can rival it, and I think it's absolutely gorgeous as well.  It is the perfect thing to do with ugly tomatoes...or any especially delicious home grown ones.

And don't you know since I've been a big fat slacker in the blogging department lately, I owe you a few stunners this week.  Not to worry...you'll have them!

So here's the recipe for the Real-Deal Spanish Gazpacho (which is a cold tomato soup for anyone who was wondering.  If you've never had it, do yourself a favor and make this immediately!)

2 3/4 lb super yummy tomatoes (peeled and cut into big chunks)
1/4 lb white bread without the crust
2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 c. oil (i probably just use about 1/4 c. though...it really doesn't need as much as it calls for.)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp sugar

Ok, to easily peel a tomato, you need to boil some water and then pour it into a bowl when it's good and screaming hot.  Drop your tomatoes in the hot water for about a minute or two until the skin basically just slides right off when you grab it.  Chop those babies up into giant chunks and put in your blender (yes...your blender...the kind you make smoothies with.)

Cut the crusts off of your bread (it's about 4 slices you'll use) and put the bread in a bowl with some water til it's really gross and soggy...squeeze out as much of the water as you can and then toss that soggy mess into the blender with your tomato chunks.  (I always cut up the crusts into little pieces and toast them to use as croutons.  You'll use croutons to garnish later, and the plain bread crusts make the perfect crunchy croutons that won't rob your gazpacho of the amazing fresh tomato flavor.  Who wants a flavored crouton to steal the show when the tomatoes and fresh veggies are the real star here?!)

Add the garlic, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper, and sugar to the blender and blend until completely smooth.  Chill in the fridge...if you can wait that long.  This stuff is best served cold.

Now, chop up some amazing veggies to garnish.  I love to use green onions, cucumber, bell pepper (I like red better, so that's what I use but you can use whatever ones you like), small tomatoes, hard boiled egg, and the croutons you made earlier.

Dive in and thank me later.  Or thank the Spanish people...they're the ones who gave this to my Nanny.  Should've known it was Spanish...Spain is awesome.


Bon Apetit friends!!!

Glad to be back.  Vacation was awesome, but I did miss you all!


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