Saturday, August 22, 2009

Whisk Wednesdays—Gaspacho (Gazpacho)

Gaspacho (Gazpacho)For such a simple recipe, Gazpacho has a lot of history dating back to the Middle Ages in Andalucia.
An Iberian peasant woman in the Andalucian region in southern Spain, soaks her days-old homemade bread in some water in the earthenware mortar that her mother used. Pounding the sun-warmed tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, green bell peppers and garlic gathered from the garden earlier in the day with her pestle, she brings the mixture to a muddled, rather chunky consistency. Finally, she moistens her mixture with olive oil, vinegar and water.
The name gazpacho means "soaked bread" and is essentially a cold liquid salad, says Clifford A. Wright in his book Mediterranean Vegetables.

This rustic, simple dish is perfect when you don't want to cook. You can serve it as a soup or as a sauce over chicken or fish. Pull out your mortar and pestle (and muscles) or plug in the food processor and give it a try with fresh vegetables from your garden! Get creative by adding crabmeat, shrimp, avocado or twist it into a fruity version with peaches.
"These days, evidently, anything cold with tomato can be called gazpacho."
Joseph Byrd in The North Coast Journal

Serves 6

Gaspacho (Gazpacho) mise en place
2½ ounces fresh white bread, crusts removed
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (another recommendation is Sherry vinegar)
2 cloves garlic
¾ English cucumber, unpeeled and roughly chopped
1 onion
½ green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
3½ pound ripe tomatoes, quartered and seeded
½ cup olive oil

For the Garnish:
¼ English cucumber, unpeeled
½ green bell pepper
4 slices bread, crusts removed, toasted

You can find the recipe for Gaspacho (Gazpacho) in the book Le Cordon Bleu Complete Cook Home Collection. To see how the rest of the Whisk Wednesdays group fared with their recipe, click here (or check out the sidebar) and then click on each blogger!

To let the flavors build, it's best to let the soup sit in the refrigerator overnight.

Gaspacho (Gazpacho)Tasting Notes
Chunky or smooth, this soup is refreshing on a hot day. The bite from the raw onions and garlic, the sweetness from the garden-fresh tomatoes and the hint of acid from the vinegar rounded out with a pinch of salt make this soup a palate pleaser.
"Gazpacho is a dish of rustic shepherds, or those who have nothing else to eat, because it is made up of garlic, vinegar, bread and water."
Joseph Byrd in The North Coast Journal
My Bucket List
• Visit Andalusia and enjoy a bowl of Gazpacho by the sea.

Next Class
• Coquelets sur Canapés (Roast Squab Chickens with Chicken Liver Canapés and Mushrooms) page 246 in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I by Julia Child and Pommes Pont Neuf (Pont Neuf Potatoes) page 253 {Substitute straw potatoes for pont neuf, if desired.} (post on Wednesday, August 26, 2009)

. . . . . . . . . .

Running total: $1,489.66 + $7.89 = $1,497.55
($1.32 per serving)

Butter used so far: 12 pounds, 22.5 tablespoons

. . . . . . . . . .
::Whisk Wednesdays::
We're cooking our way through a cooking school curriculum using the Le Cordon Bleu at Home cookbook. The "classes" are based on the Le Cordon Bleu curriculum found online and used as a guideline. Not all the items in the curriculum are in the cookbook, but most are. Where the items are not in the book, we try to find a suitable substitution. Find out more here.
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    nora@ffr said...

    wow shari!! ive never tried gazpacho b4. love the color of it. m sure this will tate heavenly.. love the idea!

    Brie: Le Grand Fromage said...

    so glad you kept the bread in the recipe! i love the history snippet and the fact you put the gazpacho in bell pepper 'bowls'. looks delicious!

    CaptainCrunch said...

    I have to admit that I didn't know what gazpacho was before reading your post... it looks so delicious in your pictures! The background info in your post was pretty interesting too. As usual a great post!

    Can't Believe We Ate said...

    I always love reading your commentary regarding our dish of the week, and I love your creative presentations! You scamp! A pepper bowl! LOL! How cute! *Ü* I think I may play catch up some tomorrow...and this is definitely on my list. Everything is either in the fridge or on the vine. How much better does it get? Thanks for sharing your talents with us!!

    Amanda said...

    Shari this looks wonderful! Sounds really refreshing, some of my favorite flavors too. What would a kitchen be without onions and peppers? :)

    Also, if you haven't already, we'd love to have you join the Food Bloggers discussion list! You can join here or via email by sending a message to Hope to see you there! All food bloggers are welcome!

    Sunei said...

    I love the story and the image of people making delicious food with simple ingredients. Your photos are so brilliantly bright and shiny! Love 'em!!

    Anh said...

    Delicious!! I love the styling as well!

    Susan @ SGCC said...

    Gaspacho is one of my all time warm weather soups. Yours looks so lovely! I love the little bell pepper "bowls"!

    Cynthia said...

    Mmm this looks so good for the hot weather here. I've been reading so much about it, time to try the recipe!

    Velva said...

    The gazpacho looks fabulous! I love gazpacho and days when it is close to 100 degrees and the tomatoes have reached their peak. This would be the perfect recipe! Thanks for sharing.

    lisa is cooking said...

    Both versions look delicious in your bell pepper bowls! It's such a perfect summer soup, and now I'm craving it.

    Giff said...

    I never thought of using peppers as bowls for something soupy. how clever!

    DessertObsessed said...

    wow you're so innovative with the bowl! hahaha gazpacho is actually one of the first things i tried making when i tried to cook, as i dont cook; but it went well!

    vibi said...

    Very, very nice Shari! Love your new dish set! Ingenious...

    CookiePie said...

    Beautiful, and I love it in the tomato!!!

    skoraq cooks said...

    Great serving idea of my favourite chilled soup. Great to wow friends.

    Sippity Sup said...

    You are the most clever blogger I know. I always smile at your plating or in this case I should say "bowling". GREG