Wednesday, 11 May 2011


Tomatoes, gazpacho main ingredient

Find the original recipe of the gazpacho or even the origin of the word has been a lost study case for the historian, mainly because exist equal quantities of gazpacho recipes like andalucian families, and is a dish created by peasant that can´t  access to read or write, so the origin is not documented. Gazpacho is a dish that was consumed by peasants in the field during the harvest, they needed something nutritious and at the same time refreshing, to cope with the hard work and hot weather.
The earlier gazpacho dated from when the south of Spain was under Arabian control the gazpacho was made just with garlic, olive oil, bread and almonds, today in some areas they are still doing and is known as white gazpacho.
Later on with the introduction of new vegetables coming from the Americas like tomato and pepper, the gazpacho takes the color that we know today. And even today with the demands of the tourist industry and new modern cooking technique the gazpacho continues  its evolution always providing us with  nutrients and flavour.
The gazpacho is very easy to make, and now more than ever with the juicing or blender machines, but still quite tricky to find the correct balance between the ingredients, for that reason gazpacho in tetra brick like Don Simon becomes summer by summer more popular in the Spanish tables, even everyone knows that gazpacho like our mothers can’t be beaten.
       Kitchen Voyage trip to Seville

   Gazpacho recipes.

Classic Gazpacho.
Bowl of Gazpacho
 3 slices of white bread (without crust about 200 g)
500g ripe tomatoes or british red choice tomatoes.
1 cucumber (peeled – seeded – diced)
1 green pepper (seeded – halved)
3-4 cloves of garlic (peeled)
125 ml olive oil
2 tbsp sherry vinegar.

1.    Put the bread in a bowl and pour a glass of water, soak by 30 min.
2.    In a blender put the rest of ingredients (reserve the vinegar) and blend for 1 minute. 
3.    Remove the bread and drain any water excess.
4.    Add the bread to the blender and blend until you get a nice consistency, if is too heavy just add more water. For me must be creamy but some people like more drinkable. So this point is up to you. You can sieve the cold soup if required.
5.    Now season with salt and the 2 tbsp. of sherry vinegar.
6.    Refrigerate for at least one hour and serve in very cold individual soup bowls.

Real Salad Gazpacho.

30 g stale white bread (torn)
300g ripe tomatoes or british red choice tomatoes.
1 ltr chilled tomato juice
3 eggs (hard boil). Then separate the white from the yolk
½ cucumber (peeled – seeded – diced)
1 red pepper (seeded – halved)
4 salad onions (thinly sliced)
1 red chilli (thinly sliced and deseeded)
2 garlic cloves (crushed)
1 tsp chopped oregano leaves
4 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
Little ices cubes.

1.    In a big bowl mix mustard, olive oil, vinegar, bread, garlic, and hard boil egg yolk, and paste with a fork
2.    Add the vegetables and tomato juice. Mix everything very well.
3.    Season with salt and pepper. And chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour and serve in very cold individual bowl soups.
4.    Pour over each bowl the white eggs chopped with a few oregano leaves and some ice cubes. And then sprinkle over a little olive oil.

Ham and quail egg Gazpacho.

250g white bread
500g ripe tomatoes or british red choice tomatoes.
¾ cucumber (peeled – seeded – diced)
1 green pepper (deseeded – halved)
2 cloves of garlic (peeled)
125 ml olive oil
2 tbsp sherry vinegar.
250g Serrano ham shredded
2 quails eggs (hard boiled)

Follow the step above. When you are ready  to serve  sprinkle over every bowl the Serrano ham and add on the top half quail egg. 
This recipe is interesting because you add some protein to the dish.

Adding water you can Gazpacho like a drink
Macerated Gazpacho (1 day preparation)

500g ripe tomatoes or british red choice tomatoes roughly chopped.
3 black peppercorns
250 ml tomato juice
4 basil sprigs (leaves only)
1 red pepper (seeded -cut in strips)
½ small yellow pepper (seeded - cut in strips)
1 garlic clove (peeled – chopped)
1 thyme sprig (leaves only). 1 bay leaf
2 tsp balsamic vinegar. Some olive oil.
2 slices of white bread

1.    Mix in a bowl the chopped tomatoes, peppercorns, tomato juice and half of the basil leaves, and cover with a clean film. Put in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
2.    In a medium heat pan with a few olive oil sauté for around 8 minutes the stripped peppers, with the garlic, bay leaf and thyme and the rest of the basil. Season with salt.
3.    When the peppers are soft (avoid any browning) remove from the heat and tip onto the bowl of tomatoes.
4.    Cover the bowl again and put back to the fridge for another 24 hours.
5.    After 24 hours or marinating, blend the mix until smooth. 
6.    Pass the mix through a sieve.  Season with salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar. 
7.    Check the consistency, if is too thick just add a few extra tomato juice.
8.    Cover again the bowl and put back to the fridge for at least 1 hour
9.    Preheat oven at 150ºC
10.    Now cut the bread in 5mm slices and gave them a nice drizzle of olive oil and a good pinch of salt.
11.    Scatter on a baking tray an toast in the oven for about 4 minutes.
12.    Serve the tomato soup in very cold individual soup bowls and top with the white bread croutons.

White artisanal Gazpacho.

75 grs. Almonds (blanched and peeled)
2 garlic cloves
150 grs. White bread
8 tbsp.  Olive oil.
3 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 litre of very chilled water
Bunch of white grapes or apple slices to serve.

1.    Soak the white bread for 5 min, and drain.
2.    Put the almonds, garlic and a pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle and crush them until you get a thin paste.
3.    Then add the drained bread and mix very well and start to add the olive oil meanwhile you still crush the mix. 
4.    Now move the mix to a bowl and add the vinegar. And then pour the chilled water very slowly and mixing everything very well.
5.    Season and pass the mix through a sieve.
6.    Pour into cold dish soup bowl and serve with grapes or apple slices.

Gazpacho tips:

*Use bakery bread, if you use processed bread they contain additives and the bread behaves in a different way when it is getting stale.
* The secret of the good gazpacho is finding the equilibrium between the ingredients. Dont overpower the flavour of your soup, If you like more cucumber or peppery, serve them like a garnish.
* If you are not in a sunny region, perhaps you need to add a pinch of sugar before to chill the soup for extra sweetness.
To  avoid the cucumber repeating on you, you must peel, deseeded and macerate in salt for 20 minutes.
*If you have digestion problem with the garlic, you should put the garlic in a pan with cold water and bring to boil. When is boiling retire the garlic and repeat the same process another 2 times.
* Only the gazpacho cook at home conserves all the nutritional properties


Monday, 9 May 2011

Saturday Shopping in the local Fish Market

Fish Shopt at Hove Lagoon. Brighton UK

Mackerel - Cod - Mussels - bacon

Some beers pop-up before start cooking

Looking for bay leaf in the garden

Cod wrap in streaky bacon with rosemary

Mussels Asturian Style

Just delicious!!