(June 11, 2021) Successful celebrations come from within; infusing your own personal style and attention to detail yields memorable events.
Performance is not imitation; it is one being comfortable with yourself. Copying someone else’s vision does not promote individuality.
Entertaining takes much preparation and at the same time should be fun. Cooking is an intricate part of this process and goes without saying.
The presentation is just as important. Food does not have a solitary nature, the eye as well as the palate has to be won.
If company is coming, consider gazpacho. Cold summer soups are popular and easy to make. Following are a few tips for yummy gazpacho.
If a recipe calls for water, use stock instead. Water nullifies your flavor profile.
It is best to make gazpacho an hour ahead of time, soups need a brief period where flavors can meld together.
Traditional gazpacho is known for its depth of flavor. Sherry vinegar adds acidity and complexity, which is imperative for mouthwatering gazpacho.
Choosing a particular variety of tomato allows one to put their own spin on the soup. Yellow tomatoes yield a gorgeous golden soup.
Gazpacho is a great way to use flawed tomatoes. Simply cut out soft spots or unattractive cracks before pureeing them.
If time is of the essence, use good quality canned tomatoes. We all want to save money, but this is not a time to be frugal.
Most gazpacho recipes call for fresh bell peppers. They need to be broiled until they blister and achieve a char. Then, you have to allow time for them to cool and discard the tough skins.
Jarred roasted bell peppers can replace fresh bell peppers and are perfectly acceptable. Make sure you drain the excess liquid before using them.
There are many varieties of cucumbers, but English cucumbers are the preferred choice. They are juicy and have a wonderful aroma.
Seeds should be removed; they have a tendency to be bitter. Simple take a small spoon and run it down the length of the cucumber to remove any unwanted seeds.
Chilies give the soup a slight touch of heat. Serrano and jalapenos are the preferred choice, but personal preference should be your guide.
Most gazpacho recipes call for red onions. Red onions have more flavor and will stand up to the other components.
Garnishing and presentation are imperative for successful gazpacho. Fresh basil and avocados are attractive options. Be attentive to the cut of the avocado, this will add to the beautification of the dish.
Gazpacho can be served as an appetizer or main course. If one is making this dish the star of your meal, crusty bread and wine completes the trinity of tastiness.
Gazpacho shooters can be served as an amuse bouche or an appetizer. The whimsical presentation is impressive to say the least.
Glass shot glasses with mini spoons can be purchased on Amazon. The glass shooters are elegant and can be used again.
If unexpected company is on the way, do not fret. The following gazpacho shooter recipe can be put together quickly and will wow your guests. Enjoy!
1 (28-ounce) can good quality whole tomatoes
1 (16-ounce) jar roasted bell peppers
½ English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into large chunks
½ yellow pepper, stem removed, seeded, and cut into ¼-inch dice
1 to 2 serrano chilies, seeded and minced
½ small red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 ½ tablespoons sherry vinegar
kosher salt to taste
1 avocado, halved, pitted, and cut into ¼-inch cubes for a garnish
fresh basil for garnish
1. Drain can of tomatoes, reserve the tomato water. Remove stems and seeds. Place tomato flesh along with tomato water in a medium bowl.
2. Drain jar of roasted peppers. Place in the bowl with the tomatoes.
3. Add cucumbers and using a hand-held emersion blender, puree the mixture. You can also puree the mixture using a blender.
4. Stir in yellow peppers, chilies, onions, garlic, oregano, olive oil, sherry vinegar and salt.
5. Cover and refrigerate until slightly chilled.
6. Place gazpacho in glass shot glasses, add a drizzle of olive oil, and garnish with avocado and fresh basil. Serve immediately.
Secret Ingredient – Fun. “If you are not having fun, do something different.”
– Larry James