White Gazpacho: Adventures in the Land of Meh

Bill tells me I need start a fail tag. Made me laugh.  My friend T always raves about the white gazpacho at one of our favorite wino bars.  I was wracking my brain for a post idea, and a friend suggested salsa. Which made me think of gazpacho. Which made me think of T and her white gazpacho. 

Google recipe search garnered pretty much the same recipe over and over – water, almonds, bread, garlic, sherry vinegar, olive oil. Garnished with grapes. And if you drill down, they almost all go back to José Andrés.

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Serve chilled. Sounds simple. Easy. 

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Gotta tell you, though. We just weren’t big fans.  Grapes are not himself’s favorite fruit, which maybe didn’t help.  We tried this the day we made it after it chilled,  and again the next day.  We tasted it over and over, and are just on the fence. It’s cool, and creamy, and subtle; but the bread flavor is just too strong. Maybe it’s the homemade (poolish) bread I used; maybe its flavor is too strong and I needed a more neutral one.  

WhiteGazpacho4BCmedWell, we have tried this recipe for white gazpacho. And with $5 worth of almonds as the main ingredient, I am not so sure we’ll pursue this to see if tweeks would change our minds.  But, it sure is purdee. So, enjoy the pictures if not the soup. 

Soup
4 cups water
7 ounces blanched almonds
2 clove garlic
3 ounces day old white bread
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
3/4 teaspoon salt
Garnish
Drizzle of the olive oil
Handful of green grapes, halved
Sliced cucumber
Instructions
Put the almonds and the garlic in a sauce pan with one of the cups of water.
Bring to boil, then drain.
Add another cup of water.
Bring to boil, then drain.
Cool to room temp.
Put all the (remaining) soup ingredients in the blender, and puree until super smooth.
Strain through mesh and chill, prefereably overnight.
Serve with a drizzle of olive oil on top, dotted with the grapes

Servings 4
Calories 617
Fat 54 g
Sodium 571 mg
Carbs 26 g
Protein 13 g

Salads! Asian Flavors Cucumber Salad

So….I may or may not have purchased one of those spiral slicers. 

This week it’s another cucumber salad, this time with salty sesame flavor. Yum! 

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It’s ok to make the sauce ahead of time, but you should really toss it together and then eat it right away. It’s best when the cukes are super crisp as opposed to marinated. It seems like a lot of ingredients, but it’s not super hard: some rice vineger, mirin, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil along with some minced ginger, a dash of white miso and some black and white sesame seeds. 

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Garnish with some pickled (unsweetened) ginger, and away we rock and roll.

I thought this would actually be awesome with some cubed avocados and some tuna, but haven’t played with that yet.

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Hope you enjoy it!
For the sauce
1/4 c. seasoned rice vinegar
1 tsp. mirin
1 tsp. minced ginger (I used a Dorot cube)
1/2 tsp. white miso
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
1 tsp. each white and black sesame seeds
For the salad
1/2 english cucumber, sliced on a spiral slicer**
For the garnish
Pickled, unsweetened ginger (those red sticks)
Instructions
Mix all the ingredients for the sauce.
Pour the sauce over the cucumber.
Garnish with the red ginger.
Inhale.
Notes
**If you don’t do the spiral bit, 1/8″ thick half-moons will do just dandy.
Servings 4
Calories 47
Fat 4 g
Sodium 103 mg
Carbs 2 g
Protein 1 g

Creamy Smoked Paprika Dressing

My current obsessions: pimentón dulce ahumado and Costco’s pesto genovese.  

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So, you know when you have big plans?  I envisioned this blog post.  We would grill some chicken and veg on Friday night, then Saturday I was going to chop up the leftovers to make a salad with a smoked paprika dressing. Only I forgot we need propane for the grill. Then when we were out Friday afternoon, we were by the MexiChicken, which is one of my most favorite places to eat. So…….we had a very late lunch at 5, and never actually got around to having dinner.

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Saturday comes. Blog post plans are shot.  But I will not be denied this salad dressing I’ve been tasting in my dreams.  I got out the Cuisinart panino press and grilled up the stuffs.  Kinda kills the point of using up leftovers, but this  is all about that dressing, so we will just have to put on our big girl panties and deal with it.

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Himself thought the garlic was quite strong. I love garlic, so I told him he was a pussy. (Feel the love, people.)  But, if you have delicate sensibilities, you might want to start with one clove. (Always add –vs- can’t take away and all that jazz.)

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Please forgive the lack of food styling.  This was Saturday lunch, as opposed to prettified just for pictures.  So, I am putting cobb salad photo styling on my list of skills to perfect.

 

Give this a whirl. (Ha! See what I did there?)  It’s freaking delicious.
For the dressing
¼ c plain yogurt (we use the lactose free kind)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2Tb red wine vinegar
1 – 2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 tsp pimentón ahumado dulce (the real deal, from Spain. No cheapo crap. You’ll taste the difference.)
½ tsp oregano or thyme or a mix
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp mayo
dash worsteshire sauce
S&P
Instructions
Put all the dressing ingredients in the blender and mix. Arrange the salad ingredients, and dress.
Nerms.
Notes
This is awesome on a salad with grilled chicken, or steak slices, or shrimps. Especially if there’s avocado involved..

Servings 4
Calories 112
Fat 10 g
Sodium 30 mg
Carbs 6 g
Protein 1 g

Summer summer summer salads!! Gurkensalat.

My father’s family is from a tiny, tiny town in Ohio. Often in the summer, we would go “back east” to visit. My paternal grandparents were wound pretty tight; I never felt comfortable when I was there. But my Grandmother Charlotte always made two things that stuck in my mind: cucumber salad, and huge soft lemon sugar cookies.  Those are my favorite memories of those trips; well, those and fireflies. Being from the desert, fireflies have always fascinated me.  As far as the victuals, to this day I’ve not found the equivalent for the cookies but I have for the cukes!  Thank you, interwebs.
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This is simple. And quick. And so very yummy and cool, and great with summery foods like picnics and barbecues.  It pays to make a big batch; it will keep in the fridge for at least a week. Unless you live with me; then it’s two days, tops.

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The only thing is, you really do need a mandoline for this. Unless you’ve been to chef school and have the mad knife skills to slice a cucumber in to wafer thin slices.

 

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I really hope you try this one. It’s tangy, sweet, savory and crunchy.
For the marinade
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. white vinegar
For the salad
1/2 English cucumber, washed and sliced wafer-thin on a mandoline
1/4 Sweet white onion like a Vidalia or a Maui Sweet, sliced wafer-thin on a mandoline
1 Tbsp. dried dill weed, or 2 Tbsp. minced fresh.
Instructions
Put the marinade ingredients in a sauce pan or in a microwave-safe bowl. Bring to an almost boil, until the sugar is dissolved and set aside to cool.
While the marinade is cooling, wash and slice the veg.
In a tall, wide-mouthed container, put a single layer of cukes, a single layer of onion and sprinkle of dill.
Continue until all the stuff is in the jar.
By this time, the marinade should be about room temp. Pour it over the ingredients in the jar.
Refrigerate.
If you can contain yourself, these are best eaten after a day.
Notes
You can also make this with crème fraîche instead of the marinade. Just mix it all together. Nerms.

Servings 4
Calories 114
Fat 0 g
Sodium 5 mg
Carbs 28 g
Protein 0 g