Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Chillin' in BuffLand

A cool day in Buffland gives you time to get ahead-- tomorrow it could and likely will be hot, too hot to cook. Too hot to grill, unless you love standing next to fire when you're already sweating. I don't.

Today is a perfect baking/stewing/crockpot day. It's also a good time to make gazpacho, since my favored recipe tastes best when it sits overnight to gather its flavors. The recipe is simplicity itself, but the best I've tasted anywhere. Do serve it no later than the day after you make it: the fresh 'matoes make it gel. But it's good on the day of, too, provided you chill thoroughly-- 4 hours at least. Luckily it takes about five minutes prep!

Rustic Gazpacho
(from NYC's Marichu restaurant, originally published in Food & Wine magazine, May 1999)

6 ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks (riper than those in the pic below-- that was two days ago)
1/2 large cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded, chunked
1 green pepper, seeded and chunked
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 C water
1/2 C olive oil
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar (I use red wine vinegar)
pinch of ground cumin or ground coriander, optional-- Mari's touch
hot sauce, for serving

In a blender or food processor, blend all vegetables, water, oil and vinegar till coarsely pureed. Put through a food mill afterwards for a smoother soup if desired. Add salt and chill well, serve with hot sauce on the side.

I love this soup; I'll eat it without any sides, but a slice of focaccia isn't bad. Fresh fruit pie afterwards doesn't hurt either! I'm a bit under the weather though, so I'll have to leave the baking to someone else today.

Don't let me stop you from putting something in the oven. Remember: there's never a bad time for cornbread.

Peace, Mari

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