Can I Still Cook Like a Top Chef: Gazpacho

First, I apologize for the late posting, I was under the weather yesterday and was in no mood for cooking.

Everything I know about gazpacho comes from Lisa Simpson, so a little research was in order. It originates from the Andalusia region in Southern Spain, during the Middle Ages, when Spain was part of the Islamic world. It is served ice cold and is classically made from raw ingredients. I made the decision to roast the garlic, to add another layer of flavour.

Gazpacho with roasted fennel.

4 large tomatoes
2 cucumbers
1 white onion
5 cloves of garlic
½ cup bread crumbs
1 L tomato juice
90 mL red wine vinegar
50 mL olive oil
2 tsps cayenne pepper
1 tbsp basil
1 bulb of fresh fennel
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400 F
2. Blanch tomates.
3. Place garlic cloves with a little bit of olive oil, in preheated oven for 12 minutes.
4. Roughly chop tomatoes, cucumbers, and onion.
5. Blend the chopped ingredients with bread crumbs, tomato juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, basil and cayenne pepper. (You may have to do this in batches, depending on the size of the blender)
5. Make sure it is well blended, but the texture should not be completely smooth. It adds some more texture to the soup.
6. Chill for at least an hour.
7. While the gazpacho is in the fridge, cut fennel into quarters and roast at 400 F for 15 minutes.
8. Once fennel is cooled, dice into small cubes and set aside for garnish.

The Results:
The soup was super easy to make, and was very refreshing. I was able to practice my roasting and blanching skills, which I haven’t done since my culinary school days. It wasn’t as fresh as I expected it to be, but tomatoes aren’t exactly in season right now.

A note on this weeks episode: honestly I don’t really have much to say about it. I was excited to see the change of grocery venues. The only down side is I don’t live anywhere near McEwan, so I will still be doing my shopping at my local grocery store. Things do heat up next week, when someone drops a bowl! Canadian reality television at its finest.

A note on the website: I am using some culinary terms in my recipes, which may be a little scary to some people. I’m adding a mini dictionary to the site, to give some insight on the terms. If there are any terms that I missed, let me know in the comments, I’ll do my best to help out.

Terms: blanch and roast.

Check out the Facebook page for more pictures.

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