Quick and Easy Chilled Gazpacho


You Say Tomato, I Say Tomahto!

We're rockin' out with tomatoes this week at IHCC and chef Curtis Stone.  The weather, being so muggy and hot, has been inspiring me to more salads and less cooking.  A Gazpacho sounded quite cool and refreshing, and it was, it is!  This recipe may be found on his web site and in his book, Relaxed Cooking, as well.

Chilled Gazpacho

2 pounds ripe tomatoes (about 6), roughly chopped
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup reduced-sodium 100% organic vegetable juice
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
One 5-inch piece French baguette bread, crust removed
1 shallot, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, bruised
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup finely diced peeled seeded cucumber
1/4 cup finely diced seeded red bell pepper
1/4 cup finely diced seeded yellow bell pepper
1/4 cup finely diced seeded tomato
6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Serves 6
The soup can be made 1 day ahead, covered and refrigerated.
1.  In a large bowl, combine the first 11 ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours.
2.  Transfer the marinated ingredients to a food processor or blender and blitz until smooth. Refrigerate the soup until it is very cold. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper.
3.   Ladle the chilled soup into chilled bowls and garnish with the finely diced cucumbers, bell peppers, and tomatoes. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and serve.

I simplified by combining all the ingredients (except some cucumber slices and the olive oil) in my blender, and just processing til nicely minced, leaving it slightly chunky, which I prefer to a smooth gazpacho.  Then refrigerated til well chilled, adding a few ice cubes before serving.  Also, I used tarragon vinegar instead of red wine vinegar, and sprinkled some fresh tarragon on to garnish. 

Will share the tomatoey coolness at Deb's Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen as well as at IHCC ( I Heart Cooking Clubs).  Check out lots of yummo recipes.


Green Pineapple Chutney with Cranberries

You see here a couple of green, unripe pineapples that no one in their right mind would pick.  However, at the beginning of the season, when the desire for a lovely, sweet, fresh pineapple overrides common sense,  we usually make this mistake at least once, thinking maybe it's ready.  Hope prevails.  Both Bob and I did it.  They sat around for a week or more, and I could see those guys were never going to ripen up.  Meanwhile really, truly ripe ones were happening.

Cooking them into a tangy chutney was the solution.  Lots of wonderful spices, red peppercorns, cranberries, you get the picture.  A double rescue.


Competition Mixed Veggie Mac 'n Cheese

 I was truly forced to do another Christine Wenger book post here.  It was the Mac 'n Cheese cook-off competition in Macaroni and Freeze that did it.  Firstly her descriptions of the contest entries had me planning  ingredients for a nice variation of my own.  Also, the book, "A Comfort Food Mystery" is a fun, food-filled cozy.  Nothing deep here.  Even the cuisine is pretty basic, '50's Diner style stuff, which you might expect, as the heroine runs a comfort food diner.  In between helping solve various murders.

The last one I read, and posted about here, was good and this who-done-it is no exception.  The expected murder, narrow escapes, a wee bit of romance, and food of course. Formula writing, but diverting in the evenings.

The beauty of macaroni and cheese is the infinite diversification possible.  I've made a number of those and posted some of them.  Cauliflower, Tuna, hamburger, salmon, green kale, to name a few.  This particular version was inspired by the one I had at Moon and Turtle, made with spätzle.  After my own session of spätzle making,  a corporate decision was made to not bother again, or to buy a special gadget for making said noodles.  There are enough fine pastas on the market which can be conveniently used.  


Local Ono on the Barbie!

This week with Curtis Stone, current reigning chef at IHCC (I Heart Cooking Clubs), we're On the Barbie!  Grilling whatever.  In my case, Curtis' recipe for grilled salmon was transmogrified to ono, a locally caught, quite delicious fish, the name of which translates to really good.  Some of you folks might know it as Wahoo!  I always think deserving of the exclamation point.

Served up at his website recipe on a Greek salad, with kalamata olives and chunks of feta.


Tinga Poblana - A Smoky Pork and Potato Stew

 This is Potluck week at IHCC, (I Heart Cooking Clubs) and I selected a wonderful recipe from Rick Bayless out of his Authentic Mexican Cookbook.  Which, after perusing the library book with extreme covetousness, for weeks already,  I now have coming via Amazon.  My very own copy.


Pineapple-Bourbon BBQ Sauce

For the weekly theme at IHCC, (I Heart Cooking Clubs) it was Fresh & Fruity with our reigning chef, Curtis Stone.  Just in time for your Fourth of July barbecuing , was my thought, not to mention all the pineapples ripening up around the old ranch.  Which meant a change from the original recipe: for apple, add in a pine.


Potato, Cauliflower and Camembert Gratin for Surf and/or Turf

 This week at IHCC (I Heart Cooking Clubs) it's a Surf and/or Turf theme, a recipe that features either surf (fish and seafood) and/or turf (meat, poultry, and vegetables) from our currently featured chef, Curtis Stone.  I had a nice looking cauliflower, and the potatoes, so this recipe in his book, What's for Dinner? was a natural, being from the turf side of the agenda.  I served the gratin with roast chicken rather than his suggested grilled pork chops.


Candlenut Chicken Curry - a Deadly Special

Aunty Lee's Deadly Specials is my second read in this little series by Singaporean author, Ovidia Yu, and so glad I found it!  Mysteries, with humor, troubling social issues, and lots of culinary interest.  Some of the food mentioned sounds quite intriguing, though not especially appealing to Western tastes perhaps, but again, much of it is.

 I especially enjoy her philosophy, partially based as it is around cooking; as well as the way she uses herbs and dishes to calm and even heal.  Rosie is a compassionate, kindly and helpful character, who thinks about people and what motivates them with a purposeful sort of curiosity.  Aunty can tell so much about a person by what, and how he or she eats, which information of course helps with her sleuthing. 

Book Description from the Publisher for those interested in it:
"Rosie "Aunty" Lee, the feisty widow, amateur sleuth and proprietor of Singapore's best-loved home-cooking restaurant, is back in another delectable, witty mystery involving scandal and murder among the city's elite
Few know more about what goes on in Singapore than Aunty Lee. When a scandal over illegal organ donation makes news, she already has a list of suspects. There's no time to snoop, though—Aunty Lee's Delights is catering a brunch for local socialites Henry and Mabel Sung. Rumor has it that the Sungs' fortune is in trouble, and Aunty Lee wonders if the gossip is true. But soon after arriving at the Sungs', her curiosity turns to suspicion. Why is the guesthouse in the garden locked up—and what's inside? Where is the missing guest of honor? Then Mabel Sung and her son, Leonard, are found dead. The authorities blame it on Aunty Lee's special stewed chicken with buah keluak, a local black nut that can be poisonous if cooked improperly. She's certain the deaths are murder—and that they're somehow linked to the organ donor scandal. To save her business and her reputation, she's got to prove it—and unmask a dangerous killer."

There was a recipe at the back for the famous "Deadly Special", which is not only a delicious Chicken Curry, but uses candlenut (kukui here in Hawaii) instead of the very rare jungle nut, Buah Keluak, frequently used with the dish in Singapore.  The author also suggests macadamia nuts can be substituted.  As I do have a kukui nut tree and few opportunities to use them, this "Deadly Special" had to be the inspired dish for my post.


Eggplant, Parmesan and Ricotta Bake

 This was my first experience with cooking a Donna Hay recipe, thanks to IHCC (I Heart Cooking Clubs) and our weekly themes.  This week's was Chef Donna Hay, so I checked out her website for something to cook with what was on hand - an eggplant.  My only change was to swap out basil for some fresh oregano.