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Nopalito's "Gazpacho"

upkerry11 Sep 9, 2011 10:49 AM

Anyone know what chile(s) they use in this dish? Very tasty. B

  1. wolfe Sep 9, 2011 11:35 AM

    Here's what goes into gazpacho estilo Morelia - A refreshing fruit salad made with Jicama root, mango, cucumber, seasoned with Chile piquin and fresh crumbling cheese. I see from some web pictures that Nopalito probably throws in some, I'll bet, heirloom tomatoes.

    15 Replies
    1. re: wolfe
      upkerry11 Sep 9, 2011 01:23 PM

      Not in Nopalito's. I'm wondering what Nopalitos uses chili wise in THEIR Gazpacho. They use summer melons (cantaloup, honeydew,,watermelon), OJ (Valencia the waitress said), lime juice, Bufalo hot sauce and some queso sprinkled on top. I ground one cascabel and it tastes pretty damned close.

      1. re: upkerry11
        wolfe Sep 9, 2011 01:37 PM

        I guess those red things are watermelon but the recipe name on the dish is the same so perhaps some finely ground pequins are there.

        1. re: upkerry11
          Spenbald Sep 9, 2011 11:36 PM

          Why not ask the restaurant?

          1. re: Spenbald
            upkerry11 Sep 10, 2011 07:54 AM

            I did, no answer yet. If they respond I'll post it here. I actually asked for the entire recipe so keep your fingers crossed. I made it last night based on what they list in the menu and it's pretty damned close.

            1. re: upkerry11
              Leely2 Sep 10, 2011 03:25 PM

              How did you make it? I ordered this at lunch today at Nopalito. Man it was good, such a refereshing counterpoint to the other (meatier, fried-ier) dishes we had. My friend and I were discussing how to approximate it at home.

              1. re: Leely2
                upkerry11 Sep 10, 2011 03:48 PM

                I squeezed two valencia oranges as this is what the waitress said they use (I may add a seville next time as it will make it more sour and still be somewhat "orangy").
                I only used cataloupe and honeydew melon. I added a *touch* of apple cider vinegar. I think the secret is their spice "mix". Whatever they used I decided to keep it simple. I used a cascabel chile (my favorite, bought at La Tienda on Univ/San Pablo Ave in Berkeley) and ground the entire chili in my spice grinder (sans seeds). On the menu it mentions "bufalo" sauce/salsa and its a small, thin bottle of slightly smokey but not hot (to my palate) sauce. Get the regular/classic and not the "red chile" one. Juice of one lime or so. I did not put the queso on top as it makes it salty but you might like it if you can get a really good one. Most commercial quesos are too salty I find.
                Make sure the OJ and bufalo sauce and cider vinegar are well mixed. I don't think the fruit can sit in this for a long time as it starts to break down fast. Today I added some leftover watermelon. I think a firmer melon is better though I had no problem eating it:). I'm going to mess with other dried peppers and see what happens. No doubt it'll change the character of the dish but I am curious to see what version I like best.
                Just FYI - I made the Esquit Tostado con Crema y Queso (look at he menu online) as well last night and that was easy. LMK if you wanna know what I did for that one. The boys at the firehouse were VERY happy last night. I served it with my own carnitas recipe and made tortillas. Not bad for 8 bucks a person.

                411 13th St, Oakland, CA 94612

                1. re: upkerry11
                  wolfe Sep 10, 2011 04:02 PM

                  La Tienda or Mi Tierra or Spanish Table?

                  1. re: wolfe
                    upkerry11 Sep 10, 2011 04:21 PM

                    I thought it was La Tienda,across from the Cheese Shop near the PO, one block south of Uni and SPA.

                    1. re: upkerry11
                      mzsnowhite Sep 10, 2011 04:28 PM

                      It is Mi Tierra. Gosh I so miss that place. I lived 2 blocks away and shopped there weekly. There is no place close to it in upstate NY. The carnitas on Saturday was without a doubt the best ever.

                      1. re: mzsnowhite
                        upkerry11 Sep 10, 2011 04:57 PM

                        It's the one on the corner. At present their food in the back is some of the WORST Mexican I have ever tried (never again).

                        1. re: mzsnowhite
                          wolfe Sep 10, 2011 05:42 PM

                          That is Mi Tierra Market not the restaurant in SF linked and their pan de muerte is pretty good.

                    2. re: upkerry11
                      Leely2 Sep 11, 2011 06:46 PM

                      Thanks--will try it out this week. I love watermelon, so I'm going to have to include it. I'd be interested in hearing about the Esquit Tostado if it's not too much trouble. (Or not too off-topic for the moderators.)

                      1. re: Leely2
                        upkerry11 Sep 11, 2011 07:06 PM

                        I boiled the corn, let it cool and cut it form the cob Placed it under he salamander (yes, it "pops") till it was charred a bit, stir it around. Sauteed white ions till nicely carmelized. I minced them fairly finely. make sure they dry out and brown. Tossed the corn and onion together, sprinkled queso on top (this is where salty cheese is ok IMHO) as the corn is so sweet (hopefully - mine was). Drizzled some crema on top and was lucky to get a friend's homegrown cherry tomatoes and they were soooooo sweet it was incredible. I kept it very simple this time to see what it would taste like and it tasted pretty much the same to me as the restaurant. I am going to experiment with different chilis and chili powders to see if I was another layer of complexity to it but I am careful about overwhelming the corn flavor as this is supposed to be a corn salad. The sweetness and astringency of the tomatoes worked well together. Some cilantro or another herb or maybe epazote might be good. Chilis might ruin it but I gotta play around wit hit. It's half the fun ain't it? Now if I only had more people to share it with... guess I'll have to eat it all:)

                        1. re: upkerry11
                          upkerry11 Sep 30, 2011 06:23 PM

                          Allyson Jossel of Nopalito was so very kind to provide the recipe for the lovely fruit "gaspacho" they serve. Here it is. Be sure to throw some business their way as restaurants rarely respond, let alone give, recipes. It was a long shot for me.
                          I haven't made it yet but will do so and compare it to my version.

                          GAZPACHO ESTILO MORELIA

                          Yield: 4 servings


                          1 Qrt. Summer Melon, small cubes
                          1 C Orange Juice
                          ½ C Lime Juice
                          3oz Queso Fresco
                          1 tsp. Chili Powder
                          1oz Hot Sauce
                          4 each Lime Wedges
                          Salt to Taste


                          In a mixing bowl combine the melon, orange juice, lime juice and salt. Lightly toss. Pour into your serving dish and top with queso fresco, chili powder, hot sauce and garnish with a lime wedge.

                          1. re: upkerry11
                            wolfe Sep 30, 2011 08:32 PM

                            Which hot sauce and which chile powder blend? Without that knowledge how can you duplicate the recipe.

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