Andalusian Gazpacho anyone?
- TrishUntrapped May 31, 2012 06:22 PM
A couple years ago I had a delightful gazpacho called "Andalusian Gazpacho" at Biff's Bistro in Toronto. I asked for the recipe they refused. The only thing my server would say is it had bread and olive oil in it.
I make gazpacho myself, But Biff's is different, It was smooth, not chunky, and orangish in color rather than bright red.
It's hot out, I love gazpacho and would love to make one like this. I have googled recipes but don't want to waste ingredients practicing. If anyone is familiar with different gazpachos and has a tried and true recipe for one like I've described, please share. I'd be so grateful.
To make that kind of gazpacho I just add some torn up bread ( a 1" thick slice of Baguette for 2 cups of soup)" into the bottom of the bowl that I am putting my cut vegetables into which allows it soak up the juices. Then when liquefying add Olive oil (not Extra Virgin) in a stream with the blender running.
Sorry I do not have measurements I always wing it with gazpacho it is so hard to mess up.
Recipes, with amounts of ingredients, are difficult to come by in my kitchen. But I can tell you that the first priority is in selecting the finest vine ripened tomatoes and cucumbers you can find. Peel, seed and finely chop those in whatever complimentary amounts you like (some like more cucumber, some less) and combine them with, garlic, onion (I prefer red onion), freshly ground black pepper, kosher salt, a splash of red wine vinegar.
Deposit in food processor, pulse - adding olive oil gradually - to achieve desired consistency.
It's sometimes nice to include some of the ingredients, chopped but not pureed, in the serving and I think also that a garnish is essential. Thinly sliced (paper thin) red and green bell pepper or parsley with bits of ripe tomato will work. Bits of cured ham or hard boiled egg - yummm.
Don't forget the dry bread. Commercially prepared croutons in the bottom of the bowl will do in a pinch but the home made variety would be my preference.
Thanks for the tips. This recipe caught my eye. So as soon as I see some awesome tomatoes (or when my garden is ready) it will be gazpacho time.
Classic Andalusian Gazpacho Gourmet | August 2002
Adapted from El Faro, Cádiz, Spain
Gazpacho "El Faro"
The classic Andalusian gazpacho is found all over the region with surprisingly few variations, except for the addition of cucumber and onion — ingredients that have fallen out of favor with chefs who prefer to allow the pure taste of the tomatoes, Sherry vinegar, and olive oil to shine through. In this version, cumin lends an intriguing, subtle flavor.
1 (2-inch-long) piece baguette, crust discarded
2 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar (preferably "reserva"), or to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
2 1/2 lb ripe tomatoes, cored and quartered
1/2 cup mild extra-virgin olive oil (preferably Andalusian hojiblanca)
Soak bread in 1/2 cup water 1 minute, then squeeze dry, discarding soaking water.
Mash garlic to a paste with salt using a mortar and pestle (or mince and mash with a large knife). Blend garlic paste, bread, 2 tablespoons vinegar, sugar, cumin, and half of tomatoes in a food processor until tomatoes are very finely chopped. Add remaining tomatoes with motor running and, when very finely chopped, gradually add oil in a slow stream, blending until as smooth as possible, about 1 minute.
Force soup through a sieve into a bowl, pressing firmly on solids. Discard solids.
Transfer to a glass container and chill, covered, until cold, about 3 hours. Season with salt and vinegar before serving.
This recipe is a good start, but I'd give you some tips. First, rather than adding sugar to the gazpacho, add natural sweetness with red bell peppers and red onion. They will add not only sweetness, but vegetal complexity. Cucumber will round out those flavors and make your soup taste juicy. The combination also inevitably lends a more orange hue to the gazpacho in my experience.
To extract the maximum amount of liquid and flavor from the vegetables, you should salt them and freeze them for a period. The salt will extract the water from the cells while the freezing will further weaken the cell walls, creating more flavor and a smoother puree. I don't even sieve mine and still end up with a very smooth, almost creamy soup.
After spending some time travelling in Spain, I developed an appreciation for this style of gazpacho. I have had repeated success following the recipe for Andalusian Gazpacho in Fine Cooking. The only thing that you may need to watch for is the amount of salt which is a matter of personal taste. The secret is good fresh tomatoes. If you make the recipe the day before, the flavours improve with time. I have also frozen the soup as is without any modifications to the recipe.
Thank you VIctorB, tomatoes looked good so I tried the Fine Cooking recipe you linked to for my first Gazpacho of the season. I had an orange pepper on hand instead of a green one, and used about half the amount based on my personal taste preferences. Also used regular olive oil rather than extra virgin as I wanted a cleaner lighter taste not overpowered by olive oil. For straining, after processing I ran the mixture through a food mill (which I got from great grandma, see attached photo) and then a china cap.
The results were a very tasty, smooth gazpacho! Definitely evocative of the one at Biff's Bistro, down to the orangey color. I really liked it. The cucumber gives it an especially nice freshness. I'll try a few more recipes, but glad to have a winning one for this in my arsenal! Thanks!
1. Andalusian Gazpacho from Fine Cooking recipe.
2. The sherry vinegar I used.
3. Great grandma's food mill. ( I also use this at Thanksgiving for cranberry applesauce)
4. The china cap. Going shopping today to see if I can find a chinois that processes even finer but doesn't break the bank. Or I'll just use cheesecloth in the future as well for something even smoother.
In case anyone's interested, I make a very low-calorie low-carb version of gazpacho which is nonetheless delicious and very guilt-free. Process in Cuisinart until chunky but not pureed 4 large peeled tomatoes, 1 medium onion, 1 cucumber, and 1 green pepper. Add the result to a 46-oz can of tomato juice. Season to taste with salt, garlic powder or crushed fresh garlic, cumin, a little hot red pepper, and a couple of tablespoons each of vinegar and olive oil. The yield is enormous and this keeps a week in the refrigerator and improves on standing. Serve ice cold.
If I may interject, I don't believe that the dish that you ate by the name "gazpacho", was actually gazpacho. It was, in fact, salmorejo - a creamier, tomato-only based cold soup found in Andalucia...gazpacho's cousin. It is creamy and distinctive from gazpacho, because it consists SOLELY of ripe tomatoes, good olive oil, garlic, a bit of sherry vinegar and soaked bread crumbs. No cucumbers or peppers and what not are added. It is traditionally topped with finely diced hard boiled egg and Spanish ham.
Perhaps chefj...probably just a matter of taste, as with any number of recipes. But I traveled throughout Andalucia and, in my experience, there was a clear distinction made between salmorejo (tomatoes, bread, olive oil, sherry vinegar, garlic) and gazpacho (tomatoes, cucumber, pepper, etc. maybe bread, etc).
In my cookbooks, the classic gazpacho is Andalucian. Originally this cold soup used bread, oil, vinegar, garlic, etc. The addition of vegetables was a further development, with New World tomato and bell pepper being the latest additions. From the Wiki article (and New Spanish table) it appears that salmorejo is distinct in that it is thicker, more of a sauce than soup, due to more bread (and few vegetables, if any besides the tomatoes).
In the OPs example, the use of bread probably was responsible for it being orange rather than red. Omit the bread, and color of the tomato (and other bright colored vegetables) comes through stronger. In sense it is the bread that makes it Andulsian, as opposed to foreign imitation. :)
Chunky v. smooth is a matter of how it was processed. Smooth means a blender or immersion blender was used (or a laborious use of m&p and strainer).
Gazapacho does not have to use tomato. For example a classic version uses almonds along with the bread, garlic, oil and vinegar, resulting in a white creamy soup.