barefoot thursday: gazpacho

>> June 25, 2009

i really didn't mean for this blog to become so intermittent, but i've been putting in really long hours at work and the last thing i want to do when i come home is stare at the computer some more. don't believe me? between 7am yesterday and 7am today, i was only in the house for 6.5 hours, 5.5 of which were spent asleep and the other one spent getting ready for work today. granted, 3 of the 12 hours i spent at work were at a dinner with the partners/principals, most of my day consisted of importing and manipulating excel tables, sitting in a meeting, and riding public transportation.

if you don't happen to live near dc, you may have missed the epic metro crash that happened on monday. one in-bound train slammed into the back end of another, and 10 people died. it's the worst crash in the history of metro, and the first fatal crash since the early 1980s. my belief in karma is even stronger now, because had i not felt compelled to wash out my coffee mug and take 5 minutes longer to leave, i would have been on the red line when it happened -- going in the opposite direction, but still. while my heart goes out to everyone involved, and i'm thanking my lucky stars that no one i know was hurt, i can't help but curse it all just a little for adding 45 minutes to my commute this morning and evening, making me not get home until 12:15 last night, and keeping me from going into work on tuesday (okay.. so that wasn't that bad). i just got an email from metro that everything is cleared. let's keep our fingers crossed.

on to happier things.

i mentioned my birthday party a couple of posts ago... turning 21 was fab, and i've been enjoying the benefits of having a legal id. more on that later. back to the birthday. i served grilled shrimp tacos, spicy slaw, and chips and guac, but i needed a good appetizer. barefoot bloggers to the rescue!

the day before my birthday, the recipes were announced, and i wanted to hug meryl of my bit of earth for choosing ina's gazpacho. it was fate.

served in a martini glass, obvi.

gazpacho is probably my favorite summertime food. my "sponsor" took me out to lunch on my first day of work, and i had a gorgeous yellow tomato gazpacho with crab. whenever we splurge and go to whole foods, i have to stop myself from buying the whole shelf of it from their prepared foods section. last summer, i would duck down to marvelous market and indulge at least once a week -- what's more perfect than soup you don't have to heat?! but by far, the gazpacho at mon ami gabi is my favorite. ina's came dangerously close.

i made a few changes [in italics], trying to get it just like mon ami:

adapted from ina garten’s “the barefoot contessa cookbook”

servings: 4 to 6 [i got filled 10 juice glasses with half]

1 hothouse cucumber, halved and seeded, but not peeled
2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded
4 plum tomatoes [two cans of whole, peeled tomatoes, drained with juice reserved]
1 red onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
23 ounces tomato juice (3 cups) [made up the difference from the canned tomatoes with clamato]
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup good olive oil
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
[1 tablespoon fresh minced cilantro]
[a few dashes of tabasco]
[juice of 1 lime]

1. roughly chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes and red onions into 1-inch cubes. put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped [i failed at the "each vegetable separately part... turned out fine, just a really full food pro]. do not overprocess!

2. after each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper [plus lime and tabasco]. mix well and chill before serving. the longer gazpacho sits, the more the flavors develop. [add cilantro just before serving]

my camera is full, and i'm waiting until i buy some new photo software with my paycheck next week to unload it (i'm actually just really lazy, be glad you got a picture). i'm going to atlantic city this weekend, and after that i promise, promise, promise to update. 6am tomorrow morning is going to come too quickly. it's time for some sleep.



Suzie June 26, 2009 at 2:08 AM  

Happy birthday - and I am with you on the gazpacho. I cannot go past it - but at least its healthy...

Penny June 26, 2009 at 9:21 AM  

Happy birthday. Great idea serving the gazpacho in a martini glass.

Meryl June 26, 2009 at 5:25 PM  

So pretty in the martini glass--glad you enjoyed it! (And glad you got home safe, even if a little late!)

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