“Maybe it's genetic, or maybe it's a cultural or social holdover from the days of scarcity, but most of us still seem to spend ninety percent of our waking lives on the topic of food.” --- Gerald M. Sliva
People love food and drink. One chapter of Barking From the Front Porch deals with this irrefutable fact. Take a look at my archived blogs. The one that received the most “likes” was the Valentine's Day blog featuring my recipe for “Killer Guacamole” which was intended to unite the world in perfect harmony by sharing guacamole and cerveza. Perhaps some of you have noticed that world peace has not yet materialized. Obviously The Donald and The Hillary have not read my blog or they have not yet sampled my Killer Guacamole, at least not in the same place at the same time.
When it comes to world peace I don't give up easily. So here I go again. If Donald and Hillary won't make bury the hatchet, we can forget them and politics by escaping to food – good home prepared food. We are in the summer season surrounded by an abundance of fresh, cool garden cucumbers, mild Kelsae onions, red-ripe tomatoes, beautiful bell peppers, and fresh green herbs. This cornucopia leads me to sharing a special Spanish summer recipe. On a stifling hot August day there is no better treat than an ice-cold bowl of homemade gaspacho. How do you choose from the multitude of gaspacho recipes on the internet? You deserve the best. SOOOOooooo, I've selected my favourite ingredients and concocted a mouth-watering hot weather recipe which is sure to bring world peace. It is so tasty that I've made it three times in the past two weeks.
2 medium garden cucumbers, peeled
2 red, yellow or green bell peppers, cored and seeded
6 medium sized ripe tomatoes
1/2 medium Kelsae onion
1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced
25 to 40 ounces tomato juice (depending on your preferences)
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Juice of a freshly squeezed lime
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
A few tablespoons of finely chopped fresh herbs – cilantro, dill, basil or parsley (Don't use all of them in the same recipe. Use a combination you find appealing. My preference is cilantro-basil or basil-parsley.)
2 or 3 shakes of your favourite hot sauce. I use Frank's.
Note: These proportions are guidelines only. Garlic lovers will use 2 or 3 cloves. Onion lovers will use a whole onion. The green onion stems can be used too. Before our tomatoes were ripe I made a batch of gaspacho using a 28 oz can of diced tomatoes instead of fresh tomatoes. It turned out great. Experiment! Be brave. Go out on a limb. You won't be disappointed.
Roughly chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and 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. Don't over process!
After each vegetable is processed, combine all in a large bowl and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, lime juice, salt, pepper, herbs and hot sauce. Mix well and chill before serving. The flavors develop more if the gaspacho sits in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or even over night if you can wait that long to savour this delectable treat.
Serve gaspacho in a soup bowl sprinkled with a handful of your favourite croutons or garlic toast and cheddar cheese on the side. Mouth-watering, delicious, wholesome and nutritious!
This recipe will serve about 10 people very generously. Terrific as a starter dish for lunch, dinner or a refreshing snack. Any leftovers can be kept refrigerated and used within a few days.
Gerald M. Sliva
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