Sunday, August 14, 2011

Tapas dinner: gazpacho with sides

Tomatoes have officially taken over the farmers market, Todd's garden had more cucumbers than he could handle, it was actually warm enough today to wear a tanktop, Lester's soccer season has officially started, much of my non-kitchen time today was spent preparing for the classes I'm helping teach fall semester...must be August. The gazpacho was nice and light (add some chili if you want it spicy) and the sausage made the oyster mushrooms really amazing (I'd add more oyster mushrooms next time).

for gazpacho:

6 assorted heirloom tomatoes (just over 1 lb)
1 huge cucumber (just under 1 lb)
1 red pepper
1 large shallot
1 T olive oil
2 T lemon juice
1/2 t salt
a few grinds of pepper
1 avocado, mashed
1 green onion, white and green parts sliced

Put a strainer over a large bowl. Squeeze the tomato seeds into the strainer, letting the juice drip through. Peel the tomatoes, putting the skins in the strainer too. Chop the tomato flesh and put it in the bowl with the tomato juice. Peel the cucumber, scoop the seeds into the strainer, chop the flesh, and put the flesh in the bowl. Press down on the seedy goop in the strainer to get a bit more juice out, then discard. Mince the red pepper and shallot and add to the bowl. Stir in the oil, lemon, salt, and pepper. Process with a blender wand until it's your desired consistency. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for a few hours until dinnertime. To serve, stir some avocado and green onion into each bowl.

for the other dishes:

Brown some duck sausage from the butchers in just a tiny bit of oil. Add some thinly sliced shallots, then some oyster mushrooms, then some chopped kale, cooking for a few minutes between each addition. Deglaze with a splash of sherry. Taste before adding salt, it's probably quite salty enough as it is.

Fry some whole shishito peppers in a little oil over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until wilted and browned. Sprinkle with salt and eat as finger food, discarding the stems.

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