Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Roasted Red Pepper Gazpacho with Garlic Lime Shrimp

Hi guys.  How are you?  It’s hot here.  Like burning depths of hell hot.  I think it is supposed to be over 100 degrees every day this week.  It is supposed to be 103 on Thursday, which is fantastic since I have a Farmer’s Market is Sparks.  Everybody wants to sample BBQ sauce when it is a bazillion degrees, right?  No, you say?  You’re right.  I’m not looking forward to it.  Although I do get to be in the shade so it should be a cool and breezy 95 under my tent/canopy thing.  I shouldn’t complain, I guess.  At least I’m not in Vegas;)

Since it was so hot, and since I have been at so many Farmer’s Markets….I decided to make gazpacho yesterday.  Do you know what gazpacho is?  It is a cold, tomato and other veggie soup.  It is Spanish in origin.  And it is good. I jazz mine up a bit by roasting my red peppers.  This gives the soup a smoky taste that works so well with the sweet tomatoes and cool cucumbers. 

I barley used the stove to make this soup, so there was no unnecessary heating of my house.  Plus, I got to use my Farmer’s Market bounty.  Let me show you what I had to work with….

I got this all at the Summit Farmer’s Market in South Reno.  Beautiful tomatoes, red bell peppers, little Persian cucumbers, fresh garlic, basil and a shallot…….Isn’t it pretty?  And I’m not even normally a huge veggie fan, which you all know, but something about seeing it all at a Farmer’s Market makes me want to eat it.  My veggies were grown in Yerington, NV and Yuba City, CA.

Like I said above, I barley used the stove….but I did use it a bit.  I roasted my peppers on my gas grill.  If you don’t have a gas grill, feel free to use your broiler, or buy a jar of roasted red pepper.  But don’t skip the roasted red peppers.  That is what gives this gazpacho its yummy flavor.

I just set the pepper directly on the burner.  I let it cook on each side until it was charred and blistered.  Paisley came out and asked me if I was cooking bacon, and Addy asked if I had started a campfire.  No to both.  I still think it is strange that she asked me if I started a fire in the house….as if that is something that I might do.  But yes, this will smell a bit.  Not in a bad way, more in a bonfire sort of way.

Once the peppers were charred all over, I put them in a zip bag to steam for a couple of minutes.  This will help loosen the skin.

When you take them out of the bag, the skins will come right off with a paper towel.  I leave some of the char because I think that adds great flavor.

Roasting a red pepper really brings out its flavor.  It makes the peppers smoky, but still pretty sweet.  Roasting a bell pepper completely changes the flavor…..it is nothing like a plain raw bell pepper.

As for the tomatoes……

I like to take the skins off of the tomatoes, but that step is totally optional.  I prefer without, you may prefer you gazpacho with skins.

I cut the stems out of each tomato, and I also scored an “X” onto the top of each.  This will help the skins come loose after these tomatoes take a hot bath.

I dropped the tomatoes into simmering water and let them cook for about 30 to 45 seconds.  Then, I pulled them out and let them cool for just a minute.  Then, the skins peeled right off.  It’s like magic.  Weird, tomato magic.

As for the rest of the veggies, I peeled and cut my cucumbers into chunks, chunked up the shallot, took the basil leaves off of their stems and peeled two cloves of garlic.

I also used sherry vinegar, good olive oil and a lime in my gazpacho.  And salt and pepper but you know those two never make my pictures.

Everybody in the blender!  Now obviously, if everything doesn’t fit….do it in batches.  I started with everything but the tomatoes.  I made sure to add the oil, vinegar and lime to the batch with the cucumbers, basil, and peppers.  This will need the extra moisture to get the blender blending.  Once this was blended, I poured it into a bowl and went to work on the naked tomatoes.  Then, dump that in the bowl and mix it all up.

Isn’t that a pretty color?

Once everything was blended and mixed, I popped the soup into the fridge for about an hour.  This is a cold soup, remember?

I blended my soup till it was pretty smooth.  You can choose your own texture.  As with life, some prefer chunky;)

I top my soup with the tiniest bit of olive oil before serving.  But wait….I also have another addition that makes this gazpacho even more amazing.

I add shrimp!

I sautéed my shrimp in butter, garlic and lime juice.

Like so.

Are you kidding me?  Doesn’t that just scream summer to you?  The gazpacho is cool and refreshing, but sweet and smoky at the same time.  The shallot gives it an onion taste, but it doesn’t compete with the garlic.  And the fresh basil really tops this off.

And the shrimp?  Don’t even get me started.  The shrimp rocks.  It works perfectly with the gazpacho. 

Wouldn’t you love to serve this at a summer party?  You can serve it in shot glasses with just one shrimp on the side of the glass for a perfect appetizer.  So, so cute!!

Again, yum!  I hope you try this recipe.  If you can come to a Farmer’s Market in Reno or Sparks….the farmer from Yerington is right next to me;)

Roasted Red Pepper Gazpacho with Garlic Lime Shrimp

About 5 or 6 medium to large assorted tomatoes

1/3 cup basil

1 shallot

2 cloves garlic

4 Persian cucumbers

2 red bell peppers

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

Juice of 1 lime

¼ cup sherry vinegar

¼ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling over top

Roast bell peppers directly over gas burner.  Place peppers in plastic zip top bag for 2 minutes to steam.  Wipe away skins with paper towels.

Remove stems from tomatoes and score an “x” onto the top of each tomato.  Drop tomatoes into simmering water and let cook for about 45 seconds.  Remove tomatoes from water and let cool.  Peel off skins.

Cut the vegetables into chunks.  Place vegetables into blender with olive oil, lime juice, sherry vinegar and salt & pepper.  Blend in batches.  Pour soup into a bowl and mix well if pureed in batches.  Chill for at least one hour.

Garlic Lime Shrimp:

½ pound tail-on, raw shrimp

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 clove of garlic, smashed

Juice of one lime

Melt butter in a sauté pan with olive oil.  Sauté shrimp with smashed garlic clove for about 1 minute until shrimp are pink and cooked through.  Squeeze in lime juice.  Serve with gazpacho.

Serves 8-10

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