Monday, July 18, 2011

A Cold Taste of Spain

Almost Gazpacho

Moi and la Cuisine were never close friends, despite my loving cookbooks since I could
read and growing up watching all sorts of cooking programs and food-centered movies.
Lately though, I'm finding cooking inspiration and I want to share it with you!

I love soup and one of my favorites is perfect for hot summer weather, Gazpacho.
There are several versions, but I based this recipe on Gazpacho I once had at this groovy
Spanish restaurant in New Orleans many years ago. It's light, flavorful, healthy and
extremely easy to make!

This is one of those recipes that is open to interpretation, so I'll give you my appx.
amounts/measurements, but you can adjust anything to your taste. When I decide
to make any dish, I look up several versions of the recipe to get an idea of how its
done, then make it my own.

Allow me to suggest... Pay attention to your ingredients, buy the best you can afford,
organic when you can, because there is nothing healthy or tasty about petroleum-based
fertilizers and pesticides nor animal hormones and antibiotics, that are finally being
studied regarding their dangerous effects, but not yet regulated in any meaningful way.

Remember, everything you eat has an effect on your health and happiness.


Take 1/2 loaf of bread (I use a French loaf or baguette), tear into 2 inch-ish pieces,
put into a bowl and cover with water, set aside. I take the other half, slice it and
make crostini for tapas.

Into your blender or food processor put after washing:

1 cucumber - chopped into 1 inch pieces (no need to peel unless it's waxy)
1 1/2 lb tomatoes (I used roma) - end removed and cut in half
1 red bell pepper - cut into 1 inch pieces
2 cloves garlic - peeled
2 cloves shallot - peeled

Pulse until everything is smooth, NO chunks or bits. You can put aside any of the veggies
and chop finer, if you want to garnish with them.

Then take the soggy bread to your sink and take it by the double-handful and squeeze out
as much excess water as possible, adding it to the blender as you go, transforming the soup
from reddish to pinkish as you process.

Then add and blend in for taste:

Juice from 1/2 large lemon - appx 4 tblsp
Splash of olive oil - appx 3 tblsp
Splash of sherry vinegar - appx 3 tblsp
3/4 tsp salt - use mineral or sea salt
1 tsp ground cumin

Take the soup (either still in blender or transferred to serving bowl) and refrigerate until cold.
It's best made a day in advance, so the flavors can meld and do their magic.
This serves 4 generously. You will be amazed at how flavorful such simple ingredients can be!

Make your visit to Spain complete by serving this with tapas and watching a beautiful film by
my favorite Spanish director, Pedro Almodovar, Talk to Her (2002).

Until next time... Miss Absinthe

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011

Feeling Funky

Weho Street Art
Street Art - Melrose Style

Lately I've been experiencing a bit of existential angst and creative ennui...
But I'm rebooting my creativity and will be back very soon with
new Bohemian adventures and inspirations!

Until next time... Miss Absinthe