East Meets West with Sake Spiked Gazpacho
Blasphemy or brilliance?
Globalization and the Internet have made this little planet a whole lot smaller. I can chat roulette with a random person from Ulaan Baatar, skype with a friend strolling in Vladovostok and receive million dollar transfer offers from Ndugu, originally from some small town in Nigeria now living comfortably in the London suburbs. Ndugu has a big dilemma and needs to transfer large sums of money urgently to my bank account. As a generous thank you, I get to keep a few million tax free in an off shore account. Awesome.
Our exposure to food has increased exponentially. No longer are we in the days of animal protein + starch + veggie = meal. We have expanded our culinary vocabulary from the over processed atrocities of high fructose corn syrup products that never age, to the exotic free form improvisations of the haute gourmet using ingredients from here to there and everywhere in between.
Gazpacho is amazing. Healthy, light, with a kick and needs nothing. Thats why I want to screw around with it. Perfecting perfection can go from utter destruction to orgasmic utopia. Today, we call that fusion, the trendy term used when cuisines have temporary affairs and get their juices all over one another.
About juices, lets make gazpacho, but throw a little sake. Juan Garcia Rodolfo Alfonso de Borja y Estevez meet Fumiko Kawasaki.
- 1 pound sexy tomatoes
- 1 randy red pepper
- 1 saucy seedless cucumber
- 1 jolly jalapeno or 2 for extra kick
- 1 rad red onion
- 2 cookie cloves of garlic
- 1/2 clingy cilantro
- 2 tablespoons of very flavorful extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup of your favorite dry sake (because you should have a favorite)
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
I just love assembling ingredients for this. Why? because they are beautifully colorful and tease your palate and your palette.
Start by chopping all the veggies in small dice, cucumber unpeeled. As you show off your knife skills, place 1/3 of the onion, 1/3 of cucumber, 1/3 of tomato, 1/3 of red pepper and 1/3 of jalapeno in another bowl. The rest, will meet their fate at the food processor.
Process by pulsing until you end up with a saucy but slightly chunky soup. Place in a bowl and add the chopped veggies and the sake.
At this point, you must let the flavors mingle and have a bacchanal prior to serving for about 4 or 6 hours. Preferably overnight. Serve in gorgeous plain white bowls with a little cilantro on top, or as an appetizer, try this Martha Stewart trick.
Prepare cups with more seedless cucumber. Cut them in 2 inches in length, and use a melon baller to hollow it out. Like this.
Use seedless or else the seeds will allow the water to seep through. Not good. You’ll end up with a soupy gazpacho mess on your pate.
Serve in a gorgeous plate, perhaps under some lettuce leaves. Or not.