Wednesday, November 7, 2007

"Deconstructed" Gazpacho

Before we proceed on this deconstruction, let's just observe what makes the gazpacho so tasty.

First off, the overwhelming purity of the tomato taste. Secondly, the textural crunch of the vegetables (onions, bell peppers, cucumber.) Thirdly, the starch via the bread (which makes it "filling"), and lastly, the sharp tartness of the vinegar (which makes it "vibrant" or "alive".)

So all we have to do is capture the above flavors. The "deconstruction" is going to consist of the fact that we are going to keep each of the ingredients separate and blend them so they are clearly observable.

The heart of it is capturing the tomato flavor. Enter tomato water.

Ingredients (tomato water)

2 lbs ripe tomatoes

Recipe (tomato water)

Pass the tomatoes through the finest screen of a food mill.

Line a fine sieve with multiple layers of cheese cloth. Put the apparatus over a bowl. Pour the above tomato puree into it.

Cover, and leave overnight.

You will see that the puree splits into two components: the tomato water below, and a solid gelée in the cheese cloth/sieve above.

Just taste the water. You will see that it has an intense tomato-ey flavor.

(Save the gelée for later. It makes a delicious "savory tomato sorbet"; or just salt it and gobble it up!)

Ingredients ("deconstructed" gazpacho)

tomato water
1/2 spanish onion
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 green bell pepper
1/2 english cucumber
5-6 dried sourdough croutons (per serving)
salt and pepper
champagne vinegar
extra virgin olive oil

Recipe ("deconstructed" gazpacho)

You still need to dice the onions, bell peppers, and cucumber as the original gazpacho. (Note the "half"; the rest is not needed.)

Note how the croutons fit the pattern of dicing too. This time you need the real deal. Real sourdough bread cut up into an appropriate size before allowing it to dry out.

Whisk together a vinaigrette with the olive oil and the champagne vinegar. (This is an O/W in the classification scheme.)

Mix everything but the croutons. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Add the croutons right before serving.

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