I'm not sure if I've mentioned my sultry love affair with Salsa on here or not?
Well - to put it mildly, I have 3 loves in my life right now:
But if I were to have a secret lover on the side - it would be Salsa.
That said, I have always held a fascination with that old time Spanish/Andalucian classic: Gazpacho.
Believe it or not - this guy you're reading about right now, who has an outright love for soup and secret love for Salsa has never even tried the almost mind altering combination of the two.
But its true. Never before had gazpacho passed these teeth.
Never before, that is, this past weekend:
GAZPACHO - HOW I LOVE THEE, AND OPENLY
Catchy subtitle, huh?
Okay - I admit, the very first time I tried this wonder, I made it myself - so I have absolutely no way of knowing if it tastes anything like the real deal - but trust, me - it was damn good.
(That said, I also kinda... well you know... I sort of... Okay - I altered the recipe of something that I had never tried before to make it the way I have always wanted this to taste - when I pictured the taste in my head... Sorry ancient Spaniards.)
The origins of this are actually ancient (here's where my use of a food processor falls distressingly short of authenticity - sorry, I didn;t have a mortar and pestle large enough to make it the way the old timers did!)
Some history on it here. Some think its a variation on a soup the Arabs once made involving bread and olive oil and garlic (Mmmm), other think the Romans are responsible due to the use of vinegar. What is known for sure, though, is that it made its way eventually to Andelusian cuisine.
What I used:
2 red bell peppers
6 cloves of garlic
1 small red onion
2 cups of vegetable juice (I just used the Shop n' Save brand in a bottle)
5 medium tomatos
3 tablespoons of Lemon Juice (I used a bottle of lemon juice, but you can use real lemons if you want)
2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
1/4 cup (or more) or vinegar - I used apple cidar
1 can of chickpeas (definitely NOT part of any of the original recipes but I added it for protein)
What I did was:
1. Roughly chop each vegetable separately into medium chunks.
2. Use a food processor to individually chop each, but not too finely.
3. Combine all chopped veggies in a very large bowl, mix
4. Add garlic, lemon juice, Olive Oil and the vegetable juice, vinegar and chickpeas and mix well:
5. Chill for at least an hour (longer if you can wait - the longer you let it sit, the better it tastes)
6. ENJOY in multiple bowl fulls
It was pretty much heaven. I ate it for like 3 meals.
Chick Pea Cutlets smothered in amazing Mustard Sauce
A few years ago, when Gina and I first started dating, I lived in this studio apartment in Squirrel Hill.
I was between jobs for a couple weeks and had some time on my hands. I had just gotten into starting to make vegetarian/vegan food for myself and had bought The Veganomicon.
One day, Gina was just getting home from work and I texted her and told her to just come over, I had dinner all made.
I was so proud of myself.
What I created was the recipe for Chickpea Cutlets from that book, with a recipe for Mustard Sauce (also - you know - from that book.)
Gina brought things full circle and made the same meal for us the other night.
You mash up chickpeas with spices and vital wheat gluten and veggie broth and form it into a ball first:
Then you divide it into four small balls and then shape them cutlets and bake them.
For the mustard sauce it is - I believe Dijon Mustard combined with veggie broth, white wine, capers and spices.
We enjoyed it with steamed broccoli and mustard greens.
It was delicious! The cutlets are so meaty and wonderful and I cant even explain the mustard sauce - its totally key. Definitely try it.
And that's all for this evening.
Posting is back ON.