Minnesota was hit with a pretty massive heatwave Monday and Tuesday, and by “massive” I mean that the heat here rivaled that of Hell. Or maybe Alabama. Our high temperature was 103, which, by the way, isn’t a record temp, although it doesn’t often reach 103 here. The last time I recall such high temperatures was about four or five years ago when it hit 100 or 101 on a late July afternoon.
Welcome back to my “Food I would Serve Jesus” series! Today I bring you a double feature in hopes of helping you to stay cool no matter how hot it gets!
If you’re not familiar with it, Gazpacho is a cold, tomato-based vegetable soup, perfect for people who love the garden veggies abundantly available in summer months. The varieties in recipes for this are probably even greater in number than for Mole Poblano. As far as Gazpacho goes, though, although I've tried a few versions, I think the following recipe may be my favorite thus far.
2 fresh ripe tomatoes, chopped
6 cups spicy V8 juice
1 can tomato juice
1 cucumber (remove seeds)
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, seeds removed, chopped
Few dashes of hot sauce like Cholula or Tobasco, to taste
Lemon or Lime juice – up to 2 Tbsp. (to taste – the acid brings out the flavors)
Chopped cilantro (may substitute basil but do NOT combine the two herbs!)
1 avocado, chopped
OPTIONAL: green pepper, additional tomatoes or cucumber, celery, cooked shrimp
Combine chopped vegetables in large bowl, stir in V8 and Tomato juice, place in refrigerator to chill for at least a few hours. Serve cold, garnish with additional cilantro or basil (depending on which you used). Buen Provecho!
** NOTE: sometimes Gazpacho is served in restaurants in blended form. I find blending it to be a mistake; if you leave it “chunky” the individual flavors really “pop” and the soup is much more refreshing!
1 package imitation crab or lobster
1 whole Vidalia onion - chopped
1 bunch green onions – chopped (I cut them with a kitchen shears)
A few celery stalks – add to taste
Hellman’s Mayonnaise (not the kind made with olive oil)
Red wine vinegar and/or lemon juice
Celery salt (can you tell I like celery salt?)
Chop the vegetables and place in large bowl. Add mayo to coat – it should not be too thick. Hit the salad with a dash of red wine vinegar and a Tablespoon of lemon juice, maybe a bit less. Add spices to taste, cover and chill. Taste the salad after about an hour and adjust spices as needed. Should be ready to serve within 3 hours or less. (More time brings out flavors a bit more).
If you don’t have celery, substitute cucumber and then add Chinese 5 Spice, available in the grocery store spice section.
I’ve never tried it with celery and cucumber both, but believe it would be yummy!
Try adding salad shrimp for a little more seafood oomph!
Serve on crackers, spoon into a hotdog bun to offer as an East Coast Crab Roll, top a green salad, use as filling in cherry tomatoes as an appetizer – or just eat with a fork on a hot summer afternoon!
I give both of these dishes my highest rating: