Foolproof Gazpacho

While on vacation at Lake Chatauqua NY with our good friends Sir Charles and Kathleen, they introduced us to gazpacho. Even though both TLW and I had sampled it before, their recipe was especially tasty. They tweaked a version from the Joy of Cooking. Once home, TLW found a version of it on another blog Dope on the Slope. We enjoyed the Dope’s version very much!

* 4 or so lbs of field ripened tomatoes

* 1 quart of quality tomato juice (Dope used Looza brand…TLW used Publix brand)

* 2 firm, fresh cucumbers

* 2 firm, fresh green bell peppers (you could use red or yellow)

* 2 smallish fresh red or white onions

* 3 or 4 handfuls of fresh herb (parsley, basil or oregano)

* 1/2 cup of quality red wine vinegar (not balsamic!)

* 1/4 cup of quality olive oil (or more to taste)

* 3 cloves of garlic (or more, but be careful)

* 3 teaspoons of salt (or more to taste)

* fresh ground black pepper

* cayenne pepper sauce (optional) OR

* minced jalapeno (optional)

1. Open an ice cold beer or pour yourself a glass of chilled white wine.

2. Put a large pot of water on to boil and place a colander in your kitchen sink.

3. Wash the tomatoes and cut a small “x” at the stem and stern of each tomato.

4. Peel the cucumbers, scoop out the seeds with a spoon, and chop them into large chunks.

5. Peel and core the bell peppers and chop then into large chunks.

6. Peel the papery skin and first layer of flesh off of the onions and quarter them.

7. Flatten the garlic with the blade of your knife, remove the peel and mince. Set aside in a small bowl.

8. Finely chop the herbs and set aside in a small bowl.

9. Pour the vinegar into a measuring cup.

10. By now, the water should be at a nice boil. Set your kitchen timer for 2 minutes, and place all of the tomatoes into the boiling water. After the timer beeps, remove the tomatoes to the colander in the sink. They will need to cool there for at least 10 minutes before you peel and seed them.

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