About This Blog

This is, as the title indicates, my kitchen notebook (the header is actually a scanned image of the cover of a notebook that I started using about 25 years ago and the background is a stained page from that book). I am not a professional recipe writer. If you try any recipe here, please keep that in mind, these recipes have not been tested by an independent tester. The "recipes" are often not even really recipes but rather a list of ingredients that I've noted after preparing a dish on the fly that I thought came out well. Perhaps I've also added some instructions, but I rarely keep accurate track of what I've done in terms of time or temperature, I've just noted to the best of my memory (feeble) what I did.

Please feel free to take some inspiration from here, but on the other hand, please give credit where it is due. I also welcome any constructive comments that you might have if you are inspired to try a recipe. Questions are welcome, but keep in mind that I may not remember specifics. The dishes do evolve over time...

Thank you and enjoy!

Tomato Gazpacho

This is my own version of tomato gazpacho that I've come up with after adjusting and refining various versions. Some versions are thickened with bread and I find that I prefer breadless versions. Other recipes make a rather piquant soup with lots of vinegar and I prefer mine more mellow so I use a sweeter vinegar and less of it. I also like less bite from alliums so I use sweet onions and no garlic. This gazpacho is all about the vegetables. I also discovered that it's a great way to use up the tomatoes that I threw into the freezer whole at the end of the season when I was sick and tired of dealing with tomatoes or just didn't have time to deal with them before they went bad. Just run the frozen tomatoes under warm water which will loosen the skins, peel them and cut them into chunks, the frozen tomatoes are surprisingly easy to cut through. Puree the vegetables without thawing out the tomatoes and the soup will be cold enough to eat right away.

1 1/2 lb. fresh tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped (whole frozen tomatoes work well also)
1 large cucumber, about 8 oz., peeled and coarsely chopped
1 large sweet red pepper, about 8 oz., cores and seeds removed, coarsely chopped
1/2 large sweet onion, about 6 oz. coarsely chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tbs moscato or late harvest sauvignon blanc wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
fresh ground black pepper

about 3 oz. each finely chopped cucumber and sweet red and/or green pepper
about 8 ounces finely chopped tomatoes, add some quartered cherry tomatoes to the mix
diced avocado (optional)
fried bread cubes (optional)
extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

Combine the chopped tomatoes, cucumber, sweet pepper, and sweet onion in a large bowl, stir to combine. Blend the chopped vegetables in batches with the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper until quite smooth. Strain into a large bowl and refrigerate.

Mix the finely chopped cucumber, sweet pepper, and tomatoes together and refrigerate.

Taste the chilled soup and adjust the seasonings if needed to your preference. You can mix in the vegetable garnish and serve the soup with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil or serve the soup with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil with the garnishes on the side to be added as desired by the diners.

Makes about 4 to 6 servings.

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