Thursday, July 31, 2008

Gazpacho with Scallop

Normally I'm not a gazpacho man. Sad, but true. But we're in the thick of summer, and when I came back from the garden with tomatoes, a green pepper (I'm letting the bulk of the bell peppers ripen further.), garlic, and cucumbers I just couldn't help myself. So I did what any self-respecting person who has eaten in Jaleo or Cafe Atlantico (mini bar technically, but close enough) would do and googled Jose Andres and gazpacho and then began pouring through the links. After reading this post I didn't have much of an interest in posting on the subject here. That one seemed just about perfect. But I couldn't help myself and here we are.

I kept it simple, with just the aforementioned ingredients and salt, pepper, a slice of bread (no crust), olive oil, and red wine vinegar. As tempting as it was to add a serrano and throw in some chopped basil, I just didn't have the heart--some things are sacred. The tomatoes were blanched and peeled, the cucumber skinned, and everything that could be was cut into chunks and went into the blender along with some extra water. After being blended and the seasonings adjusted it went through a strainer (the one pictured above) and chilled in the fridge.

Because I can't leave well enough alone, for serving I added one huge sea scallop I had picked up at Kate's Fish in the West Side Market. They were scaringly fresh, and all it took was some salt and pepper and a quick sear in some bacon fat (Surely a Spaniard would forgive the addition of scallop if it was cooked in pork fat?). Not quite cooked through, it went perfectly with the soup both right off the heat and also after being cooled down to soup temp in the fridge--I tried both ways. With a drizzle of olive oil, this will be a solid dish for summer company.

Not too rich a red--I used a lot of cucumber.


Ben said...

That sounds like a really good idea. We should have a plethora of tomatoes (and hopefully cucumbers) soon, and Sarah and I both love scallops. I've had scallops wrapped in bacon before, but I've never heard of searing them in bacon grease. Again, something I'll definitely have to try!

The CFT said...

Glad it looks good to you Ben, and hope the tomatoes and the cucs work out. For me there's not much that's not made better by a quick sear in bacon fat.