August 24, 2014

What to Eat When It's Hot and Humid

I've been enjoying this relatively cool summer but now we're in the middle of a hot and humid spell so I've pulled out my stand-by meals: ceviche and gazpacho. No ovens need apply, no burners necessary - all that's required is a chopping block and a fridge.
Here you go. Keep cool!

8 servings
1 lb. firm fish like tilapia, salmon, cod or other very fresh fish, cut into ½” dice (scallops and shrimp are also good in this - leave the scallops raw but cook the shrimp and add at the last minute)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced, or hot sauce to taste
½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ cup diced red onion
1 tbsp minced cilantro
½ tsp salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
1 avocado, cut into ¾” dice, optional
1 ripe tomato, cut into ¾” dice, optional

Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl; marinate 1 hour in refrigerator.

1/4 of day-old baguette, crusts removed, coarsely chopped
2 pounds vine-ripe medium tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
2 small kirby cucumbers, coarsely chopped
1 red or yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and coarsely chopped
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups tomato juice or water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon Spanish paprika
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup sherry wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced

Soak the bread in 1 cup of water for 5 minutes, and then squeeze out the excess water. Place the bread in a blender or food processor; add the tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Puree the ingredients until almost smooth, leaving a little texture. Pour the vegetable mixture into a large bowl; stir in the tomato juice, sugar, paprika, salt, pepper, vinegar, oil, parsley, and lemon juice until well combined. Refrigerate the soup for at least 2 hours until very well chilled; the flavors will develop as it sits.
Season the gazpacho again with salt and pepper before serving.


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