Saturday, August 23, 2014

Watermelon Gazpacho Inspired by a Long Weekend in Santa Fe, New Mexico

For me, food and travel are not mutually exclusive.  The line between the two are blurry - exactly how it should be!

Here's a recipe I recently contributed to The Fat Kid Inside inspired by a long weekend in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Gazpacho is a chilled soup, traditionally made with tomatoes and the strong flavors of garlic, onion, and pepper.  Gazpacho supposedly originated in Spain which made it to Central and South America when Spain colonized those areas.  (I’m surprised they didn’t bring it to the Philippines – or did they?)  I have tried many versions of gazpacho and I must admit I tend to gravitate towards the contemporary versions of it. 

I was traveling in New Mexico recently and I had one that is made with green apples and cucumber.  It was a hot day and the refreshing chilled gazpacho paired with a glass of sangria provided much needed reprieve the heat.  It was a fiesta in my mouth! The tartness of the green apples combined with the coolness of cucumber was such a surprising combination that I was inspired to make my own concoction. 

Here’s a simple gazpacho recipe made with watermelons spruced up with chili and sea salt.  The sweetness of the watermelons when mixed with acidity from tomatoes, and jazzed up with a dash of chili make for a surprising, but wonderful combination.  The best part is that you just throw everything in the blender, whiz it until you get the right consistency, and serve. 

TIP:  When buying watermelons, tap the outside.  If it sounds hollow inside, the watermelon is ripe and ready to go!

You will need:
            A blender
3 cups watermelon chunks, chilled in the fridge for at least 3 hours
While you’re at it, go ahead and chill your serving bowls as well
1 small tomato, chopped
¼ of a jalapeno or if unavailable, dried chili pepper flakes will do
¼ green onion stalk, chopped (you can use less if green onion isn’t your thing)
Coarsely ground sea salt (I used pink sea salt for aesthetics, but any freshly ground salt will do)
Chopped cilantro for garnish

Simply whiz everything in the blender, except the sea salt and cilantro.  Correct the taste to your liking by adding more watermelons.  You’re not making Bloody Mary, though, so easy on the tomatoes.  When done, ladle in chilled bowls and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.  Ground some sea salt to taste and throw in a dash of dried chili flakes. 

And speaking of Santa Fe....  There is a lot of history, art and color and in this small town north of New Mexico's capital, Albuquerque.  It was a perfect long weekend getaway!

Santa Fe Railyard Farmer's Market - one of the liveliest food markets I've seen in the US!

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