Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Spicy Gazpacho with Shrimp
The idea for the Gazpacho with Shrimp came from Pam Anderson's cookbook Perfect Recipes for Having People Over. This adaptation reflects what we can find in the grocery stores in San Miguel or nearby.
Pam suggests using Hunt's petite diced tomatoes and they are a better size than the S&W canned diced tomatoes that I buy at Costco. If I would have been very industrious, I could have drained the tomatoes, retaining the juice, and diced them up a bit more but I took the easy way out and used them right out of the can.
Pam suggests pureeing some of the tomatoes with water but I've found that I like to use bloody mary mix to adjust the consistency of the gazpacho. It brings in another level of flavor and spice. I've also used some V8 juice in the gazpacho as well....maybe 1/2 V8 and 1/2 bloody mary mix. Or you could puree 1/2 cup of the diced tomatoes with the 1/2 cup of V8 instead of water. We went to three grocery stores and two liquor stores yesterday looking for bloody mary mix. We get it here in San Miguel but none of the stores had it yesterday. So I used tomato juice that I spiced up with worcester, tabasco and other things that I would use to make my own bloody mary mix.
Pam suggests grilling the shrimp but I like to use smaller bite size shrimp in this gazpacho. They would be too difficult to grill and not overcook, so I like to sautee them so that I can control the doneness and do it ahead of time so they have time to chill.
1 to 1-1/2 pounds of small to medium shrimp (but larger than popcorn shrimp).
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil for sauteeing shrimp.
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes.
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes, preferably Hunt's "petite diced"
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil for gazpacho.
1-2 cucumbers peeled, seeded and cut into small dice (need scant 2 cups)
1/2 cup red onion cut into a small dice.
1 small yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into small dice (about 3/4 cup).
2 medium garlic cloves minced.
1-2 Serranos minced. You can seed and de-vein if you wish but that will lower the heat and flavor. Use one serrano and then taste gazpacho and then add more if you like more heat.
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar.
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro.
salt and black pepper to taste.
1 to 2 cups bloody mary mix to make consistency of the gazpacho wet but still chunky.
1 firm but not hard avocado cut in chunks.
Peel shrimp. Sautee in 12-inch skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Cook about 4 minutes on high heat stirring often so that both sides of the shrimp are cooked. Be careful not to overcook. Taste and add salt if necessary. Most likely they will be salty enough with out adding any additional salt because most shrimp today are frozen in a salty mixture. Remove from skillet, let cool for a few minutes and refrigerate while the rest of the gazpacho is prepared and chilled. Add shrimp when ready to serve.
Prepare and combine all the other ingredients except for the avocado and shrimp. If you do not have bloody mary mix, add tomato juice but it will be necessary to add worcester sauce and tabasco and any other spices that you usually add to tomato juice to make a bloody mary mix. Chill the gazpacho in a covered container until flavors have time to meld and it is cold. Taste again and adjust seasonings.
Ladle gazpacho into chilled bowls and top with shrimp and the diced avocado. Serve with a crusty rustic bread such as this one.
Serves 4 for a main course or 6-8 for an appetizer.