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When I was exploring the glories of the Pacific Palisades Farmers Market last Sunday, I was struck by the beauty of the mounds of organic Heirloom tomatoes and tomatoes on the vine as well as jewel-like cherry tomatoes.
Van Gogh with his sunflowers or Matisse with his water lilies could not find a more spectacular subject matter. For me, summer is fresh corn right from the fields and tomatoes every which way. So I was thrilled the other day to run across a Gazpacho recipe from the great chef Thomas Keller. A trip to his restaurant The French Laundry in Yountville, California is as much a destination for “foodies” as The Taj Mahal is for lovers.
Keller is known for his complicated and exacting recipes, yet this Gazpacho recipe is amazingly simple and so rich in taste. I think that it will become one of your summer star dishes. It takes about 20 minutes to make plus overnight refrigeration time.
Makes about 1½ quarts soup
1 cup chopped red onions
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup chopped English cucumber
1 cup peeled and chopped tomatoes
1½ tsps. Chopped garlic
1½ tsps. Kosher salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne
¼ cup tomato paste
1 tbl. White wine vinegar
¼ cup plus 2 Tbls. Extra virgin olive oil
1 tbl. Fresh lemon juice
3 cups tomato juice
Sprig of thyme
In a large bowl, mix together the red onions, green bell pepper, English cucumber, tomatoes, garlic, salt, cayenne, tomato paste, white wine vinegar,
Olive oil, lemon juice, tomato juice and thyme.
Cover and refrigerate overnight. The next day, remove the thyme and blend the soup in a blender until it is smooth. You will have about 11/2 quarts of soup. For a smoother texture, strain the soup, this will yield slightly less than 1 quart.
The best 20 minutes that you will spend in your kitchen all summer