Saturday, August 13, 2011

Yellow Tomato Gazpacho with Moist and Rich Chili Cornbread

Every week I seek the farmer selling yellow tomatoes, mostly because I just love their vibrant color! There really isn't much difference in a red or yellow tomato, the obvious is the color. Red tomatoes are high in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant thought to prevent some cancers. Lycopene is what produces the tomatoes' red color. Red tomatoes are highly acidic, which produces their tangy flavor. Yellow tomatoes are lower in acidity, making them generally sweeter than red tomatoes. Red tomatoes are higher in vitamin C, while yellow tomatoes are higher in niacin and folate.

I have served many renditions of Gazpacho over the years but this recipe ranks as one of my favorites. Gazpacho is a chilled, tomato-based, raw vegetable soup that originated in the south of Spain; some date it back to the Middle Ages. It has been referred to as liquid salad and as such is most flavorful during the summer when there's a bounty of fresh salad fixings! Half of all the veggies in this recipe are puréed, giving this soup incredible body and texture. My favorite accompaniments? Moist and Rich Chili Cornbread and deviled eggs.

Yellow Tomato Gazpacho
Moist and Rich Chili Cornbread
Deviled Eggs

Helpful to know:  Plan ahead! Yellow Tomato Gazpacho is best prepared a day in advance and should be served very cold. Prepare the vegetable broth several hours prior to preparing the vegetables. Rapunzel Vegan Vegetable Bouillon with Sea Salt is my vegetable cube of choice. Rapunzel brand is sold in most health oriented grocery stores nationwide. To blanch and remove skin from tomatoes, cut an “X” on the bottom of the tomato, plunge into boiling water for 30 seconds, remove using a slotted spoon.  Allow to cool before coring and removing skin. Chill soup bowls several hours prior to serving time.

Yellow Tomato Gazpacho

2 vegetable cubes
4 cups water, divided use

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Transfer boiling water to a large glass bowl, add vegetables cubes and stir until cubes have dissolved. Allow to cool before adding vegetables.

2 large yellow tomatoes, peeled, seeded and cored, divided use
1 large cucumber, peeled, halved, seeds removed, divided use
1 medium onion, peeled and halved, divided use
1 red pepper, halved, seeded, divided use

4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
A few dashes TABASCO® brand Pepper Sauce
¼ teaspoon salt
Several grindings fresh black pepper

Basil leaves for garnish

In a food processor or blender, combine 1 tomato, ½ cucumber, ½ onion, ½ red pepper and 1 cup of the vegetable broth. Purée until well blended then transfer to a large container.

Chop the remaining tomato, cucumber, onion and red pepper. Add chopped vegetables and minced garlic to puréed mixture; add remaining 3 cups of vegetable broth, olive oil, Tabasco, salt and pepper. Stir until well combined. Chill until ready to serve. 

Ladle soup into chilled bowls, garnish with fresh basil leaves. Yield: 6 servings. 

Moist and Rich Chili Cornbread

When fresh corn is in season, I can be often found de-cobbing! This is a summer staple that is a complementing accompaniment with an assortment of foods. You will love its' rich flavor and it's so moist. I chop ½ the amount of corn, it’s a great contrast with the whole corn kernels. 

De-cobbing directions: After you’ve cooked the corn and allowed it to cool, place a rimmed baking sheet in the sink. Cut the tip of the cob to create a flat end. With a sharp paring knife (starting from the top) slice the corn as close to the cob as possible (you can usually cut about 4 rows at a time) removing corn until you’ve reached the bottom of the cob. Do this until you’ve finished removing all the kernels from the cob. With the dull side of the paring knife, use the same technique as used above to extract any extra juice and the heart of the kernel from the cob

¾ cup yellow cornmeal

¼ cup white flour
2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons baking powder

Preheat oven to 350°. In a small bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, salt and baking powder.

2 eggs, room temperature
¼ cup milk
¾ cup sour cream
⅓ cup olive oil
One 4-ounce can chopped green chilies
¾ cups fresh corn
¾ cup fresh corn, chopped 

¾ cup grated Monterey Jack cheese

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk, add sour cream, oil and green chilies, stir until fully combined, Add corn, chopped corn and cheese, mix until fully incorporated. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and stir to combine. Pour batter into a greased 11 x 7-inch (2 liter) baking dish. Bake for 1 hour. Serve immediately. Yield: 8 servings