Thursday, May 5, 2011

Al Lago´s summer Gazpacho.

At Al lago farm the tomato plants are pushing their way up the poles and showing signs of a good crop to come.The layers of clothing are getting thinner and thoughs are tunrning to the Andalucian clasic chilled soup,Gazpacho.Nothing tastes better on a hot day.And what a great way to use up a bushel or two of vine ripe tomatoes,crunchy cucumbers,sweet peppers garlic and local olive oil.At Al lago we make ours without day old bread and the result is a lighter, fresher tasting gazpacho.

1 kilo vine ripe tomatos,washed ,cored and roughly chopped.
1 red onion,peeled and diced.
1 red bell pepper,seeded and diced.
2 padron green peppers.
1 cucumber,peeled seeded and diced.
3 cloved of garlic ,peeled.
1/4 cup Jerez vineger.
1 cup extra virgin olice oil.
1 tsp. sweet paprica.
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup ice water.

Mix all of the vegetables in a clean bowl season with salt and pepper and toss with the vineger.Alow this to sit for about ten minutes. Blend untill smooth then stream in the olive oil and mix in the ice water.Chill in the refridgerator and serve in chilled bowls topped with chopped hard boiled eggs,croutons,diced ham,peppers ,onions or whatever else you like.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Split pea soup with ñora peppers and serrano ham.

The weather  in Zahara de la Sierra this time of year is as changable as the moods of a woman.One day warm and sunny the next windy and cold with driving rain.This morning the clouds hang low on the mountain peaks and the lake is the color of split pea soup.Or so I imagine being color blind.For this recipie I use morrocan spit pea (darna) but any will work.
1/2 kilo Darna split peas.
8 cloves of garlic,sliced.
1 leek,diced
2 green padron chillies
2 dried ñora peppers.soaked in water then sliced.
1/2 cup diced serrano or Iberican ham.( leave this out if your vegetarian)
1 Tb smoked paprica.
2 litres of chicken stock.( or veg stock )
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper.

Heat about 2 Tb of oil in a heavy bottom pot and when it starts to smoke add the paprica then the garlic ,leeks,and peppers.Saute these for about a minutes then add the ham.move this around for another minutes then add the split peas and the stock and bring to a boil.Once boiling reduce heat to a simmer and cook untill tender (about an hour.)As with all legumes,add salt and pepper last to season.Adding salt at the begining makes them tough.