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The Best Gazpacho Ever!

by Anne Maxfield on July 30, 2018

Accidental Locavore Drinking GazpachoNow that it’s time for great tomatoes, do yourself a favor and give this amazing gazpacho recipe a try. Thank me in the comments.

It’s become our go-to gazpacho, it’s so good!

After I read the description of this gazpacho in the NY Times and remembered how good it was when Chef Jose Garces made it at his house a couple of years ago,  I needed to give it a try. Use the best tomatoes and olive oil you can.Accidental Locavore Gazpacho IngredientsBest Gazpacho recipe:

  • 2 pounds of red tomatoes, cored and cut into chunks
  • 1 Italian or Anaheim pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 small onion, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled
  • Part of a Serrano chile, seeded and thinly sliced (optional, if you like a little heat)
  • 2 teaspoons Sherry vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons salt, more to taste
  • ¼ cup good olive oil, plus more for drizzling

Accidental Locavore Straining GazpachoCombine the tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, onion and garlic in a blender.

Blend at high speed until very smooth, about 2 minutes.

With the motor running, add the vinegar and 2 teaspoons of salt, taste and add the Serrano chile if you’re using.

The next part you might want to do in batches unless you have a big blender.

Very slowly pour in the olive oil, so the gazpacho can emulsify. It will thicken and change color, becoming more orange.

If it seems thin, keep slowly pouring in the olive oil and it will thicken up. Taste and adjust the vinegar, salt and oil as needed.

Strain and discard the solids.

Pour into a pitcher and chill for at least 6 hours or overnight. Serve in glasses with a drizzle of olive oil on the top and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Gazpacho Close UpMy verdict: Fabulous! It took a few minutes, but the color did change and the texture and taste was perfect. You really need a blender for this – sadly, a food processor won’t give you a fine enough puree.

I didn’t have the right kind of peppers, so I seeded and chopped a couple of pepperoncini, and they worked fine.

Since you really taste the oil, be sure to use something delicious. If you wanted, a shot of vodka might be interesting.

The original recipe suggests pouring the gazpacho over ice, which I think is a good idea; even though ours had chilled all afternoon, it never tasted really cold.

And forget Christmas in July, I’m thinking about making a batch and freezing it, so it can be August in the middle of January!Accidental Locavore Gazpacho Gone

 

 

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Rockerbox Spice Company: Garlic and More!

by Anne Maxfield on January 29, 2018

Accidental Locavore Rockerbox Selling GarlicIf you’ve been at a local foodie event, you’ve probably come across Raema Rotindo and her array of spices—Rockerbox Spice Company.

Founded almost 6 years ago, Raema started experimenting with dehydrating garlic and running it through a food processor, making her own garlic powder. She quickly realized that her homemade garlic powder was much more intense and flavorful than the usual store-bought variety (which, can we all agree, is pretty awful). That’s because the jar you bought at the store a million years ago only contain about 60% actual garlic powder.

She started making batches of it for friends and family and trading it at food swaps. People started clamoring for it, asking her if they could buy more. With the purchase of a bigger dehydrator and a large order from Brooklyn Kitchen, Rockerbox Spice Company sprang to life.

One of the secrets to Rockerbox’s success is that it’s a pure product. All the chips and dusts are 100% product, giving you that great taste in just a pinch of powder.

In the beginning you could find Raema peeling mountains of garlic and onions to make her powders. It was taking 100 pounds of onions and 4 days of dehydrating to make 10 pounds of onion powder—that’s a lot of onions to be peeling! Now, she’s graduated to a co-packer where she oversees the production process for her expanding product line.

Accidental Locavore Rockerbox GarlicI’ve been using her garlic dust, garlic flakes and shallot flakes ever since I discovered her at a food festival. It was key to making the Magic Sriracha Sauce as delicious as it was!

Now I’m looking forward to playing with her black garlic and roasted garlic dust.

If you’re a fan of a classic French vinaigrette for your salads, you’ve probably diced up a half a shallot for a batch of dressing and let the other half die a slow death in your crisper drawer (sound familiar?). Keep her shallot flakes on hand et voilà, perfect vinaigrette!

All her products come in two sizes, which gives you the chance to try different varieties and come back for bigger jars of your favorites.

She’s expanded the product line to include things like tomato flakes and garlic-based spice blends like everything bagel spice and even a ranch mix, so you can make your own (better-tasting and better-for-you) ranch dressing.

The whole line is available on her website, so go indulge and let us know in the comments what you used it in!Accidental Locavore Rockerbox Garlic Set

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Recipe: Tabouli (Couscous Salad)

by Anne Maxfield on July 26, 2010

 

Tabouli

Tabouli is one of the Accidental Locavore’s favorite summer salads. If you can be patient and wait for really good, ripe tomatoes the results will be so much better, but if you can’t just use the best ones you can find. It’s easy to make and this will serve about 4:

  • 1 cup couscous (rinsed)
  • 1-2 medium sized tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • ¾ cup parsley, chopped
  • ¾ cup mint, chopped
  • 1-2 lemons
  • ½ cup good olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl add the rinsed couscous and ¼ cup of water and let stand for 30 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

While the couscous is soaking, chop the tomatoes, onion, parsley and mint. Add to the bowl with the couscous. Add the juice of ½ lemon, the olive oil, allspice, salt and pepper. Mix well. Taste and add more lemon, allspice and salt to taste. Serve and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Yellow TabouliMy verdict: Usually the hardest thing is waiting until the tomatoes are good. I’ve also made it with yellow tomatoes, which looks pretty and is equally delicious!! I prefer mine with a lot of mint (sometimes exclusively mint), lemon and allspice which is why you should keep mixing and tasting. Depending on your tomatoes, this may be a little dry, so now I always chop them on a cutting board, so I can capture all the juice. You can use a food processor to chop everything (and I do if I’m feeling really lazy) but it’s easy enough to chop it all while the couscous is soaking and you’ll get more consistent pieces. The machine can make the onions and tomatoes into mush too quickly! Often in the summer, this and a large ice tea is what you’ll find me eating for lunch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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