Tag gazpacho

A Summer Celebration Recipe: Watermelon Gazpacho with Shrimp Ceviche

Courtesy of Vicki Nunn - Public Domain

Courtesy of Vicki Nunn

Tomorrow is the Fourth of July, one of my favorite holidays. Some of my favorite Independence Day memories include watching the glittering displays of fireworks against the night sky while lying in a giggling dog-pile with all the neighborhood kids, spending the day strategically eating as much as possible at our giant annual picnic, and of course, munching on crisp watermelon as the juice leaves sticky sweet trails down my arms.
Actually, watermelon is probably one of my all-time favorite components of the 4th of July — and summer in general. Watermelon selection is an event in itself. Our run to the grocery store demands a good ten minutes of searching for the biggest and sweetest smelling melon. Then, it’s back home to slice it into wedges that disappear as fast as they’re cut.

I love how versatile watermelon is, and hearing so much about watermelon flavored drinks lately makes me want to experiment myself. In particular, I hope to try this recipe for Louisa Shafia’s Watermelon, Mint, and Cider Vinegar Tonic because it sounds as crisp and delicious as the fruit itself. If you give it a go at your Fourth of July celebration, please let me know how it went!

Another intriguing watermelon recipe, I found in the Parties That Cook recipe archives. One of my summer favorite recipes is gazpacho, a cold Spanish soup that is typically tomato based. This recipe for Watermelon Gazpacho with Shrimp Ceviche definitely sparked my interest! I’m so excited to try it myself, so I thought I’d share the recipe with you.

We all have our favorite Independence Day memories and traditions. What are yours? Let us know in the comments!Shrimp Ceviche

1 large red bell pepper
1 ear corn
3 cups seedless watermelon
2 1/2 pounds ripe red heirloom tomatoes
1 pound English cucumber, peeled and seeded
1 chipotle in adobo, seeds removed, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons chipotle adobo sauce
2 scallions, white and green parts only
1 garlic clove
3 Tablespoons lime juice
1/3 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon Kosher salt

Shrimp Ceviche:
1/2 lb. baby shrimp (70 count), cleaned and deveined
1/2 cup lime juice
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 Tablespoon finely chopped cilantro leaves

Roast Peppers and Corn: Roast red bell peppers over an open flame until blackened. Put into a paper bag for 5 minutes then peel off charred skin and remove seeds and stem. Roast corn over a flame, turning frequently, until the corn is charred.

Chop and Puree: Roughly chop watermelon, tomatoes, cucumber, roasted red peppers and jalapeno. Cut corn off cob. Combine. Add chipotle and adobo, scallions, garlic, lime juice, cilantro, olive oil and salt. In a food processor or blender, puree the mixture until smooth. Transfer to a pitcher.

Shrimp: Combine shrimp, lime juice, salt and cilantro and allow to sit for 3 hours. Drain off juice.

Additional Tips
To Serve: In center of individual serving bowls place small mound of shrimp ceviche. At the table, pour watermelon gazpacho into the bowls around the shrimp.

Serves 10

Happy Fourth of July!

Pairing Food and Summer Cocktails


Contributed by Guest Blogger:
Stephanie Beack of Scrumptious Street

If you’re anywhere near the Bay Area this week, you know that summer is upon us! Warm temperatures and sunshine on our skin means it’s time to move the party outside to the backyard. With grills firing up everywhere this month, it’s time to focus on summery dishes and terrific cocktails to pair with them.

While there’s nothing wrong with the staples of summer – dirty martinis, G&T’s and screwdrivers, true food lover’s follow a few simple culinary rules to stir up the best summer cocktails.

Think of cocktails as an extension of your meal – a course in its own right with a pleasing taste, texture and appearance. Follow the instincts of your palate and identify combinations that balance and complement each other (sweet & salty, bitter & spicy). Experiment with texture by integrating simple syrups, carbonated sodas, crushed or cubed ice, and juices or purees. Garnishes aren’t just for looks – flavored sugar/salt rims, lime wedges and herbs muddled in a cocktail add complexity and a pleasing appearance.

There are two clever techniques I like to use when pairing summer cocktails with food:

Counter-Balance Pairings: Start with a tried-and-true combination of contrasting flavors and split the flavors between the food and cocktail. For example, a peppery salad of Arugula, Gorgonzola and Walnut typically includes sweet, freshly sliced pears. Forgo pear in the salad and instead, serve a pear-focused cocktail like a Ripe & Ready (pear vodka and pomegranate juice). When enjoyed together, the sweet and tartness of the cocktail will balance the peppery richness of the salad.

Ripe & Ready with Arugula, Gorgonzola & Walnut Salad
Mojitos with Fresh Pea Soup
Banana Split Cocktail with Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries

Complementary pairings: Employ one theme ingredient in both the cocktail and its partner dish. View this ingredient as a common thread that ties the two components together. For example, make a Pimm’s Cup with the traditional slice of English cucumber as the garnish. Serve with a cold gazpacho with cucumber as its dominant flavor. The cucumber serves to unify the tasting experience: a sweet and tangy cocktail balanced by a cool, crisp summer soup.

Pimm’s Cup with Gazpacho with Shrimp Ceviche (Cucumber)
Dark & Stormy with Salmon with Ginger-Lime Sauce (Ginger)
Vin d’Orange with Salad of Orange, Avocado and Black Olives (Orange)

Food & Wine recently featured a terrific rundown of summer cocktails, check it out to get your creative juices flowing. Here’s a toast to throwing a great party with wonderful food and perfectly paired cocktails!