Friday, September 16, 2011

Guest ~ Cantaloupe Gazpacho

No food history today. Today's post by my dear friend, Kymberlee from http://www.freespiriteater.com.

Thank you, Kymberlee for being a guest on Christine's Pantry, and thank you for sharing this recipe and story. I know you will enjoy her post and recipe. Thanks for being a part of Christine's Pantry.

If you would like to be a guest on Christine's Pantry, email me at christinespantry@gmail.com for details.


Cantaloupe Meh... Cantaloupe gazpacho. Now that’s more like it. If you’ve never heard of gazpacho, it’s pretty much a blended salad. It usually contains cilantro, peppers, onions, jalapeno, cucumber, and some type of fruit such as watermelon or cantaloupe. It’s simple, throw everything in a blender and season to perfection. It might sound odd, but has an interestingly refreshing flavor.

I first made gazpacho in culinary school. My instructor handed my partner and I a list of ingredients for us to prep. We quickly finished and looked at her with eyes that simply said, “Now what?” She looked back at us saying, “Just blend it,” and walked back to the stove. We looked at each other, “Que dijo?” “What did she say?” We were too embarrassed to ask the chef for specific instructions since the other students seemed to be doing just fine without them. So we placed our ingredients together and brought out the sparkling water and hand mixer. It took us quite a while to make such a simple recipe because we second guessed ourselves. Too afraid we’d add too much or too little Perrier. It wasn’t seasoned enough for either of us and we disappointedly presented our dish to the class and the school. (Did I mention it was the semester where the entire school, staff and students taste your dishes?)

Most people rejected the soup without even trying it for fear of the unknown. The few that made the attempt left most of it behind in their bowls. You may ask why I am re-attempting what some may see as a failed dish. That’s because I see this as an opportunity to grow. I automatically rejected the thought of an unfamiliar dish like the others did. Yet the few who tried it could not taste the love and passion it was made with. Well that is because there wasn’t any. That was the day I learned that even if I made a dish I did not like to begin with, I must still create a meal I am proud of. So I re-attempted gazpacho, this time on my own and without a recipe. Instead of using watermelon like I did in my first attempt, I used cantaloupe. Perfect since I had some left over from my Cantaloupe Pops with Strawberry Honey Nectar. This recipe in particular has the subtle sweetness of the cantaloupe followed by a hint of crisp greens, particularly the cilantro. This recipe can be passed among friends as shooters. Since I had decided to peel the tomatoes prior to chopping and tossing in the blender, it was the perfect opportunity to practice my knife cuts. I made a tomato rose using the skin. It's really quite simple, here is a minute and a half long video on how to make a tomato rose

Feel free to add watermelon, melon, jalapenos, cucumber or sweeten with agave nectar or honey, see what you can come up with. I’ve had people ask me why I encourage others to change my recipes while giving idea ingredients but not exact measurements. I do this because I don’t want my readers to second guess themselves the way that I did. There is nothing more liberating than creating a dish yourself, without being held down by a book or laptop. It’s okay to add a bit more seasoning or extra veggies. Experimenting in the kitchen is not only therapeutic but an opportunity to create new and exciting recipes. I know I sound cheesy but I just want others to feel the pure child-like excitement that pours out of me the moment I step foot into a kitchen. I hope you enjoyed this post and remember to never settle for anything less than delicious! =]

P.S. If you have any culinary related questions you can find me on Bromography's food advice column Advice You Can Chew On or e-mail your question to FreeSpiritEater@Bromography.com. 

Cantaloupe Gazpacho
½ teaspoon of red wine
¼ of a green pepper, de-seeded & small diced
2 radishes, peeled and small diced
½ a stick of celery, small diced
½ a cantaloupe medium diced
½ a lemon juiced
1 teaspoon of olive oil
¼ teaspoon of cayenne powder
1 tomato peeled and diced
¼ of a red onion small diced
2 tablespoons of fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste
Honey or sweetener, optional
1 cup of sparkling water
Directions:
1. After all ingredients are prepped, place all ingredients except sparkling water in blender and blend until there are no small particles left (you may also use a hand blender)
Add sparkling water and blend until just combined. Taste, then add salt and pepper to taste and you may add a sweetener if you prefer to have it on the sweeter side. Blend again until just combined, taste again to ensure desired flavor. Pour and serve in a bowl or in large shot glasses. You may also cover and refrigerate to allow flavors to marinate, just give it a good mix before serving.

32 comments:

  1. What a great idea and such a lovely presentation.Well chosen guest:))

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  2. I just love all spice ingredients on that gazpacho,,,beautifu colour and presentation :)
    Ridwan

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  3. This looks so pretty and delicious! Great guest post from a great blogger!

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  4. Yum and yum! My family will LOVE this.
    I need to cook this immediately!

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  5. Good for you for trying it again! I started culinary school last fall, so I know it can be really intimidating sometimes. I figure I'd always rather ask though than make a fool of myself for messing it up. It helped that the first chef I had in class kept repeating it's always better to be humble and admit your shortcomings in the kitchen because it always comes out in the end!

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  6. That rose looks awesome! And this gazpacho sounds super tasty =)

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  7. Kudos to you for not giving up. This looks amazing!

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  8. Great guest post (I'm a huge fan of Kymberlee already :))! I actually like watermelon gazpacho and know I would LOVE canteloupe gazpacho. And that tomato rose is fabulous!!!!

    Thanks, Christine and Kym!

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  9. I just watched the clip on how to make a tomato rose, sounds easy.

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  10. This is a nice guest post and this Cantaloupe Gazpacho looks very appetizing :)

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  11. You're all so wonderful! Thank you for reading the post and commenting. I was a bit nervous for my first guest post, I didn't know what to expect. Thanks everyone and especially thank you Christine for offering me such a wonderful opportunity to share with your readers. =] I'm a big fan of you too Liz!

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  12. Hi Free Spirit Eater,

    Thank you so much! I knew my fans would love to see your post. You are my first guest.

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  13. Hi Everyone,

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Y'all mean the world to me.

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  14. I love a good gazpacho. Well done Free Spirit Eater!

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  15. Cantaloupe Gazpacho, wow, what an awesome flavor for Gazpacho.

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  16. Kymberlle,
    Nice to meet you. I love all the ingredients in this soup. I'll have to make nexxt season. I have only had the tomato based gazpacho before.

    Thank you Kymberlee and Christine!

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  17. Thanks for such a great recipe! This looks wonderful. All I can think about now that we are having fall weather is soups and baking. I will try this one. Have a great weekend.

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  18. Oh, I would have tried it in a second! I love gazpacho AND fruit soups! Nicely done!

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  19. I love gazpacho, but there was certainly a time when I was less "adventourous." In fact, I remember when I tried my first gazpacho about twenty years ago, and I was not impressed. I know if I tasted the same soup today, I would absolultey love it!

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  20. cantaloupe in gazpacho sounds delicious!!! gazpacho is one of my favorite Spanish meals :).

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  21. Very creative to use cantaloupe... Sounds delicious :)
    Nice story also, thanks for sharing!

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  22. This sounds absolutely lovely. I like gazpacho, I'm sure I would love a melon version too. Yum and the color is awesome!

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  23. Sounds tasty and that 'rose' looks pretty too....

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  24. I am all for people trying new things, I do so boldy when it comes to food. I have know about gazpacho for a long time and love it. I have seen various cantaloupe versions too but I think yours takes the cake. Alot of extra flavors developping the final taste. Great guest post.

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  25. This looks so unique! It sounds so refreshing.

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  26. Thank you all for all the kind comments.

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  27. Great guest post. Two of my fave ladies in one place, can't go wrong with that. Love this recipe.

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  28. Hi Kim Bee,

    Thank you so much. That means a lot to me.

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  29. Gazpacho is always a summer favorite here and this summer we were introduced to the wonderful world of watermelon gazpacho. We had never had anything like it before and now that the door's been opened to fruit gazpacho we eagerly look forward to making yours!

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  30. Love your tomato rose, beautiful way to top of a refreshing soup!

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  31. I have heard of this recipe and cannot remember tasting it, nice with so much of flavors inside.

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