Today’s demonstration at the Penn State Downtown Theatre for Happy Valley Culinary Week was by Chef Harrison of Harrison’s Wine Grill and Catering.
He made Farmers Market Gazpacho.
He taught us how to chop peppers: cut in half, tear off the top and most of the inside will come out. Then cut out the inner membranes.
He taught us a quick peeling idea with cucumbers: use your peeler and after you peel down, then peel up with the next area of peel. It is a neat and quick method.
Also, he said that the gazpacho is best without lots of cucumber seeds in it, so after halving the cucumber, take most of the seeds out with a spoon.
Gazpacho is a summer cold soup that can be adapted with what you have. The main ingredients are tomatoes, tomato juice, peppers, and cucumbers. You can add other veggies to it, you can eliminate ones you don’t like!
Chef Harrison, like Chef Ricketts from Fasta Pasta, said that because it is not tomato or pepper season yet here in Happy Valley, they bought their produce at Wegmans. Another plug for my favorite store, which has the freshest produce in the area. The beefsteak tomatoes Chef Harrison used at the demonstration today were so big and juicy, I am going to buy some for our family today!
Farmers Market Gazpacho
2 pints Yellow Plum Tomatoes, diced
2 pints Red Plum/Grape/Cherry tomatoes (or a combination), diced
6-8 Beef Steak Tomatoes, diced
16 ounces tomato juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1 large red pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 large green pepper, seeded and finely diced
2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced
1/8 of a medium sized onion, diced
1 Tablespoon Hot Sauce
1 Tablespoon Worchester Sauce
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Cajun spice
1/2 cayenne pepper/chipotle seasoning
1/2 cup basil, fresh, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Stir to combine.
Cover and refrigerate overnight (at least 8 hours) to allow the flavors to develop.
All of the spices can be adjusted according to your taste.
Tomorrow: Another cooking demonstration at the Penn State Downtown Theatre featuring Otto’s Pub and Brewery. It starts at noon.