Mami's Carne Guisada: Puerto Rican Beef Stew
Not only is Norma a wonderful cook but she is one of the genuine nice people blogging today.
Ajo Blanco - White Gazpacho or Almond + Garlic Cold Soup
I was so excited to be asked by Lazaro, a blogger I admire and with whom I share cultural ties, to do a guest post. His creative spin on dishes is remarkable. I once called him the "Rock 'n Roll DJ of Food".
I once read that Ajo de Blanco is the grandfather of the Gazpacho which is the tomato-based cold soup we all know and love.
It's a poor man's soup. The use of bread, water and garlic was an inexpensive way to feed the field workers. Later the Moors brought the almonds which added extra nutrition and flavor to the soup.
Today, we cannot call it “poor” because of the quantity of almonds required. I find it a bit expensive, but why haggle when it is so mouth watering. I like those little bits of almonds that could not be processed. You can, if you wish, pass it through a colander for a velvety taste.
The first time I tasted Ajo Blanco it was served in an ice bowl and I was so impressed by its simplicity and elegance. Unfortunately, my ice bowl did not make it.
Adapted from Chef Jose Andres’ recipe.
- 2 slices of white day old bread, crusts discarded
- 7 oz blanched almonds
- 1 large clove of garlic
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 – 2-1/2 cups of mineral water
Thin slices of bread, grapes, almonds, dates or figs.
Put the bread in a bowl and water to cover. Let soak for 5 minutes until softened.
Meanwhile, place the almonds and garlic in a food processor or blender and pulse until almonds are finely ground.
Squeeze out the water from the bread and add to the food processor. Blend to a smooth paste.
With the motor running, add the olive oil in a slow stream, then the vinegar and salt. Thin the ingredients with the water to the desired consistency.
Place the blended contents in a tureen, wooden bowl or pitcher. Taste and add more salt and/or vinegar if necessary. The soup should be fairly tangy.
Chill until serving time. Stir before serving into bowls and garnish.
Thank you Lazaro for this incredible opportunity to be added to your circle of bloggers.
Please visit Norma over at Platanos, Mangoes & Me.