Monday, June 8, 2009

California Wine Dinner...Summer Entertaining

This weekend we were invited to a California Wine Dinner and were asked to bring an Hors D'oeuvre. I am one of those people that has a library of cookbooks but never uses them! So I thought it would be fun to pull out one of my favorites, Martha Stewarts Hors D'ouevres Handbook, and decided on Gazpacho in cucumber cups. The presentation was fabulous! This is a great summer Hors D'oeuvre, and super easy to make.

** a little tip, with the all of the cucumber scooped out of the center of the cucumbers you can either add it to your gazpacho, save it to make cucumber soup, or what I decided to do was to muddle it with some fresh mint to make cucumber mint water. So refreshing!

We paired this course with Honig, Sauvignon Blanc, one of Nappa Valley's hidden gems.

Gazpacho in Cucumber Cups
Ingredients

Makes 4 dozen

* 1 red bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
* 1 medium jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped
* 1 small red onion, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
* 1 pound ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
* 1 English cucumber, peel on, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
* 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
* 1/2 cup tomato juice, or more if needed
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
* 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
* Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
* 48 Cucumber Cups

Directions

1. In a medium bowl, combine 1/3 cup bell pepper, 1 teaspoon jalapeno, 1/3 cup red onion, 1/3 cup tomatoes, 1/3 cup cucumber, and 1 tablespoon of the cilantro; set aside. Set aside 1/2 cup cucumber for garnish.

2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine remaining bell pepper, jalapeno, red onion, tomatoes, cucumber, and cilantro. Add tomato juice, olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; process until smooth. Stir into reserved mixed ingredients in medium bowl (not the 1/2 cup cucumber). Transfer gazpacho to an airtight container.

3. Chill gazpacho for at least 4 hours and up to overnight. Thin soup by adding more tomato juice, if desired; season with salt and pepper. To serve, spoon about 1 tablespoon gazpacho into each cucumber cup. Top each cup with reserved cucumber.

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