Aside from a year of Spanish classes in high school, all of my knowledge of the Spanish language has come from working in restaurants. I can't carry on a basic conversation, but I can dissect a menu like a champ. The guys who I have worked with over the years taught me the name of every cut of meat and every fruit and vegetable out there, and along the way I learned a few other words, too. There are a few terms that came up over and over again, borracho is a common one.

While thumbing through the cocktail section of Sasa Mahr-Batuz and Andy Pforzheimer's The Barcelona Cookbook, I came across this recipe for gazpacho borracho. Borracho translates to "drunk" in Spanish and gazpacho doesn't really need too much explanation. This cocktail is a bloody Mary taken to the next level—fresh, peppery, tomatoey, with a slight vinegar tang and the coolness of cucumbers. This recipe is for all the savory cocktail enthusiasts out there.

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Cook the Book: Gazpacho Borracho

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About This Recipe

Yield:1

Ingredients

  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons Barcelona Gazpacho (recipe follows) or other tomato-based gazpacho
  • Dash of Tabasco sauce
  • 1 rib celery or 1 slice cucumber for garnish
  • For the soup:
  • 3 pounds very ripe tomatoes, cored and chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded, cored, and coarsely chopped
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 day-old round loaf Italian bread, crust removed and bread cut into 1-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups tomato juice
  • For the garnish:
  • 1/4 day-old round loaf Italian bread, crust removed and bread cut into 1-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus about 2 tablespoons for drizzling
  • 4 scallions, both white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/2 English cucumber, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice

Procedures

  1. 1

    Fill an 8-ounce highball glass with ice and sprinkle with pepper.

  2. 2

    Pour the gazpacho and vodka into a shaker filled with ice. Add the Tabasco and shake 10 to 12 times. Strain into the glass, garnish with celery or cucumber, and serve.

  3. 3

    Barcelona Gazpacho

  4. 4

    - serves 4 to 6 -

  5. 5

    To make the soup: In a large mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, peppers, and cucumber.

  6. 6

    In a saute pan, heat the olive oil and garlic over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer very gently for about 15 minutes, or until the garlic is browned and tender. Transfer to the mixing bowl and add the bread cubes.

  7. 7

    Stir the ingredients together and then add the vinegar, cumin, cayenne, and salt. Season with black pepper and set aside for about 1 hour to marinate.

  8. 8

    Working in batches, blend the marinated vegetable and bread mixture in a blender or a food processor fitted with the metal blade until pureed. Transfer the puree to a large bowl and continue until it is all pureed. If it is too dry, add a few tablespoons of tomato juice to thin it out to suit your taste.

  9. 9

    Strain into another bowl and then stir in the tomato juice. Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings with salt and vinegar if needed. Cover and refrigerate in a container with a thigh-fitting lid for up to three days.

  10. 10

    For the garnish: Preheat the oven to 425° F.

  11. 11

    Put the bread cubes in a medium bowl and pour the olive oil over them. Toss to mix so that the bread absorbs the olive oil and spread the bread cubes in a single layer on a jelly-roll or similar baking pan and bake for about 4 minutes. Rotate the pan, turn the croutons over, and continue baking for about 4 minutes longer, or until they are golden brown and crisp. When done, let the croutons cool on a baking sheet. These will keep in a tightly lidded container for up to 2 days.

  12. 12

    Ladle 1 1/2 to 2 cups of the soup into each chilled soup bowl. Garnish each with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the scallions, peppers, and cucumber. Top with about 2 tablespoons of croutons and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately.

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