The August 2011 issue of Bon Appetit informally presents the recipe for “Salmorejo (Cold Tomato Soup).” The recipe is so easygoing, in fact, that I was able to step away from my typical summertime gazpacho (see “Camille’s Yellow Gazpacho“) in order to try this one. A salmorejo is also a cold, Spanish tomato soup, but includes bread and almonds in its blend. Let me tell you: it is perfect.
I halved the amounts in this recipe, in order to make four servings. I felt quite astute to squeeze the “tomato water” from the seeds and pulp, then pour this in the blender too. After blending the tomatoes, toasted bread, almonds, and garlic, I had a magnificently thick soup, not colored yellow, but definitely an orange hue. It was so luxuriously smooth and creamy. The garlic, the almonds kissed me. I doubled the amount of vinegar, using red wine vinegar rather than sherry vinegar, and added 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt. My garnishes of chopped hard-boiled egg and pancetta were flawless.
Buzzing from the breathlessness caused by the soup, we then enjoyed the filling, fun, and tasty “Rokomoko Loco Moco (Pork Patties),” from pigpigscorner.com. These are simple patties, that are Japanese by way of Hawaii, thanks to the formula of fried egg topping a hamburger topping rice. I don’t often cook with minced pork, but this was a successful, nonintimidating use of it. The “porkiness” was ably sweetened by the fried onions and the mirin (sweet rice wine).
I increased the amounts of the ingredients, in order to make about six patties. I fried my onions in 11 minutes. The inclusion of white pepper adds the slightest sense of spice to the patties. And how about that tonkatsu sauce?! It’s fabulously sweet and tempting — another Japanese/Hawaiian indulgence — easy to assemble yourself. I did indeed pull together a napa cabbage salad, dressed with toasted sesame oil, brown rice vinegar, and sesame seeds, to serve along with my patties and rice. I did fail to acquire a bottle of Kewpie mayonnaise, knowing that I was therefore insincerely presenting this dish. Apparently, every Japanese home has a bottle of this revered mayo in its fridge, and it’ll be added to anything — like ketchup in the U.S.? Anyway, after finally assembling my dishes, they were enjoyed by young and older alike.
Tomatoes (24 oz.) = $1.89
Minced Pork (16 oz.) = $5.30
RECIPES: a winning meal of easy-to-assemble blender soup and fried burgers
PREP TIMES: soup is quickly blended, then chills for a few hours; if your rice is already cooked, you could make a salad, fry your patties, and fry some eggs in a reasonable amount of time
TASTES: sumptuously thick tomato/bread soup includes creamy garlic and almonds; pork is balanced by sweet onions, mirin, and tonkatsu sauce, while a fried egg never hurts anything
Next time, I will cook the “Asian Turkey and Cabbage Empanadas with Spicy Dipping Sauce,” from theperfectpantry.com, along with the “Braised Celery and Olives,” from lemonsandanchovies.wordpress.com. Come back to my site soon, to see my meal.