My favorite Spanish movie that you’ve never heard of is called La nina de tus ojos, which loosely translates as “the girl of my dreams.” It was the first DVD I purchased when I lived in Madrid in 2001, back when things were bought in pesetas and francs and Lire, before the Spanish economy boomed and then imploded, and before Penelope Cruz was a Hollywood starlet. I bought La nina de tus ojos on the street in Sol, the heart of Madrid, from a gypsy woman who later cursed me for buying only one DVD…
If that didn’t make you smile, there’s no hope for you, you cold, cold person!
Madrid: Such a great city!
In any case, La nina de tus ojos is a 1998 dram-com, featuring a very typically enchanting Penelope Cruz. The movie is loosely based on history, telling the tale of Spanish actors who are forced to leave Spain to find suitable filming locations during the Spanish Civil War. As was the case in 1938, the actors in La nina de tus ojos head to Berlin to film in Nazi occupied Germany. The film was major success in Spain, taking home 7 Goya awards (The Spanish Oscar). You’ve never heard of it, but I highly recommend making a bowl of real Spanish Gazpacho and sitting down to watch this film at some point this summer.
Oh how cute, they put the gazpacho in a little glass. WRONG!
The Gazpacho I recommend you make is the Gazpacho from Spain. This isn’t diet soup. This isn’t the soup you want on your “5 day cleanse.” This isn’t the crap you had at your best friend’s wedding. It’s creamy, light in color, filling, and delicious. Here’s a recipe for a 10 minute, REAL Spanish gazpacho done correctly, modified from, well, tradition, and The Family Meal by Ferran Adria. . .
First, gather your ingredients. You’ll need: 3 tomatoes; 1 tomatillo (optional); 1 red pepper (seeded and white parts removed); 1 vidalia onion (or bermuda if you can’t find vidalia); 1 clove of garlic; 1 avocado; 3/4 of a big cucumber; some tuscan bread (at least one very large thick piece; salt to taste; 5 tbsp of sherry vinegar; 1/4 cup of olive oil; a block of manchego cheese. mmm…. No need for a fancy mis en place. Making gazpacho only involves some chopping, peeling, and blending!
Love that black background!
Next, you can either cook/roast your garlic so it’s a bit soft or simply peel it and chop it in the blender. To cook the garlic, place the peeled cloves in cold water and bring to a boil. Remove and dip into an ice bath. Repeat this process (starting from cold water) a good three times.
Once all of your veggies have been chopped and peeled and you have removed the crust from your bread, simply blend it all together in a large blender or food processor. If you are afraid that it’s too much, blend each item 1 at a time. You can’t go wrong here.
If you want the gazpacho extra extra smooth, you can strain it through a very fine strainer before adding the olive oil, the vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Otherwise, simply spoon into a bowl. You can serve it as is, or with a drizzle of olive oil on top and some manchego cheese. In Spain, Gazpacho often comes with ramekins full of extra toppings (finely chopped veggies, a finely chopped hard boiled egg, and some extra bread/croutons).
- 3 tomatoes
- 1 tomatillo
- 1 red pepper (seeded and white parts removed)
- 1 vidalia onion (or bermuda if you can't find vidalia)
- 1 clove of garlic(cooked/roasted)
- 1 avocado
- ¾ of a big cucumber
- Tuscan bread (at least one very large 1'' thick piece
- Salt to taste (about 1tsp)
- 3 tbsp of sherry vinegar (I like mine with 5 tbsp, but you start off slow...)
- ¼ cup of olive oil
- Adele's Additions (if you're feeling adventurous...)
- 1 tsp. Worcester sauce
- 1 lime, juiced
- ¾ tsp.. mayo
- 2 tsp. Balsamic vinegar (substituted for sherry wine vinegar)
- dollop of sour cream
- Cook/Roast the garlic and onion
- Remove the seeds and white parts from the pepper
- Blend together all the vegetables one at a time.
- At the sherry and salt to taste.
- Strain the gazpacho to remove the seeds and vegetable skins (optional)
- Add the olive oil
- Sprinkle with cheese and optional toppings!