Platters of Spanish sausages, Serrano ham, tortilla Española (Spanish omelet, served at room temperature), Spanish cheeses (look for Cabrales, Idiazabal, Mahon, Manchego and Murcia al Vino), and rustic bread
Instead of wine, chilled dry sherry
RECIPE: FRONTERA’S SALSA GAZPACHO
Ingredients For 6-8 Main Course Servings
5 pounds ripe red tomatoes (16 to 20 medium-sized plum or 12 medium-small round)
2 seedless cucumbers, peeled
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 bottle (16 ounces) Frontera Habanero Salsa or substitute
1/2 cup Bohemia beer (or substitute)
2 cups torn (½-inch inch pieces) white bread
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Salt to taste, about 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons
1½ cups home-style croutons
1. CHOP enough of the tomatoes into a ¼-inch dice to a generous 1½ cups. Chop enough of the cucumber into ¼-inch dice to yield a generous 1 cup. Stir in the cilantro. Cover and refrigerate for garnish.
2. ROUGHLY CHOP the remaining tomatoes and cucumber. Mix with the salsa, beer, bread, olive oil and vinegar. In a blender, purée the mixture in 2 batches until smooth.
3. TRANSFER to a large bowl. Stir in just enough water to give the soup the consistency of a light cream soup, about ½ to 1 cup. Taste and season with salt. Chill thoroughly.
4. SERVE: Set out the tomato-cucumber garnish mixture and croutons. Ladle the soup into chilled soup bowls. Pass the garnishes.
Serve a green salad and plate of Spanish cheeses after the gazpacho. Photo courtesy Artisanal Cheese.