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Celebrate National Watermelon Day with Watermelon Gazpacho and homemade Creme Fraiche

Watermelon Gazpacho

Well, today is National Watermelon Day.  What a coincidence that I happened to make Watermelon Gazpacho yesterday and it is perfectly chilled and ready to eat tonight.  It’s  quite warm here in the Sierras, so maybe it will help cool us off.

Yes!Chef! purchased several cucumbers and a bunch of tomatoes the other day intending to make gazpacho.  Since he’s been a little busy with his new job, I gallantly offered to make the Gazpacho. After I successfully made the Gazpacho with Cornbread Croutons, I decided that I needed to make some cucumber gazpacho.  Then!  I found this great recipe on Epicurious that included cucumbers and watermelon. And, we just happened to have half a watermelon languishing in the refrigerator.  I know it seems like a strange combination, but it sounded great to me.  The recipe called for Creme Fraiche or sour cream.  My husband couldn’t find any Creme Fraiche at the store, so he decided to make some.

Although, I like sour cream for things such as dip and making  salad dressings and mixing into baked potatoes, I like Creme Fraiche much better for dolloping on top of things.  I think Creme Fraiche has a smoother but more pronounced flavor than does sour cream. At any rate, I love making things that are costly at the store, but yet are so simple and relatively cheap to make. It does take some time to make (at least 12 hours), so make sure you take this into account.

Here’s what you do:

Mix together  2 cups heavy cream with 2 tablespoons cultured buttermilk in a non-reactive container.  I used a mason jar that I had on hand. Cover it and leave it alone on your counter for about 12 hours.  Don’t worry about it spoiling on the countertop…that’s what it’s supposed to do.  After it comes to the desired consistency, put it in the fridge because it’s done.  The texture is smooth and creamy. It dollops quite nicely on top of your Watermelon Gazpacho.

The hardest part of both of these recipes is waiting around for them to do their thing.  But, it is well worth the wait.  And while we are waiting I will introduce you to the two newest members of the “Schmautz Haus yard wrecking crew.”  Or, as Yes!Chef! affectionately calls them, Locust with Antlers.

Twin Destroyers

These two tiny deer showed up yesterday with mama deer.  She was probably teaching them the food circuit in my neighborhood.  It looks like I do not have much growing in this planter.  However, if you look closely, you will see that most of the plants have been denuded.  So, I have a lovely stem garden.

These little home wreckers are quite young.  The blocks in the background are only about 6-8 inches high each. The deer  are barely taller than the two courses of the blocks.  However, the buggers eat and eat and eat and then they grow and then they have babies and then they teach their babies to come to my house so that they can eat and eat and eat.

They have already been here a couple of times today.  I hate to send Obie T. Dogg after them because the babies are so small, but they need to learn that a dog lives here and they should move along.  (For all you people who are horrified by me sending Obie T. out, rest assured that he only chases them off the property, stops at the property line, growls a little and then looks around to see what else he can escort off the property.  He then comes running back inside very proud of his work. I’m not sure how he knows where our property lines are, but he’s a very smart dog…almost an oracle.)

Here is the recipe for the Watermelon Gazpacho provided by Epicurious.

Ingredients

  • 3-pound seedless watermelon, diced (about 5 cups), divided
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium-size red bell pepper, seeded, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium-size yellow bell pepper, seeded, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 small jalapeño chile, seeded, minced
  • 3 pale green inner celery stalks, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream

Preparation

Puree 4 cups watermelon in blender until smooth. Transfer puree to large bowl. Add remaining 1 cup diced watermelon and next 10 ingredients; stir to combine. Cover gazpacho and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.

Divide gazpacho among bowls; top with dollop of crème fraîche.
Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Watermelon-and-Cucumber-Gazpacho-232543#ixzz22WzojGJZ

As usual, I changed the recipe a little to suit our tastes. The recipe calls for pureeing only the watermelon, but I processed most of the mixture in the food processor until it was still a little chunky, but more soupy than chunky.

The watermelon and sweet peppers added the necessary sweetness to balance the heat of the jalapeno.  I can taste the red onion, but it was not overpowering.  The mint and lime are refreshing addition.  My son and his darling girlfriend were over last night and I had them taste it for me to see what they thought.  Both of them liked it.  We will be having it with the pork chops tonight.  I, for one, cannot wait.

You might want to add a Watermelon Mojito with your Watermelon Gazpacho.

Happy Watermelon Day!

Happy Watermelon Day.

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11 Comments Post a comment
  1. Reblogged this on musings of a pirate and commented:
    I would like to try this, it looks lovely!

    August 4, 2012
  2. Yum! I’ve got to try this, will cut down on the spice though. I make homemade ricotta, marscapone and now I can make my own crème fraîche. Thanks for the great recipe and lovely story!

    August 5, 2012
    • It’s amazing how easy these things are to make. I’ve never made marscapone, but now I’m interested. Hope you enjoy this recipe.

      August 5, 2012
  3. Reblogged this on Storm and commented:
    Melancia é a fruta predileta do meu marido. Vou preparar aqui em casa e lhe fazer uma surpresa, no seu aniversário em outubro. Não vou esquecer de lhe mandar as fotos. tks

    August 5, 2012
  4. Lovely recipe. I will be making this for a private group at Cal-Wood tommorrow. This will be sure to impress. I love to make my own Creme Fraiche it is much cheaper. Thanks for the inspiration.

    August 6, 2012
    • Wow! Let me know how they like it. I found it refreshing but with a great zip to it from the peppers. The Creme Fraiche helped tone down the spice a bit. I would make it again.

      August 6, 2012
  5. I really had no idea that creme fraiche was that simple to make. Now I’m going to struggle with paying for it :-)

    August 6, 2012
    • It’s the waiting that’s the hard part. If you need it right away, you really can’t make it. But it is smooth and creamy and quite yummy.

      August 6, 2012
  6. Huge hit with the Gazpacho today. Huge……I even made the creme fraiche. Thanks!
    I will blog it and put a link to my favorite blog. Oui Chef!

    August 7, 2012
    • Yahoo! It makes me so happy when someone tells me they tried the recipe and it worked out well. (Does a little happy dance. Dog looks askance.) It is such a refreshing recipe. I’m so glad your guests were happy with it and I will look forward to reading about it.

      August 7, 2012

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