Kathleen Kaska writes the awarding-winning Sydney Lockhart Mystery Series, the Classic Triviography Mystery Series, and the Kate Caraway Mystery Series. Today she joins us to share two of her favorite summer recipes. Learn more about Kathleen and her books at her website.
Forty years ago, I spent a summer in Salamanca, Spain, hoping to become fluent in Spanish. I finally had to admit that I don't have a brain for languages. I can order meals, ask directions, interpret time, and utter a few sentences like, ¿Tienes un lapiz? (Do you have a pencil?) What I did learn was how to make gazpacho and sangria, both of which I enjoyed many times.
This is Alton Brown's Gazpacho recipe and I think it's one of the best.
1 1/2 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lime, juiced
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon toasted, ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
Fill a 6-quart pot halfway full of water, set over high heat and bring to a boil.
Make an X with a paring knife on the bottom of the tomatoes. Drop the tomatoes into the boiling water for 15 seconds, remove and transfer to an ice bath and allow to cool until able to handle, approximately 1 minute. Remove and pat dry. Peel, core and seed the tomatoes. When seeding the tomatoes, place the seeds and pulp into a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl in order to catch the juice. Press as much of the juice through as possible and then add enough bottled tomato juice to bring the total to 1 cup.
Place the tomatoes and juice into a large mixing bowl. Add the cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, jalapeno, garlic clove, olive oil, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire, cumin, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Transfer 1-1/2 cups of the mixture to a blender and puree for 15 to 20 seconds on high speed. Return the pureed mixture to the bowl and stir to combine. Cover and chill for 2 hours and up to overnight. Serve with chiffonade of basil and glass of sangria.
1 bottle dry red wine. (Do not use expensive wine. The taste will be lost in the following ingredients.)
1/2 cup of brandy
1/2 cup of gin
1/2 of Cointreau or other orange liqueur
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 lemons, sliced and unpeeled
2 limes, sliced and unpeeled
1 orange, sliced and unpeeled
1 cup of cherries
Add all ingredients into a large picture filled with ice. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
Run Dog Run
A Kate Caraway Animal Rights Mystery, Book One
After five years in Africa, researching the decline of elephant populations, Kate Caraway’s project comes to a screeching halt when she shoots a poacher and is forced to leave the country. Animal rights activist Kate Caraway travels to a friend’s ranch in Texas for a much-needed rest. But before she has a chance to unpack, her friend’s daughter pleads for Kate’s assistance. The young woman has become entangled in the ugly world of greyhound abuse and believes Kate is the only one with the experience and tenacity to expose the crime and find out who is responsible. On the case for only a few hours, Kate discovers a body, complicating the investigation by adding murder to the puzzle. Now, she’s in a race against time to find the killer before she becomes the next victim.