Chilled Red Gazpacho

July19

When summer comes, two things are certain: it’s hotter than a firecracker lit from both ends and there’s a big ‘ol pitcher of Chilled Red Gazpacho in my fridge.

Chilled Red Gazpacho - This is a perfect way to use up fresh tomatoes when they’re in season.

Gazpacho is a chilled vegetable soup from Spain. The word gazpacho originates from the Latin word caspa, which means “little pieces,” or something like that.  Chilled soup might sound a little strange if you’ve never enjoyed one.

But there are five good reasons why cold soups, like Chilled Red Gazpacho, are becoming so popular

  1. They’re easy to make. Most can be done in a blender or food processor.
  1. All the vegetables (or fruit!) that you’ll need are usually in season, so you can enjoy them anytime of the year.
  1. They’re the ultimate “grab-and-go” snack or meal. Fill a covered tumbler or mug with this deliciousness and sip away!
  1. They’re made with vegetables (and fruit!) so you know you’re doing something good for yourself.
  1. They’re the perfect make-ahead meal. Double the recipe and you’ll have something for dinner tonight, lunch tomorrow and a little bit left over as an appetizer for guests.

There are many types of Gazpacho, but the most familiar is this recipe for Chilled Red Gazpacho, made with fresh tomatoes. This is a perfect way to use up fresh tomatoes when they’re in season. And, if fresh tomatoes aren’t available, use canned San Marazano tomatoes. ONLY San Marazano tomatoes.

I like to serve the Chilled Red Gazpacho with finely diced tomatoes, cucumbers, red and green bell peppers and toasted bread croutons.

 

Chilled Red Gazpacho - Gazpacho is a chilled vegetable soup from Spain. The word gazpacho originates from the Latin word caspa, which means “little pieces.”

 

Use fresh tomatoes when making this Chilled Red Gazpacho

How to Make The Best Granola Ever

February14

A lot of packaged granola is loaded with sugar and sodium. This one isn't. It's gluten-free and vegan - the best granola ever.

Have you seen how many different kinds of granola you can buy? 

A lot of the granola you see in grocery stores is loaded with too much sugar and sodium… definitely not something you want if you’re trying to eat healthy (and Granola started off as a health food, remember).

Here’s a better idea… make your own. This is a very easy gluten-free, vegan recipe that shows you how to make the best granola ever. I’ve used brown sugar and maple syrup to give it a subtle sweetness and added just a pinch of salt. The almonds and tart cherries bump up the excitement!

Find the printable recipe below the image!

How to Make The Best Granola Ever


Nashville Style Hot Chicken

November17

If you love spicy food, I mean, really, really LOVE all things fiery and flavorful, then you’re ready for Nashville Style Hot Chicken.

What makes Nashville Style Hot Chicken so unique is the “sauce” that is brushed, dipped or poured over the chicken just before serving.

I’m telling you, this atomic fried chicken is guaranteed to burn your face off. Ah, the eye-watering pain. The mouth-burning agony. It hurts (and tastes) so good.

Yes, there are a lot of spicy fried chicken recipes out there. But what makes Nashville Style Hot Chicken so unique is the “sauce” that is brushed, dipped or poured over the chicken just before serving. That sauce is so delicious; you have to serve it with a slice or two of good old-fashioned white bread to soak up all the drippy goodness.

Oh, and you definitely need some good pickles to gussy-up the plate. That’s part of the presentation. You don’t want to go to all the trouble of making Nashville Style Hot Chicken and leave off a traditional garnish!

Several (now famous) places in Nashville have been serving Hot Chicken for decades. But as we all know, it only takes one hip website or famous food show star to get the rest of the country clamoring for the next BIG THING RIGHT NOW.

But what in the world is Nashville Style Hot Chicken anyway? How it came into being is absolutely fascinating, but, then again, I love food history and how it defines our culture, and in this case, a city.

Give a read to Dr. Rachel Martin’s post on the website The Bitter Southerner to understand how Nashville’s so-called signature dish stayed hidden in plain sight for so long before exploding into the mainstream.

What makes Nashville Style Hot Chicken so unique is the “sauce” that is brushed, dipped or poured over the chicken just before serving.

Hattie B’s in Nashville, which offers five heat levels, including “Shut the Cluck Up”, inspired my Nashville Style Hot Chicken recipe. I’ve changed it a bit by adding some spices to the flour. Like Hattie B’s recipe, I dredge the chicken pieces (breasts, thighs and legs only) twice in the flour before frying.

But I don’t add quite as much cayenne pepper as Hattie B’s because, well, I may be a little high strung, but I’m not crazy.

Read this recipe all the way through before you begin. I just heard you gasp. That’s right, one of the ingredients in the secret sauce is one cup of the hot oil from the skillet where the chicken is fried.

But, like I always say, you don’t eat like this every day, and I know how much you love fried chicken!

What makes Nashville Style Hot Chicken so unique is the “sauce” that is brushed, dipped or poured over the chicken just before serving.


Warm Kalette Salad

November6

Presenting! The Fabulous Kalettes!

A delicious different side-dish: a Warm Kalette Salad! This is what happens when kale and Brussels sprouts hook up: a non-genetically modified veggie.

 

No, it’s not a girl group from the ’60s. This is what happens when kale and Brussels sprouts hook up: a non-genetically modified vegetable that’s full of fiber, vitamin C, K and B6.

And, oh, are they delicious, with a slightly sweet and surprising nutty flavor.

Kalettes are also gorgeous. They have crunchy, deep purple stems with soft bright green leaves. I discovered them in a farmers’ market this summer, but since then I’ve seen them at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. Melissa’s Produce also carries them, but they call them Kale Sprouts (cute!).

Presenting the fabulous Kalettes! This is what happens when kale and Brussels sprouts hook up: a non-genetically modified veggie full of vitamins and fiber.

Kalettes are great raw in a salad (chop them up a little first), but I also like them grilled, steamed, sautéed or roasted. If you do cook them, watch them carefully so you don’t burn their tiny, delicate leaves.

Besides trimming the ends, and rinsing them in cool water (of course), Kalettes don’t take much prep. This Warm Kalette Salad is fast and simple to make and, with the fresh feta cheese and pomegranate, makes a gorgeous side dish!

They may not be a girl group… but Kalettes ROCK! (Sorry…)

 

A delicious different side-dish: a Warm Kalette Salad! This is what happens when kale and Brussels sprouts hook up: a non-genetically modified veggie.


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Hi…
I’m Christina Chavez

I was a TV journalist for many years, but with a house full of kids I decided to come off the road, go to culinary school and follow my passion for cooking. Mama’s High Strung is all about food… everything from creative recipe ideas to some really cool kitchen gadgets and cooking tips. I live in Chicago, but I love to travel and write about my food discoveries! You can reach me by email: mamashighstrung@gmail.com