We {heart} You

written by Ilene Ross
Photo by Gina Weathersby/Kiwi Street Studios

Chef Jose Salazar

We are very pleased to announce the addition of yet another talented chef to our roster of contributors here at 513{eats}. Chef Jose Salazar, Executive Chef of The Palace Restaurant at The Cincinnatian is hands down one of the Queen City’s top culinary minds. After earning his stripes in some of the country’s most illustrious restaurants, including Jean Georges and Thomas Keller’s legendary Per Se in New York, he went on to become Food and Wine magazine’s “People’s Best New Chef: Great Lakes.” We’re delighted that Chef Salazar –a native New Yorker-has made Cincinnati his home and added his serious game to the Queen City food scene, and we’re delighted that he’s sharing his vast amount of knowledge and talent with our 513{eats} audience.
One of Chef Salazar’s first contributions is this absolutely superb recipe for a white gazpacho. Typically, gazpacho is a tomato based, raw vegetable soup, enjoyed throughout Spain and Portugal. It’s served cold, and is extremely popular during the warm summer months. Chef Salazar’s excellent version –more characteristic of the ancient Arab style- omits the tomatoes and relies on a bread base. Whichever variety of gazpacho you choose to enjoy, the great part about this refreshing dish is that not only is it delicious, it’s extremely healthy.
This leads me, unfortunately, to some very sobering statistics. Recently, The American Heart Association released their 2012 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics report. I’ve highlighted the link so that you can access it yourself, but the ones that caught my eye are; among children (2 to 19 years of age), 23.6 million are overweight or obese and 12.6 million are obese. Overweight adolescents have a 70% chance of becoming overweight adults. This increases to 80% if 1 or both parents are overweight or obese. As stewards of our young people, it’s important that we teach them early about good food in moderation, exercise, and I believe the most important thing of all, how to prepare their own food. When children know how to cook, they take an interest in what they are preparing, and are more likely to eat foods that they wouldn’t necessarily try. So, bring your children into the kitchen with you and cook together. It’s important for your physical health and its quality family time as well.
Need some quality ME time? On Thursday, May 24th, Actress Andie MacDowell will be here for the SmartTalk Connected Conversations Series. Along with acting you can find her dedicating her life to healthy heart awareness, including teaming up with “Time to Talk Cardio” which helps you get the most out of your medical visits, and we have 2 tickets to give away! Email your favorite heart healthy recipe to me at ilene@513eats.com, and the winning dish will be featured in our “Your Dish” segment of the September 513{eats} magazine, and the tickets are yours! *must be received by Tuesday, May 22nd.

White Gazpacho
Yield: 3 quarts

8 cloves garlic confit
1 cup vegetable oil
4 cups. crustless cubes of white country bread
4 cups green seedless grapes plus additional for garnish
4 cups hothouse cucumbers peeled, seeded & chopped
1 ¼ cups Marcona (or any good quality) almonds plus additional for garnish
500g. plain Greek lowfat yogurt
¼ cup plus ½ cup good extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
Smoked paprika to taste
Sherry vinegar to taste
Kosher salt to taste
White pepper to taste

To make garlic confit: place garlic cloves in small pan with vegetable oil over very low heat until soft and light brown in color. Drain oil and save for another application (garlic bread perhaps).

Meanwhile soak bread in cold water. Once moistened squeeze out excess water.

Using a blender, puree the garlic, bread, grapes, cucumber, almonds and yogurt (do this in several batches, so you get a smooth puree and don’t over work the blender)
During the last batch and with the blender still running drizzle in remaining ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil until emulsified, and add honey.
Pass soup through fine mesh strainer pressing on solids (if any).
Season with, salt, white pepper, and sherry vinegar to taste. Serve with shrimp and garnish with quartered green grapes, rough chopped Marcona almonds, a drizzle of good olive oil or reserved garlic oil and a pinch of smoked paprika.
This recipe is best prepared a day in advance to let the flavors marry and to thoroughly chill. Thin with cold water if needed to get desired consistency.
The almonds are the star of the show, so be sure to use a good quality brand.

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