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Watermelon Gazpacho with Cucumber and Chili Oil

Gazpacho comes in many variations. This version is made with watermelon and cucumber. It has a drizzle of chili oil for extra pizzazz. Watermelon Gazpacho with Cucumber and Chili Oil.

Watermelon Gazpacho with Cucumber and Chili Oil

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Ingredients

  • 12 dried thai bird chilis
  • ½ cup peanut oil
  • 2 cup watermelon chunks (no rinds)
  • 2 large tomatoes, cored and chopped
  • 2 seedless cucumbers, peeled & neatly chopped in to ¼‑inch cubes
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup limejuice
  • ¼ cup red-wine vinegar
  • 1 large red onion, roughly chopped

Directions

Make the chili oil: Roughly chop the dried chilis. Add the oil to a small sauce pan. Using a candy thermometer, heat the oil to about 230 degrees F. Like all hot oil infusions, the secret to making chili oil lies in getting the temperature of the heated oil just right. Too cool and the oil won’t absorb the flavors; too hot and the chili flakes will burn. Add the chopped chilis and cook until the oil become reddish, about 12 minutes. Monitor the temperature during cooking. To make it even spicier, add more dried chilis or reduce the oil to ⅓ cup. The chili oil can be used almost immediately, but for best results leave the chilis in the oil for a day to allow the flavors to blend. Strain before using.

Make the gazpacho: In a blender, puree the watermelon, tomatoes, half of the cucumber, and the onion. Pour in the red wine vinegar, lime juice and olive oil, salt and pepper. Puree until smooth. You may serve it just like this or pass it through a fine meshed sieve removing any of the solids if you want a more elegant presentation. Chill the soup for at least 2 hours and preferably overnight.

Pour the gazpacho into chilled bowls and sprinkle with remaining cucumbers and a drizzle of the chili oil. Serve.