Katie’s Kitchen: Creole Tomato and Watermelon Gazpacho

NEW ORLEANS -- Fall might be here, but it's still summer-like outside, which means it's still a good time for a delicious cold soup.

Katie's Restaurant and Bar in Mid-City is an institution, and News with a Twist is thrilled to have owner and chef Scot Craig sharing some of his favorite recipes with us.

Today, Chef Scot is joined by his friend, Cowboy Mouth drummer Fred Leblanc, to serve up a Louisiana take on a classic Spanish dish.

Here's the recipe:

Creole Tomato and Watermelon Gazpacho with sweet corn and crab relish 

2 lbs                creole tomatoes, cut into large pieces

1 ea                 red onion, cut into large pieces

1 ea                 large cucumber, peeled and cut into large pieces

1 ea                 jalapeno pepper, sliced

1 lb                  watermelon, cut into large pieces

2 ea                 garlic cloves, crushed

1 cup               basil leaves, rough chop

1 cup               cilantro, rough chop

½ cup              sherry or red wine vinegar

1 cup               extra virgin olive oil

1 cup               french bread, torn into pieces

salt, to taste

sugar, as needed to balance acidity

Place all the cut ingredients into a large bowl and season with a little salt and sugar.  Wrap the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to sit overnight, or for at least 3 hours (this is to let the salt draw moisture and flavor from the ingredients and will make the final product much better than if you just threw everything in the blender after cutting it).  Add the marinated ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth.

Season to your liking with salt, sugar, and vinegar as you wish.

Corn and Crab Relish

4 ea                 sweet corn ears, charred on the grill

½ lb                 jumbo lump crabmeat, (fresh louisiana crab please)

½ ea                red onion, minced

½ ea                jalapeno, minced

1 ea                 lime, juiced

½ cup              extra virgin olive oil

4 ea                 basil leaves, chiffonade

                        salt, to taste

pepper, to taste

Cut the corn kernels off of the cob and combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.  Season to you liking with salt and pepper

Basil Oil (optional)

½ cup              basil leaves

1 cup               blended oil, lightly warmed

Place the basil in the blender and add the warmed oil.  Puree until well combined.  You can use it as is or strain the oil using a sieve and coffee filter for a fancier version.