White Gazpacho with Grapes and Vanilla Oil
Top Chef Masters, Season 1, Episode 8, Elimination Challenge
- 1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded and minced
- 2 cups green grapes
- 3/4 cups almond flour
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 4 tablespoons plain yogurt
- 1 clove of garlic, chopped
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons water
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper
- 3 cups grape seed oil
- 6 Tahitian vanilla beans
Using a blender, transfer all the ingredients into the cup and blend until very smooth. Check the seasoning and refrigerate for one to two hours prior serving. The Gazpacho can be prepared until one day in advance. For a fun presentation, I do recommend to serve the Gazpacho in a Martini Glass, and touch up the cold soup with a few drops of vanilla oil. You can also garnish the glass with a frozen grape on a small bamboo squire.
With a pointed knife, split the vanilla bean in half, longwise. With the back of the knife, delicately, scrape out the vanilla pods. Transfer them into the grape seed oil. Seal the container or bottle and shake real well. Keep it outside at room temperature. Shake the oil every 6 to 8 hours for 2 or 3 days. To be user friendly, I do recommend transferring the vanilla oil into a small piping bottle to control the amount of oil used on a dish.
The vanilla oil can be used on grilled seafood and shellfish or chicken breast and summary salads.