- 3 cups tomato juice
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions
- 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
- 1/2 cup chopped celery with leaves
- 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
- 1/2 cup finely-chopped red onion plus
- 2 tablespoons finely-chopped red onion
- 2 jalapeño peppers seeded, minced
- 1/4 cup finely-chopped cilantro
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 3 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 1/2 teaspoons hot sauce
- 2 1/2 envelopes unf1avored gelatin
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1 package cream cheese - (8 oz)
- Bibb lettuce for plating
In a large bowl, combine1 1/2 cups of the tomato juice, scallions, cucumber, celery, all but 1 tablespoon of both the red and green bell peppers, 1/2 cup of the red onion, half of the chopped jalapeños, 1 tablespoon of the cilantro, 1 tablespoon of the lime juice, red wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of the garlic, 2 1/2 teaspoons of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and the hot sauce and stir to combine well.
In a small bowl, pour 3/4 cup of the remaining tomato juice over the gelatin. Stir well and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Place remaining tomato juice in a small saucepan and heat to boiling. Pour over gelatin mixture and stir until gelatin is completely melted. Pour melted gelatin mixture into gazpacho mixture, stir to combine well. Lightly grease 6 (1-cup) molds with the vegetable oil. Divide half of the gazpacho mixture between the molds and place in the refrigerator to chill. Set remaining half of gazpacho aside while the molds are chilling.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the remaining tablespoons of red and green bell peppers, 2 tablespoons of red onion, jalapeño pepper, 3 tablespoons of cilantro, 1/2 tablespoon lime juice, 1 teaspoon garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and cream cheese and process until smooth. When gazpacho aspics have jelled, divide cream cheese mixture between the molds, then pour remaining gazpacho mixture over the tops and refrigerate until thoroughly set, about 3 hours or overnight.
To unmold, briefly dip molds into hot water and/or run a knife around the edge of the aspic. Place one attractive leaf of bib lettuce on each of 6 plates, and turn aspics out onto lettuce leaves. Aspics may be served as is, or further garnished with cold cooked baby shrimp and fresh herbs.
This recipe yields 6 first course servings.