The City Magazine Since 1975

Lowcountry Gazpacho with Shrimp & Pickled Okra

Chef’s Note: Plan ahead when making this recipe. It takes some time, but it’s worth it.  Making fish stock is easy, though it requires refrigerating the bones in ice water overnight. The tomatoes have to drain in the refrigerator for six to eight hours, then all of the components of the gazpacho are combined and refrigerated overnight in order to marry.
Rate This Recipe: 

For the fish stock:
(Makes 1 quart)
2 1/2 lbs. fish bones (available at most seafood stores)
1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
1/4 cup chopped leek, white part only
1/4 cup peeled and chopped parsnip
1/4 cup chopped celery
2 qts. water
1 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 sprigs each parsley and thyme
4 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1/2 clove garlic, crushed

For the quick-pickled okra:
1 lb. fresh okra
1 cup chopped fennel bulb
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped tomato
2 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. minced seeded jalapeño
1 Tbs. kosher salt
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
3 cups apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups white wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups water

For the gazpacho:
10 to 18 medium-size ripe tomatoes (about 5 lbs.) roughly chopped
Kernels from 2 ears of fresh corn
1 cup finely diced Vidalia onion
1/4 cup each finely diced red, green, and yellow peppers
1 cup diced, seeded green tomatoes
8 red cherry tomatoes, quartered
8 yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
8 pickled okra, halved
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup of the pickling liquid from the pickled okra
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste

For the shrimp:
2 Tbs. canola oil
1 lb. large (21/25 count) local shrimp (preferably white), peeled and deveined
1/2 cup fish stock
2 Tbs. Old Bay seasoning
Juice of 2 lemons



For the fish stock:
Soak the fish bones in ice water in the refrigerator overnight. Drain the bones and place them in a stockpot with the other ingredients. Cover with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, skimming away any foam that rises to the surface. Remove the pot from heat, cover, and let it set for 20 minutes. Strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer; discard the bones and other solids. Let cool to room temperature, cover tightly, and refrigerate for up to two days or freeze for up to one month.

For the quick-pickled okra:
Place the chopped tomatoes in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed for five minutes, or until the tomatoes render their juice. Place a strainer over a stainless steel bowl, line the strainer with two layers of cheesecloth, and pour in the tomatoes and their juice. Refrigerate. The pulp will remain in the strainer and the clear tomato water will slowly drain into the bowl. (This should take six to eight hours.) Do not press down on the tomatoes or you will muddy the tomato water. This clear tomato water will serve as the base for the gazpacho.

Combine the corn, onion, peppers, green tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, okra, and garlic in a bowl and pour the tomato water over them. Add the olive oil and okra pickling liquid. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

For the shrimp:
Heat the canola oil in a large heavy skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the shrimp and cook for one minute. Add the fish stock, Old Bay, and lemon juice. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the shrimp until they are slightly firm and plump, three to five minutes. Drain on paper towels. Refrigerate until chilled.

To serve:
Gently stir the gazpacho to evenly distribute the ingredients. Ladle it into chilled bowls. Divide the shrimp among the bowls and serve.