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Mercado Little Spain At Home: Summer-Ready DIY Kits (+ a Gazpacho Recipe)

Because the next socially distant hangout, or family dinner, can certainly use some spicing up.

If you’re craving new answers to the what’s-for-dinner question, Chef José Andrés’ beloved Spanish food hall offers lots of delicacies to-go and ready-to-make kits. You can  for pick-up or stop by their take out window and enjoy outdoor dining. Here’s a menu built around a few dishes that let you enjoy the best of in the new normal of 2020.

Start with gazpacho:

This creamy summertime classic—made with tomatoes, bread, cucumbers, bell pepper, lots of olive oil and more—is the definition of velvet on the tongue and a refresher for the spirit. Mercado sells it by the bottle, so you can sip it as you walk through the Public Square and Gardens. Or if you prefer to make it at home, José’s wife Tichi has shared her special recipe below.

Whip up some pan con tomate.

You won’t find a comparable version of this staple anywhere else in New York, or possibly the whole country. That’s because no one—outside of Spain, anyway—starts with the right kind of bread: pan de cristal. Mercado, though, imports it from Catalonia in partially baked loaves. And that’s what you’ll get in the DIY Pan con Tomate kit, along with the perfect tomato paste topping, ready for spreading. If you’ve done it right, the first bite will transport you straight to Barcelona.

Bring out the meat and cheese.

A snack or light meal just right for the season or to start a quarantined feast, the DIY Tabla de Jamón y Queso Kit includes Iberian ham, manchego cheese, quince paste and pan feo (“ugly bread”--don’t worry, it’s delicious). The restaurant even offers . When you pick it up curbside, grab a flauta mixta—a manchego, brushed tomato, and 36-month cured ham sandwich—to tide you over until you get back home.

It’s not Tapas Night without Gambas al Ajilo 

This shrimp dish is easy enough to . But if you’re cooked out, a DIY kit awaits and all it requires is a quick sauté.

Wow them with croquetas.

Feeling adventurous? Mercado has generously shared a recipe for , which turn any kind of leftover meat into an amazing taste treat. Full disclosure: The recipe requires a fair amount of culinary skill or, at least, an advanced degree in direction-following. An easier option: the DIY Croquetas de Pollo Kit, with 12 classic Spanish chicken béchamel fritters you can fry at home.


GAZPACHO AL ESTILO DE TICHI

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS
  • 3 pounds ripe tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup Spanish extra-virgin olive oil (Tichi recommends Arbequina)
  • 1/2 cup Oloroso sherry
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup rustic bread, sliced into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup diced English cucumber
  • 6 multicolored cherry tomatoes, quartered
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Combine first eight ingredients in food processor or blender, working in batches if needed. Process until mixture is well blended.
  2. Pour through strainer into bowl or pitcher, using ladle to gently press mixture through.
  3. Chill strained gazpacho at least 30 minutes in refrigerator.
  4. Preheat oven to 450°F. Place bread cubes on sheet pan and toast, turning once, for 7 minutes, or until golden-brown and crisp.
  5. Cool 5 minutes.
  6. Ladle about 1/2 cup of gazpacho into each bowl.
  7. Divide bread cubes evenly among bowls.
  8. Top each serving with 1 teaspoon diced cucumber, 2 cherry tomato quarters, and small edible flowers or microgreens, if desired.

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