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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
When most people think of the Basque region, they think of the new Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, of the bullfights in Pamplona, of Guernica, and of a rugged region populated by independent souls. But for food lovers, what really ought to come to mind is a culture that revolves around cooking and eating and a cuisine that is among the most revered in Europe. San Francisco chef (Fringale, Pastis) and Basque native Gerald Hirigoyen offers a beguiling look at this unique regional cuisine in The Basque Kitchen, sharing favorite recipes from both sides of the Spanish-French border the Basque region straddles. Drawing on ingredients the region is famous for — the freshest seafood, piquant sheep's milk cheeses, small sweet green peppers and richly spicy red ones, Bayonne ham, and many more — Hirigoyen's recipes range from the traditional to the modern. From classics like Basque Omelet with Bayonne Ham and Roasted Piquillo Peppers with Fried Garlic Vinaigrette to sophisticated Seared Ahi Tuna Steaks with Onion Marmalade and Quince and Goat Cheese Layer Cake with Candied Pine Nuts, these are bold and intriguing recipes that are highly accessible to the home cook. Along with recipes, The Basque Kitchen is filled with glorious color photos of both the finished dishes and the Basque landscape, and Hirigoyen is generous with stories of life in the region and with interesting tidbits of culinary history and lore. The Basque Kitchen is one of those cookbooks that takes readers beyond recipes and on a culinary journey that will be savored every step of the way.