The Basque Table: Passionate Home Cooking from One of Europe's Great Regional Cuisines

Overview

In the Spanish Basque country, food and eating are the center of everyday life and the focus of endless conversation. The Basque Table reveals the secrets of Basque cooking, with 130 wonderful recipes that add up to an inspiring invitation to discover this untapped gem among European cuisines. Includes 60 illustrations.
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Overview

In the Spanish Basque country, food and eating are the center of everyday life and the focus of endless conversation. The Basque Table reveals the secrets of Basque cooking, with 130 wonderful recipes that add up to an inspiring invitation to discover this untapped gem among European cuisines. Includes 60 illustrations.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A native of Bilboa, Spain, and chef-owner of two restaurants (both named Marichu in Manhattan and Bronxville, New York), Barrenechea deftly presents the robust cuisine of her homeland. The Basque region extends from north-central Spain to southwestern France, and has its own language, culture and gastronomic heritage. In the introduction, Barrenechea defines the tenets of Basque cooking--fresh, seasonal ingredients, fish and seafood-dominated dishes, simple cooking techniques (roasting, grilling, sauteing) and straightforward sauces--that yield its honest, lusty flavors. Chapters are organized in the traditional Basque dining sequence: pinchos, (finger foods, similar to Spanish tapas), first courses, main courses and desserts. Recipes focus primarily on authentic, home-style preparations like Larruskain Fish Soup, and Potato and Chorizo Stew Rioja-Style; there are such tried-and-true favorites from Marichu menus as Home-Style Roasted Potatoes, and crustless Custard Tart Bilboa-Style; and coastline-inspired dishes, e.g., Baby Eels in Sizzling Garlic, and an assertive, garlicky Red Snapper Guernica-Style. Clear, step-by-step instructions and workable substitutions enable even novices to navigate the recipes; sidebars provide pleasant armchair traveling. Easy, energetic prose and an intelligent ensemble of accessible recipes offer readers an insider's taste tour of Basque cuisine. Color photos not seen by PW. (Oct.)
Kate Murphy Zeman
In a time when chefs and food lovers are delving ever deeper into the distinctive regional cuisines of great food countries like France, Italy, China, and even Mexico, it seems that the rich, sophisticated, and highly regional culinary traditions of Spain have been unjustly overlooked, despite the excellent efforts of great explorers of Spanish cuisine like Penelope Casas. But a wonderful new book on the cooking of the Basque region of Spain might just help to make up for some of that lost ground. In The Basque Table, Teresa Barrenechea takes the reader on a fascinating culinary and cultural tour of this unusual region, whose culture has historically been so distinct from that of neighboring Spanish and French provinces that the Basque language shares no common roots with any Romance tongue. As the chef and owner of the acclaimed Marichu restaurants in Manhattan and Bronxville, New York, Barrenechea was the first restaurateur in the area to open an establishment dedicated solely to Basque cuisine. Born and raised in the region's largest city, Bilbao (of Guggenheim fame), she's uniquely qualified to introduce Basque cooking to American home chefs.

Like its language, the cuisine of the Basque region is also quite distinct from that of its neighbors, although the traditional cooking draws on impeccably fresh ingredients common to its coastline along the Bay of Biscay and the bordering Pyrenees mountains. Known throughout Europe for their intense dedication to food, Basque natives consider the rituals of cooking and eating to be at the center of everyday life. Many meals start with pinchos, the Basque version of tapas. Barrenechea includes recipes for traditional pinchos like slices of hard-cooked egg topped with shrimp and homemade mayonnaise; toothpick skewers of pitted green olives, anchovy fillets, and hot pickled peppers; and mushrooms stuffed with chopped parsley and garlic and cooked with vinegar, paprika, and salt. Main courses are simple and highly flavored, like a hearty white-bean stew made with bell peppers and leeks, pork loin cooked in milk, or tuna steaks served with caramelized onions. Collected in a chapter called "Basque Basics" are unusual gems like Breakfast Sponge Cake, Cornmeal Skillet Cakes, Piquillo Pepper Salsa, and a potato puree enriched with lashings of olive oil and heavy cream. Desserts like Creamy Walnut Puree, Almond Tart, and Grandmother's Creamy Rice are by turns elegant and comforting. The Basque Table is an engaging introduction to one of the great undiscovered regional cuisines of Europe, and Teresa Barrenechea is a knowledgeable and passionate guide. Curious cooks will have a great time exploring with her.
— Kate Murphy Zeman, barnesandnoble.com

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558321403
  • Publisher: Harvard Common Press, The
  • Publication date: 11/28/1998
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 7.56 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.95 (d)

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