The Basque Book: A Love Letter in Recipes from the Kitchen of Txikito
Whether it’s a perfectly ripe summer tomato served with just a few slivers of onion and a drizzle of olive oil, salt cod slowly poached in oil and topped with an emulsion of its own juices, or a handful of braised leeks scattered with chopped egg, Basque cooking is about celebrating humble ingredients by cooking them to exquisite perfection.
Chefs Alexandra Raij and Eder Montero are masters of this art form, and their New York City restaurant Txikito is renowned for its revelatory preparations of simple ingredients. In this much-anticipated and deeply personal debut, Raij and Montero share more than one hundred recipes from Txikito—all inspired by the home cooking traditions of the Basque Country—that will change the way you cook.
Dishes like Salt Cod in Pil Pil sauce have fewer than five ingredients yet will astonish you with their deeply layered textures and elegant flavors. By following Raij’s careful but encouraging instructions, you can even master Squid in Its Own Ink—a rite of passage for Basque home cooks, and another dish that will amaze you with its richness and complexity.
The Basque Book is a love letter: to the Basque Country, which inspired these recipes and continues to inspire top culinary minds from around the world; to ingredients high and low; and to the craft of cooking well. Read this book, make Basque food, learn to respect ingredients—and, quite simply, you will become a better cook.
- Food & Wine Magazine, Editor’s picks for Best of 2016
Sample recipes from The Basque Book: A Love Letter in Recipes from the Kitchen of Txikito
Bring a bit of the Basque country to your table when you bake this treat. Loaded with dried cherries and a creamy center, this recipe for Basque Cake is ideal for anyone who wants to try baking a different type of dessert. This dessert recipe does require some preparation, but it will pay off when you serve this baked item at your next outdoor party with family and friends. Before you roll up your sleeves and get to work on this dessert recipe, take a look at the cooks' suggestions regarding the use of silicone molds, too.
One person's lifeless, dry croissant is a Basque cafes beyond-delicious invention. I saw my first croissant a la plantxa in Bilbao when my now prima politica (Basque cousin-in-law) Idoia ordered one with her coffee at a posh cafe near her office. I still remember how completely floored I was when it arrived at our table in its golden gorgeousness, and I can even recall the thoughts that raced through my reeling brain What? A buttery pastry refried in butter and dusted with sugar? You're going to eat it with a knife and fork like its a pork chop? This is a snack? Oh my God, this is the most over-the-top midafternoon snack I have ever seen! Breakfast for dessert, dessert for breakfast, and unapologetic midafternoon snack - the croissant a la plantxa fits all of these roles perfectly. And incidentally, it will also make you look absolutely brilliant in front of your friends and children.
This is a typical way of serving fried eggs, the Basque equivalent of what in diner parlance would be two eggs sunny-side up over fries, wreck 'em! Much fuss is often made over the best way to cook French fries, but Basque fries are their own thing. They are golden and crispy on the outside, extremely tender on the inside, and more shards than sticks. The best are boiled first and then fried in olive oil. My grandmother Victoria made them this way, too, so eating fries in the Basque Country carries a remarkable nostalgia for me. As I eat them, I always remember how the two of us would fry potatoes and then eggs from her hens and eat them together as a late-night snack.
Other cookbooks by the authors