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BSU CLASS Friday Class: Basque Home Cooking w/ Argia

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To continue with this week’s Basque theme (see Monday’s class: cooking with Basque chef Jesus Alcelay) I invited Argia Beristain to give us a presentation on Basque culture & to share some family recipes with the Friday class. Since I also wanted to demonstrate how to cut up a chicken, we settled for Oilu Pipperada — a.k.a: Basque chicken in a red sauce or, as my grand-father Joseph Peyrafitte called it on his menus for years: Poulet Basquaise.
Below is a video on how to cut up a chicken. But first Argia’s family recipe:

Oilu Pipperade
-Dice equal amount of onions, red peppers, green peppers—about 1/4 inch squares— & a good amount of fresh minced garlic.
-Sauté all of the above ingredients in a skillet with “two turns of Olive Oil” — this is Argia’s beautiful description on how much oil is required!
-Then add same amount of peeled & roughly chopped tomatoes. Fresh tomatoes are preferred, but whole or crush of canned tomatoes acceptable.
-To prepare the fresh tomatoes: make an X on the bottom of your tomatoes. Throw them into a pot of boiling water for no more than a minute. Retrieve them with a slotted spoon, plunge them into a bowl of cold water (or an ice bath), lift them out, peel back the skin with a knife or your fingers. Now you can chop them.
-Add the tomatoes to the peppers, onions garlic, let simmer…

-Meanwhile cut your chicken, brown it in olive oil. Once chicken is browned add it to your tomato & peppers sauce.
-Cover & cook in the oven for 2 hours.  It can also be simmered on stovetop —or try crockpot. The time can be shorten but in order for the full taste to develop, two hours is better.

Video on how to cut the chicken & at the end Argia talks about the recipe.

Thank you Evan & Ryan for sharing class documentation.

After making our Oilu Pipperada in a record time, we moved on to The Boise Coop where Marketing Manager Mo Walko was waiting to give us a tour of what is one of the best food stores I have seen. We happen to live next door to it & we have been able to get first hand experience of the consistent quality of the Coop’s offerings. Mo explained :

Boise Co-op is a community-owned food cooperative and marketplace that educates and connects our community to high-quality, natural, organic foods and specialty products.

After introducing the Coop, Mo took us around the store where a few sampling stations awaited us. We sampled cheese, fruits & salads from the daily section. The daily manager explained their “cooking from scratch” philosophy & how closely he works with the other departments in the store. Moving on to the luscious produce section we meet with Sage Purple Farm, Inc owners who were giving out samples of fragrant fresh oregano.
Then moving on towards the butcher counter, we got ushered back stage where the butchers demonstrated & discussed how to make sausage. Since our theme was Basque culture they made Chorizo, also from a family recipe — see video.

It sure was a packed afternoon & heart-felt Thank you’s go to Argia Berinstain not only for sharing her family recipe but also for her presentation on Basque Culture — here. And to Mo Walko & everyone else involved in our Boise Coop visit.
Eskerrik asko!

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