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Prepare a Basque pork loin in honor of annual festival

Charlie Abowd
Jim Grant / Tribune News ServiceBasque-style pork tenderloin with paprika and roasted peppers.
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CARSON CITY – It’s that great time of year again for the annual St. Teresa Basque Festival. It is this event that Karen and I look forward to every year.

It is not only a great family event for the St. Teresa community, it is also a great celebration honoring the Basque heritage and its influence on molding the character of Northern Nevada.

The Basques were one of the very first settlers in Nevada. Their influence is still a major factor in the styles throughout. Even today, every spring you can see the Borda’s longtime Carson Valley/Carson City’s sheep grazing on the hillsides, helping control the grass growth for fire control.

The many events at the festival honor the traditions of the Basques of Northern Nevada with dancing, song and poetry. The event is full of fun activities for the children and really makes for great community event.

Karen and I highly recommend you treat you and your family to this special day Saturday.

The field Mass starts at 11:30 a.m. at Fuji Park on Clear Creek Drive, and the traditional Basque buffet starts at 1:30 p.m.

Cost is $25 in advance and $30 at the door, children under 3 are free. Some of the items that will be found at the buffet will be three different versions of Basque beans by the three Basque restaurants from Carson Valley: the Country Club, J&T and the Overland.

Fire roasted lamb chops, turkey and chicken – all broiled over mahogany – Basque saffron rice, lamb stew, chorizo, tossed green salad, potato salad, bread and butter, ice cream and wine.

Today Karen and I are sharing with you an old world Basque pork loin recipe. A great wine to pair with this pork preparation is the 2006 Bodegas Alconde Grenacha Selection from Navarre, Spain.

Marinade ingredients:

4 cloves garlic

1 quarter teaspoon sea salt

1⁄2 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons of sweet paprika (preferably Spanish)

Also:

Pork for about four people

3 pounds of trimmed boneless pork loin

3 tablespoons of olive oil

4 roasted red bell peppers

Preparation:

Marinade:

Place garlic, salt and paprika in food processor. Pulse until finely pureed to consistency of a paste.

Pork:

Rub pork loins with paste, place in a zip lock bag, seal back removing all excess air.

Refrigerate and marinade for two-four days.

Cooking:

Remove loins from bag and cut into little medallions approx. one inch thick

Heat barbecue to medium heat (425 degrees).

Cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side, this will give you a medium temperature.

If you are old school and would like it well done, increase cook time to 4 or 5 minutes.

Remove pork tenderloins from grill and place on serving platter.

Drizzle some excellent olive oil (a great place to find this is at Villa Basque Deli as well as many other great Basque items).

Add a sprinkling of sea salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Served with sliced roasted red peppers (recipe to follow).

Although I usually roast red bell peppers, you can use this same method to roast other kinds of peppers such as chili, jalapeno etc.

Begin by wiping the peppers clean with a damp cloth rather than rinsing them under water. This prevents them from absorbing moister. Lay them on a baking sheet set on the center rack of the oven and roast them at 350 degrees for about 1 hour.

To keep them from burning, turn them every 15 minutes while they roast, taking care to handle them carefully.

When the peppers are darkened and tender, remove the pan from the oven and cover peppers with a paper or dish towel. Let the peppers cool until they are tepid, and then peel off the skins. Tear or cut the peppers in half, scrape out the seeds, and collect the juice. Strain the juice and reserve it. Cut each pepper into strips about 13 inches wide.

Although the peppers are ready to use at this point, I prefer to take the extra step of cooking them in olive oil and sliced garlic, salt and sugar as they do in the Basque country. To cook them this way, heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.

Add the garlic and cook it for 2 to 3 minutes, until it turns golden. Add the peppers, salt and sugar to taste, and the reserved pepper juice. Reduce the heat and cook the peppers slowly, stirring often, for about 15 minutes. You need only a sprinkling of salt and sugar to bring out the flavor of the pepper.

– Charlie Abowd is the owner and chef at Adele’s. He and his wife, Karen, have lived in Carson City since 1980. Charlie is a fourth-generation restaurateur.


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