Food is one ingredient in recipe for a great community

One of the aspects of food in society is that it always plays a large role not only in our celebrations, but also in comforting and thanking people.

Last month's horrific fire was a devastating event. However, it was also interesting to sit back and watch the community's reaction and how it reached out to thank the emergency personnel and volunteers who helped save them from more destruction than what had already occurred.

Food played a central part in the outreach. Volunteers helped feed the emergency personnel and those families who were displaced because of the loss of their home or evacuation. The reaction from all of you was heartfelt.

This week's recipe is Basque in celebration of the upcoming St. Teresa's Basque Festival on Sept. 19. This is a great community event where neighbors can spend a great afternoon at Fuji Park to celebrate the rich traditions and heritage of the Basque people and their influence on Northern Nevada.

One cannot downplay the value of such events, if for no other reason than to meet your neighbors and celebrate living in the great community of Carson City. So consider this recipe, invite a friend or family (or how about a fireman?), and enjoy.

Basque-Style Baked Ling Cod

8 ounces per serving (use ling cod for its firmness)

Note: I like to brine my cod before cooking. Soak the cod in a salt-and-lemon bath for about 45 minutes. When you remove the cod from the brine, rinse it well and pat dry with paper towels.


2 cups cold water

1Ú4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)

1 T. kosher salt


3 T. olive oil (extra virgin)

1 large onion sliced half-moon style (about 1 cup)

2 red peppers sliced half-moon style (about 2 cups)

5 large garlic cloves thinly sliced

1 can Roma tomatoes chopped (save the juice)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1Ú2 teaspoon red chili peppers (roasted chilies), crushed

1Ú2 cup dry white wine

2 bay leaves

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-hot heat. Add onions and garlic and lightly cook until slightly translucent. Add fresh red peppers, tomatoes and half of the juice from the tomatoes, white wine, bay leaves and crushed chili peppers. Cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes or until it is reduced by half. Add kosher salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste.

Bake the cod and put this lush Basque-style sauce on top of the filets to serve. Sauce is for 4 to 6 servings

Cooking method:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Spread olive oil over the bottom of a baking dish. Place cod filets in the dish and grind fresh pepper over top; add kosher salt and fresh chopped parsley to taste.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

The cheese selection for this month is Monchego from Spain. It is very popular among the Spanish Basque. It is said that this recipe was brought to California by the early Spanish settlers. The recipe was modified to make what you know as Monterey jack, which is made from cow's milk and is a fresh cheese.

Monchego cheese is made from sheep's milk, is firm and pressed, and aged a minimum of 60 days to a maximum of more than three years. It has a natural rind, and is mild with a slightly briny, nutty flavor. It is easily available.

My recommendation for wine is Young's Vineyard, Amodor County, Syrah. Typically I would recommend a white wine with this dish, but with the garlic and peppers it goes well with a nice syrah. This particular wine has a firm backbone with lots of great fruit and a peppery finish.

As always enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!!

-- n n

Charlie Abowd is the owner and chef at Adele's. He and his wife, Karen, have lived in Carson City for 22 years. Charlie is a fourth-generation restaurateur.


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