Last winter during a short visit to New York, I discovered another example of the marvels of food and beverages from the Basque regions in Europe. The restaurant is named Txikito. It’s a small place in Chelsea, and the food is amazing. The chef, Alexandra Raij, is a young woman who grew up in Minneapolis in a family of Argentine Jews. Her husband and co-chef, Eder Montero, is Basque from Spain, and the culinary world is far better from this pairing.
I bought Alexandra’s book the night I was in the restaurant. Tonight I finally made the first dish from it, and the results were wonderful.
The first step was to roast (really char) a whole eggplant. I did this on the gas grill, and it did a very good job. After removing the skin, I let the eggplant cool. After draining it well to remove bitter juices, I was left with tender pulp, which I could use for this and other dishes.
Three other key ingredients were needed:
- high quality canned tuna fillets
- sweet onions to be lightly pickled
- plum tomatoes to be grated
Idylwilde Farms provided the last two items, and I had a tin of very good Spanish Ventresca tuna fillets in the pantry. Here’s how it went together. A Spanish white from Eileen at Social Wines was a good accompaniment.