Our Basque gastronomic society had Txoko number five last night. The core group of seven dedicated eaters combined to put out a 12 course bacchanalia of food and wine with a Mediterranean slant.

Which gave me the perfect excuse to dust off my Turkish cooking skills as Turkey is the dominant culinary player in the Mediterranean region.

As East End wines is the dominant player for under the radar, sleeper wines in Austin we always utilize them as our provider. To the tune of 15 or so bottles. The construction of a Turkish Pinto soup means restraint must be exercised as the typical version you get in Istanbul is a model of simplicity. Stock, not pork, I chastened myself, two pounds of pintos, a couple pounds of tomatoes and a pound of sucuk, the intensely delicious Turkish sausage. Simmered for seven or eight hours on the stove top this dish came out fine.

Since the menu was meat heavy I also composed a Turkish salad of lettuce, tomatoes, olives, artichokes, onions, pistachios and a Feta Pomegranate vinaigrette.

Reflecting back on the night’s affairs the star of the show was a Serrano Ham Croquette from Txoko brother Brian. While each dish had serious merits this is the one that I could not keep my hands off of. Just phenomenal.

If any of my Txoko brethren stumble upon this site I’d love for you to narrate your contribution in comments below.

And for anyone interested here are the links to my contributions at previous Txokos.

http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/2010/9/17/Austin-Daily-Photo-Txoko-Friday-September-17th-2010 This was our first Txoko. My contribution was Hoppin John and Rice

http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/2010/9/27/The-Endless-Pleasures-of-the-Txoko A mention of Txoko number two. My contribution was Poblano stuffed with alligator fried rice and pork cracklins

http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/2010/11/21/Austin-Daily-Photo-Txoko-3-Sunday-November-21st-2010 Txoko number three. I knocked out a Vietnamese Chicken Fried Meat loaf banh mi.

http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/2011/2/28/Austin-Daily-Photo-Cassoulet-at-Txoko–4–Monday-February-28th-2011 Txoko number four. This is when our Txoko grew up. We tackled the cuisine of the Basque people. Since two members of our group are Basque I had to climb the mountain top. My efforts resulted in the Basque stew Porrusalda:

http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/2011/2/27/The-Cuisine-of-the-Basque-People-Part-1-Porrusalda Not the first time I’d ever tackled Basque cuisine as many years ago I was attempting to curry the favor of a Basque stripper named Pandora which resulted in me learning the building blocks of Basque cuisine. I thought this stew came out quite good.

Pictured above is Txoko brother Tony’s grilled lamb sliders. I think this was course number 10. At this point we’d consumed a good 13-14 bottles of wine so the haze was getting pretty thick.

Are any readers participating in a Txoko of their own? I’d love to hear from y’all.

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