I love to cook and eat. One of my favorite things when I travel is to experience new restaurants and new foods, then come home and try to recreate them. Since I've been quarantined, I'm cooking even more so I've been returning to past travel experiences for inspiration. Here are a few of my most recent successes:
1. New Orleans Shrimp and Andouille sausage Gumbo -
New Orleans cooking is such a fascinating mix of French, African, and Southern flavors. It takes time to make the roux the right color and this recipe goes into great detail about how to make that happen. If you don't have Andouille sausage, you can use Kielbasa, and chicken is great alternative or addition. To get more great Cajun food, join our New Orleans & Cajun Country tour, departing March 25, 2021.
2. New England Apple Cake -
I love apples and cooking with apples. New England is home to many types that you can't get in the grocery store and whenever I'm there in the fall, I watch for the farm stands that offer Macoun, Macintosh or others that I haven't tasted. This apple cake is one I found when my shopping and tasting went out of control. It's super easy, keeps for several days (if you can stop eating it) and is great with whatever apple you have on hand. I sometimes make it with half white and half brown sugar. Be aware of how sweet your apples are - you may want to cut the sugar a bit. If you are ready for delicious apples and beautiful fall foliage, try our Trains of New England Fall Foliage tour, departing October 1, 2020.
3. Vietnamese Cucumber Salad
Frank and I escorted a group of SUN TOURS travelers to Vietnam and Cambodia in January 2019. We loved both countries and had an amazing meal in Siem Reap, Cambodia before seeing Anghor Wat at dawn the next day. I make this cucumber salad
with and without the steak. It's refreshing, different and super easy. Skip the jalapeno if you don't have one and use some dried red pepper flakes or a squirt of Sriracha. The dressing/marinade is excellent on chicken too. If you have a mandoline, it's a big help with slicing the cucumbers. I find that letting the slices rest between paper towels for 20 - 30 minutes helps to draw off some of the liquid that would otherwise make the slices wilt and water down the dressing. A sprinkle of chopped peanuts adds another layer of flavor and texture. All sorts of delicious Asian food will available to you in Hawaii, before and during our Hawaii Island Cruise with Honolulu, departing February 4, 2021.
Middle Eastern food is a favorite at our house. While you can easily purchase hummus, making your own offers the opportunity to flavor to your own tastes and provides an unbeatable freshness. If you really feel ambitious you can cook your own chickpeas too, but canned ones work fine. Fresh lemon and parsley make all the difference. Be sure to have lots of fresh pita or fresh veggies for dipping. If you're ready to try more new flavors, join us for our tour to Israel & Jordan, departing December 2, 2020.
5. Green Chile Stew
Everyone who lives in New Mexico has their idea of what the perfect Green Chile Stew is. Corn, potatoes, tomatoes, beans? Pork, beef, chicken? At the Hatch Green Chile Festival you'll get to try a number of chile dishes, learn how to string a ristra and see the crowning of the Chile Queen. Don't miss this fun overnight tour that departs September 5, 2020.