Virtual Traveling Through Cuisine
We enjoy many things about traveling - the sights, the history, the culture, etc. But one of my favorites is the local cuisine. We've collected recipes from most all our Tauck tours. Below is the first - Classic Gougeres (cheese puffs) from our French Waterways river cruise. I've been holding onto my copy for 6 years thinking someday I'd try to make them. Today was the day. My first attempt at the tricky pate a choux dough. They came out well though the photo looks a bit lighter than real life.
What has been your favorites? Any recipes collected? Any recipes tried? Please share.
My last trip (Israel/Jordan) was my favorite for food. I tend to eat healthy (not a vegetarian by any stretch, but prefer fish to meat) and their cuisine was a perfect match for me. I'm not big on cooking, so for me, it has to be easy. My take-away from that trip was on the breakfast buffets - Shakshuka. It originally hails from North Africa. It's basically a spiced tomato sauce with some peppers and onions, and eggs poached in the sauce.
So I do it the easy way:
1. Shakshuka starter at Trader Joes (Frozen sauce, microwave and add eggs), or
2. (my preference) Shakshuka sauce in a jar from Whole Foods (in the international section). Put a little olive oil in a skillet. Saute chopped peppers and onions, add sauce, when a gentle boil, add eggs. Cover and cook eggs to desired firmness. Use a piece of pita bread to scoop up excess sauce.
Over the weekend, I pulled out some za'atar that I had bought on the Israel/Jordan tour and used it on chicken breasts. (Marinated the breasts in olive oil, lemon juice, za'atar, garlic, salt and pepper for a few hours.) Recipe, which I googled, called for grilling, but I broiled them. Came out great!
All of the posters in this thread have far more skills than I, by far. My culinary talents are limited to omelets and steaks. That said, I like to eat, and Tauck is great at providing that opportunity ("Body by Tauck"). From time to time I do like to take shots of meals that I have enjoyed on tour. Below is some wienerschnitzel that I enjoyed in Berlin for a non-tour provided meal as part of the Berlin, Danube, and Krakow tour in 2018.
Sam - wonder what software you used to do that magnify? That's pretty neat!
Speaking of wienerschnitzel, brief anecdote:
For some unknown reason, my annual physical tends to be scheduled shortly after returning from a Tauck trip. Not a good idea - as Sam said, "Body by Tauck." It was 2 years ago, I returned from the Tauck Central Europe trip. Great trip, but as those who have done it experienced, there aren't many healthy food options. It's wienerschnitzel or similar, or starve. Doc called me a few days after the appointment and reported my cholesterol was high (215). Being indoctrinated by big pharma, he reflexively wanted to start me on a statin. I said, "whoa!" I reminded him I've never had a high cholesterol before and given what I had been eating the last 2+ weeks, I declined. He said, "OK, we'll check it again next year." Next year came along, shortly after returning from Israel/Jordan trip and its wonderful and healthier food options. My cholesterol was back in the 150 range, where it's always been.
Don't forget, once you get past the wienerschnitzel's fried breading, the veal is lean! I've never had a bad one in Germany or Austria- Salzburg, Frankfurt, Munich, Dresden, Berlin. I also developed a fondness for "Green Sauce" in Frankfurt and other places in Germany.
BKMD - I sent you a private message on the software.
In addition to Tauck, we occasionally go to various All-Inclusive (booze included) resorts throughout the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America. Upon return from one of those trips, I made the same mistake as BKMD - it was time for my annual physical. The discussion went something like the following, "Sam, you know you are the heaviest that you've ever been since you've been seeing me and we may have to start you on some diabetes medicine, ..." Message received. That was last July. Since then I've lost 40 pounds. When I saw the Doctor for a followup last December my A1C numbers had returned to normal levels and no diabetes medicine was required. In that July meeting with the Doctor he put me on low carb diet (<80 net grams of carbohydrates per day). What that means is basically all bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, sweets, desserts were all now on the DO NOT EAT LIST. The diet became proteins (beef, pork, lamb, chicken, fish) and vegetables, with some occasional fruit. Simple things like a bowl of cheerios were a no go because it would use up most of the daily allotment for carbs. In the December followup the Doctor did relax the carbohydrate limit as long as I kept my weight down. So far, so good.
Getting old sucks! Give me back that 20 something, do whatever you want and don't worry about it body!
Great replies on the food front. Keep an coming - recipes or not.
Bkmd, yep same thing happened to me after our Rhine/Moselle cruise. Two weeks of free flowing food AND alcohol. Caught a bug on the flight home and was down for two more weeks. Then had my blood work and physical. Took months to convince my doc this was an aberration.
On several of the tours, cooking demonstrations or instruction is included. On the Israel and Jordan tour one was provided at the Movenpick on the Dead Sea. I didn't pick up much from the instruction, but I did enjoy the wine.
Later on in the tour I enjoyed watching them prepare naan bread (and eggplant).
It's called pita bread in the Middle East. Wrong part of the world for naan! We had fresh, out of the oven, pita 2 or 3 places in Jordan, and it was excellent!
Got your PM, thanks.
Regarding the diet, reminds me of an old joke:
Doc runs into his patient at a cocktail party and sees him drinking and eating like crazy. Doc says to him, "I thought you were on a diet." Patient answers back, "I already had my diet today. Now I'm having my dinner."
Claudia- Thank you! I was also on that trip one year, and had the recipe and of course...I lost it. I had made these once and they really turned out great.
I told you I didn’t know anything about cooking. It tasted good, I know that.
Today's recipe comes from our Rhine/Moselle river cruise. We took this cruise in October 2015. Weather for most of the cruise was cold and sometimes wet so I remember alot of hot soup on that tour. In part that was the wonderful soup our ship's chef produced everyday. Her desserts and ice cream were very missable, but she had soup down. The soup eating got started in Amsterdam on our first full day when we stopped at a V&D department store's self service restaurant and had Split Pea soup. Sadly, V&D has gone out of business. I find european department store restaurants amazing. Wish we had that in the US. When we got home, I dug out my old Betty Crocker International Cookbook and tried out the below recipe. Was amazing. The cookbooks newer version uses onions instead of leeks but I suspect leeks are more authentic.
Dutch Split Pea Soup (Erwtensoep)
9 c water
1 lb dried green split peas (about 2 ½ c)
2 lb smoked pork/ham hocks
6 leeks, sliced - place in colander and rinse well
4 stalks celery, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 ½ tsp crushed dried savory leaves (optional)
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
½ lb cooked smoked sausage, cut into bite size pieces *
Heat water and peas to boiling in large pot; boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 1 hour. Add remaining ingredients except sausage. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until pork is tender – about 2 hours. Skim fat if needed.
Remove ham hocks and cool enough to handle. Remove meat from the bones and cut into ½” pieces – discard fat and bones. Add ham and sausage to the soup. Cover and simmer until the sausage is hot.
No recipe but here are a few desserts from various tours over the years.
From the Spain and Portugal tour
From the Venice and Dalmatian Coast tour
From the Berlin, Danube, and Krakow tour
I want that apple strudel, Sam!
No recipes for the tempting items on this table. This was part of the lunch buffet on the Savoring France Rhone River cruise.
Since we are talking about food right now, here is a picture of a Sachertorte. This was sampled on the Ultimate Alps and Dolomites tour when staying at the Hotel Sacher in Salzburg. I found the hype on this desert was much greater than the desert itself since in my opinion it was very dry.
Here are some from the Adriatic Treasures: Croatia to Venice tour. The presentations were during lunch in a small town called Radovijka.
The first is a mushroom soup in a bread bowl. Th second was a green apple sorbet in a green apple. Maybe when we can stop self-distancing, we could try fancy presentations.
BKMD - The strudel came from the same restaurant as the wiener schnitzel previously shown. We ate there twice when we were in Berlin. It was kind of a sports bar atmosphere, but the food was great.
Mr. B making strudel on the Warsaw, Vienna, Prague and Budapest tour
Yum, desserts. My favorite course. Interesting about the Sacher Torte being disappointing. Viennese desserts look amazing but I find they aren't really my thing. The one dessert I had on our Budapest/Amsterdam cruise that was yummy was the kaiserschmarrn. Kind of a weird cut up pancakes with plum sauce. It was served on the ship at lunch and was yummy. That's one I'll try to experiment with.
Here's todays recipe. On our first cruise my husband discovered chocolate croissants and now always looks for them at breakfast buffets. After watching many hours of the Great British Bake Off, here's how I make them.
Claudia, this is a great new topic to keep us going!
Today's recipe comes from our England Scotland Wales tour which cuisine wise starts with haggis in Edinburgh. All I can say about haggis is don't - just don't. Fortunately the food got much better after that. We stayed two nights at the Langdale Estate in the Lake District where I achieved a goal and had Sticky Toffee Pudding (my other goal was Spotted Dick but nobody seemed to have that one on their menu). The Sticky Toffee Pud lived up to it's reputation exceeded only by the same dessert at the Bushmill Inn on our Ireland tour so that's the recipe I'm sharing with you. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
No recipe required - A sorbet sampler at the Uri Buri restaurant in Akko, Israel.
OMG....Uri Buri. What a wonderful experience. Before departing the restaurant he escorted me and another traveler on a tour of his kitchen and his back rooms. Everything was so well organized. It was an amazing time, I purchased his cookbook & he signed a copy. I haven’t attempted any of the recipes yet. I will choose a recipe to prepare this weekend. Thanks for sharing. The meal at his restaurant was one of my absolute favorites during the Israel tour.
Uri Buri was one of my favorite restaurants of all time. Most memorable dish at that meal - Salmon sashimi topped with Wasabi ice cream.
When I saw Uri in the restaurant, I recognized him immediately (looks like Santa Claus). I had seen him on TV on some travel show, perhaps Anthony Bourdain, but not sure.
Claudia - we took the Best of Ireland tour last July and had the sticky toffee pudding at the Bushmill Inn. It was fabulous and has to be one of our favorite deserts of all time. We couldn't get enough of it and ordered it whenever we could while we were in country!
Please be assured this is the ultimate recipe for Sticky toffee puddings from the person who made it a household recipe many years ago. It’s the one I make and much easier than Claudia’s
The lunch at Bushmills is a highlight of the Ireland tour. We had excellent fish pie and the pudding. A cold, wet day in a cosy inn with peat fires.
I agree the Bushmill recipe isn't the easiest but thought it most appropriate for this thread. I've actually made Mary Berrys which wasn't as ooey gooey as Bushmills but easier and tasty. It's baked in a cake pan and doesn't require a bain marie. Will have to try Delia's sometime.
Photo of Uri Buri taken in March.
ho ho ho