Travel With Your Taste Buds
If you're missing travel like we are, cooking recipes from around the world can be a great way to feel a small piece of the travel experience in your own home. Trying new recipes can help you learn about new ingredients, cultures, traditions, and experience something new. Here are 6 recipes from Spain, Jamaica, Japan, Italy, Vietnam, and India you can try in your home kitchen.
Spain is the perfect foodie destination! Its thriving food scene is famous around the world because its cuisine is full of flavor and creativity, yet also healthy with a variety of options. Prepare this traditional paella recipe and imagine yourself enjoying the tastes of Spain.
4 ounces fresh chorizo, casings removed
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes
1 cup arborio rice
Pinch of saffron threads dissolved in 2 tablespoons of water
1 1/2 cups water
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 pound mussels, scrubbed and debearded
1/2 pound cockles, scrubbed and rinsed
1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, preferably dark meat (8 ounces)
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 scallion, thinly sliced
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a 10-inch paella pan or ovenproof skillet, cook the chorizo over moderate heat, breaking it up with a spoon, until some of the fat is rendered and the chorizo is browned, 4 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook over low heat, stirring, until softened and just beginning to brown, 8 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, rice, saffron with its liquid, and the 1 1/2 cups of water. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat, without stirring, until the rice is al dente and the liquid is absorbed, 15 minutes.
In a large skillet, heat the 1/4 cup of olive oil until shimmering. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper, add them to the skillet, and cook over high heat, turning once, until pink and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to the rice. Discard the oil.
Wipe out the skillet. Pour in the wine and lemon juice. Add the mussels and cockles, cover, and cook, shaking the skillet, until the mussels open, about 3 minutes. Pour the mussels and cockles and their cooking liquid over the rice.
Stir the cooked chicken into the rice. Cover and cook in the oven for about 5 minutes, until the paella is just heated through. Garnish with the parsley and scallion, drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and serve.
Jamaica: Jerk Chicken
Get your taste of Jamaica with this famous recipe! There's nothing quite like eating jerk chicken fresh off flavorful pimento wood or drinking an ice-cold Red Stripe on a hot summer day. Jamaica is a feast for the senses, and you’ll find something to whet your appetite at every corner of the little island.
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
3 medium scallions, chopped
2 Scotch bonnet chiles, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon five-spice powder
1 tablespoon allspice berries, coarsely ground
1 tablespoon coarsely ground pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Two 3 1/2- to 4-pound chickens, quartered
In a food processor, combine the onion, scallions, chiles, garlic, five-spice powder, allspice, pepper, thyme, nutmeg, and salt; process to a coarse paste. With the machine on, add the soy sauce and oil in a steady stream. Pour the marinade into a large, shallow dish, add the chicken and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bring the chicken to room temperature before proceeding.
Light a grill. Grill the chicken over a medium-hot fire, turning occasionally, until well browned and cooked through, 35 to 40 minutes. (Cover the grill for a smokier flavor.) Transfer the chicken to a platter and serve.
Japan: Soba Noodles
Just like any other holiday, New Years' is marked with traditions around the world, including what we choose to eat and drink. In Japan, families celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of another by indulging in Soba Noodles. The noodles symbolize prosperity and longevity, and the tradition has been around since the 17th century.
They’re served warm in a broth soup or cold with a dipping sauce. And, don’t forget your chopsticks!
You can find soba noodles in most specialty markets and grocery stores.
Soba noodles are easy to cook, but they are also easy to overcook. A mere thirty seconds could turn firm noodles into a mushy mess. Follow these steps for the perfect soba noodles:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Use plenty of water (about a gallon of water to six ounces soba) to give the noodles room to move while cooking. These buckwheat soba noodles are not the same as pasta so no need to salt the boiling water.
Add soba noodles. Return to a boil.
For the exact cook time, follow the package directions. The total time is usually from five to eight minutes. Whether it’s your first time cooking them or you’re a soba noodle connoisseur, it’s easy to let the noodles overcook and get mushy. Set a timer and remove from heat when it goes off.
Drain the noodles in a colander. Run them under cold water, or submerge them in a cold water bath, to keep them from sticking to each other. They should be slightly al dente (firm).
Toss them with a little sesame oil and serve. Add soy sauce, if you’d like to add flavor, to further prevent them from sticking together.
Soba Noodle Dressings:
Sesame soba noodles: This easy recipe is a classic Asian dish. For the sauce, combine a few tablespoons rice vinegar, tamari (a salty, soybean sauce that is thicker than soy sauce), sesame oil, scallions (green onions), fresh ginger, garlic, and honey. Red pepper flakes are optional and add a little heat. Cook the soba noodles, remembering to rinse them in cold water and dry them. In a large bowl, toss the noodles and sauce together. To make this a heartier dish, top with sesame seeds, edamame, and veggies.
Peanut soba noodle salad: Peanut sauce and soba noodles are a classic pairing. The Thai-style peanut sauce brings out the already nutty flavor of the noodles. First, make the sauce. In a blender, combine peanut butter, water, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, garlic, a squeeze of lime, and, if you want a kick, sriracha. Cook the soba noodles. Mix noodles with salad makings, like chopped red pepper, cilantro, and cabbage, for an added crunchy texture. Then toss it all with the peanut sauce and serve.
Cold soba noodles with dipping sauce: Dashi is a broth made with kombu seaweed steeped in boiling water with bonito flakes. It is used as a base in many Japanese dishes. Cook up a package of soba noodles, drain, and rinse under cold water. In a small bowl, mix dashi with soy sauce and mirin. Dip the cold noodles into the sauce with every bite.
Italy: Ragu Bolognese
Ragu Bolognese is the national dish of Italy. However, Bolognese sauce can be used in a variety of dishes on a variety of pasta. Contrary to popular belief, historians say Bolognese sauce actually came from Imola, a city just west of Bologna, where the first ragù sauce was documented in the late 18th Century.
Ingredients: 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 2 medium onions, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups) 2 celery stalks, finely chopped (about 1 cup) 2 carrots, peeled, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup) 6 oz. ground beef (85% lean) 6 oz. ground veal 3 oz. thinly sliced pancetta, finely chopped 1/2 cup dry red wine 3 cups (about) beef stock or chicken stock, divided 3 Tbsp. tomato paste Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 cup whole milk 1 lb. tagliatelle or fettuccine (preferably fresh egg) Finely grated Parmesan (for serving)
Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, and carrots. Sauté until soft, 8-10 minutes. Add beef, veal, and pancetta; sauté, breaking up with the back of a spoon, until browned, about 15 minutes. Add wine; boil 1 minute, stirring often and scraping up browned bits. Add 2 1/2 cups stock and tomato paste; stir to blend. Reduce heat to very low and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until flavors meld, 1 1/2 hours. Season with salt and pepper.
Bring milk to a simmer in a small saucepan; gradually add to sauce. Cover sauce with lid slightly ajar and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until milk is absorbed, about 45 minutes, adding more stock by 1/4-cupfuls to thin if needed.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with salt; add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until 1 minute before al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water. Transfer ragù to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pasta and toss to coat. Stir in some of the reserved pasta water by tablespoonfuls if sauce seems dry. Divide pasta among warm plates. Serve with Parmesan.
As stated on TasteAtlas.com, Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup, Vietnam's national dish, street food, comfort food, and a way of life. It is also one of the most beloved Vietnamese dishes in the western hemisphere due to its complex, unique flavors, and elegant simplicity. Although it is classified as a soup, pho is served as the main course and two bowls of it never taste the same. It is believed that pho is derived from the French pot-au-feu, but regardless of the legend's truthfulness, pho remains a staple of comfort food - warm, hearty, and delicious. Click play on the video and start making your own!
India: Butter Chicken
Known for its diversity that varies with every region, state, community, culture, and even religion, food in India is a vibrant assortment of uncountable dishes. Get your taste of India at home with this famous butter chicken. This traditional recipe was born in the kitchens of the Moti Mahal hotel in Delhi in the 1950s. Today, it is among India's best-known foods the world over.
For the First Marinade
2 1/4 pounds boneless chicken (skin removed)
1 lime (or lemon, juiced)
Salt (to taste)
1 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to suit your taste)
8 to 10 peppercorns
1-inch stick cinnamon
2 bay leaves
8 to 10 almonds
Seeds from 3 to 4 pods cardamom
1 cup fresh unsweetened yogurt (must not be sour)
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
3 tablespoons vegetable oil (or canola or sunflower cooking oil)
2 onions (chopped finely)
2 teaspoons garlic paste
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes (ground into a smooth paste in a food processor)
2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons Kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
3 tablespoons butter
Garnish: coriander (cilantro) leaves
Mix the chicken, lime juice, salt, and red chili powder in a large, nonmetallic bowl.
Cover and allow to marinate for 1 hour.
Heat a flat pan or griddle over medium heat and gently roast (stirring frequently) the cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon, bay leaves, and almonds until they darken slightly. Cool and add the cardamom seeds.
Now grind into a coarse powder in a clean, dry coffee grinder.
Mix the yogurt, spice powder (from the previous step), ground coriander, cumin, and turmeric, and add them to the marinated chicken.
Cover and allow to marinate for 1 more hour.
Heat the oil in a deep pan over medium heat. When hot, add the onions. Fry until pale golden brown in color and then add the ginger and garlic pastes. Fry for another minute.
Add the chicken (reserving the marinade) and fry until chicken turns opaque and the flesh goes from pink to whitish in color.
Now add the ground tomatoes, chicken stock, Kasuri methi, and the reserved yogurt-spice marinade to the chicken.
Cook until the chicken is tender and the gravy is reduced to half its original volume.
Melt the butter in another small pan and then pour it over the chicken.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with naan and kali daal.