Tag - Cooking

The best beach vacation you’ve never heard of…

As the days get longer and the sun slowly starts to appear, visions of summer start dancing in our heads. Beaches. Cookouts. Drinks!

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Many summer vacation daydreams conjure up images of Hawaii or some other tropical beach locale. And that’s great. But what about… Puglia?

This hidden Italian gem is actually the ideal place for a beach vacation and, when you travel with Edible Destinations, you find yourself on the culinary vacation of a lifetime, surrounded by the Southern Italian sun, sand and sea. Read on to see what we’re talking about.

The Beach

A beach is a strict requirement for a proper beach vacation and boy does Puglia deliver. Framed by the Adriatic Sea to the east and the Ionian Sea to the west, Puglia is located at the southern heel of the boot. The water here is known as some of the bluest and clearest in the world, a sight for the sorest eyes. To take full advantage of this beach bounty, enjoy unlimited access to an exclusive beach club as part of your Edible Destinations culinary trip.

Ancient Caves

Some people need a little more than just lying in the sun, and active exploration is an exciting way to enhance a beach vacation. In Puglia, you have unique opportunity to explore wondrous caves, many of which are thousands of years old, on both the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. Take guided boat tours to these natural marvels and elevate your experience with a cave swim!

Cuisine

Italian Cuisine. Glass Of Prosecco And Variety Of Seafood

Beach vacation or no, this is Italy. Here, food is an expression of love there is great flavor to be found all through the country. Cucina Pugliese, the Puglia region’s cuisine, is defined by simple enhancements to the fresh ingredients found in the fertile land and bountiful sea. You’ll learn all about Cucina Pugliese through hands-on cooking classes and authentic meals enjoyed with a glass of wine and new friends.

There is certainly much more to discover, appreciate and enjoy about a summertime Puglia culinary vacation by the beach. We could go on forever about the people, the gorgeously restored accommodations and the exciting cultural offerings like the traditional Pizzica dance or the beautiful Basilica di Santa Croce. But, rather than take our word for it, we suggest you make your summer daydreams a reality and book this trip of a lifetime…

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Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Puff Pastry Potato Pie!

March 17th is upon us again, and you know what that means. Green everything and a built-in excuse to drinks lots of beer…

Here at Edible Destinations, we like to keep things focused on culture and cuisine, and St. Patrick’s Day serves as a reminder of Ireland’s delightful epicurean offerings. Culinary travelers quickly learn to leave their notions of corned beef and cabbage behind, enjoying fresh seafood, rustic sausage and delectable baked treats.

An essential part of any trip to Ireland, culinary tours and cooking classes give visitors from around the globe the opportunity to explore the techniques and tastes that make Irish cuisine special. Many traditional Irish dishes date back to the Middle Ages and have changed little in the years since, while younger chefs have embraced the heritage of their food and often work with familiar recipes, creating them in new ways.

When it comes to food and drink, the Emerald Isle truly is a hidden gastronomic gem. To celebrate Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day, try the recipe below from one of our Irish Edible Destinations chefs. Sláinte!

PUFF PASTRY POTATO PIE

Recipe courtesy of Kevin Dundon, Dunbrody Country House Hotel

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 potatoes very thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1 cup pouring (light) cream
  • flour, for dusting
  • 14 ounces ready-made puff pastry
  • egg wash, made with 1 egg yolk beaten
  • with 1 tablespoon milk

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375º
  2. Put the potatoes, garlic, parsley and some salt and pepper into a saucepan and pour in the cream. Cook over a moderate heat for about 10 minutes until the potato has softened slightly.
  3. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry and cut out a circle about 8cm (3 inches) wider than the top of your pie dish using a sharp knife, lightly score the pastry in a lattice pattern, ensuring you don’t cut right through it.
  4. Pour the potato mixture into your pie dish. Brush the egg wash over the top and around the edges of the dish, then cover with the pastry. Press to secure it, then brush with more egg wash.
  5. Bake for about 15 minutes until the pastry is light and golden.

Want to learn more about Irish food and cooking? Take an Irish culinary vacation with Edible Destinations! 

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Five amazing things you’ll experience on a Costa Rican culinary vacation

When planning a culinary vacation, Costa Rica may not be the first place that comes to mind. However, this lush, tropical gem is a feast for all the senses, offering culinary travelers a wide variety of tastes and adventures. Read on to learn about some of the exciting, tasty and beautiful things you’ll experience on a vacation with Edible Destinations.

5. A whimsical–and active–volcano

One stop on your Costa Rican culinary adventure vacation is Volcán Irazú, an active volcano near San Jose. Its slopes are home to potato, onion, cabbage and dairy farms and its camera-ready summit will delight your eyes with dazzling, rain-fed mineral pools.

4. A coffee farm that is so much more

 

Visit Finca Cristina, a small, organic coffee farm dedicated not only to delicious, shade grown coffee, but also conservation and sustainability. Unlike traditional coffee farms, Finca Cristina plants and grows coffee in harmony with the natural ecosystem, providing a home for myriad species of birds, butterflies, amphibians, orchids and other flora and fauna. The result is great coffee with a clean conscience; taste with abandon!

3. A Caribbean cooking class

One of the best ways to understand a culture is through its food and, really, a culinary vacation wouldn’t be complete without a regional cooking class. Expand your epicurean horizons with a hands-on Caribbean cooking class, led by a local expert. Pay attention in class, though, as this meal serves as your dinner!

2. Chocolate, glorious chocolate

Cacao powder with cacao beans

Get an in-depth look at chocolate through the lens of the Bribri, an indigenous people of Costa Rica. This immersive experience will show you how Cacao is planted, harvested and turned into the tempting treat we all know and love. Purchase a bar of chocolate or another handmade craft to bring home and share your experience.

1. Adventure!

Along with all the culinary fare, enjoy a Costa Rican adrenaline rush in the form of zip lining, river rafting, waterfall hiking and more! The country’s landscape is rife with opportunities for you to get out and get moving, and we were sure to include these in your culinary vacation, ensuring a well-rounded, complete Costa Rican experience.

What are you waiting for? Get out there!

A Recipe for Scallop Success

We asked Chef Alan to give us a taste of what he teaches during our Chef for a Day experience. One thing his students learn is that it’s not always best to slave away. Delicious, exciting meals can be made using smart shortcuts so that you actually have the energy to enjoy your meal when it’s ready. Read on for Chef’s tasty and time-saving risotto recipe…

Quick & Easy Scallop Risotto

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Cooking time, including prep: 15 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cups mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • A dash of garlic powder
  • A pinch of oregano
  • 1 bag of ready risotto
  • 1 pound parmesan cheese, shredded or grated
  • 5 colossal scallops
  • Salt & pepper to taste

1. Place a heavy non-stick skillet on the burner at medium high heat.

2. In a separate skillet, fry one cup of finely chopped onions and two cups of chopped mushrooms until tender. Add two cups of heavy cream, or just enough to cover the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and some granulated garlic. Add one pinch of oregano.

3. Now here’s the shortcut. Add to the sauce a bag of ready risotto (Uncle Ben’s works well). Stir in well over a medium heat until the sauce thickens. Add a generous amount of Parmesan cheese. Cover with a lead and remove from the heat.

4. In the first heated skillet, 4 to 5 colossal scallops. Avoid turning them until they are brown around the sides. At that point, nudge them until they release from the skillet, flip them, and brown for another 30 seconds.

5. Serve the risotto onto plats or shallow bowls and assemble the scallops on top. Garnish with a little finely chopped parsley.

Ready to learn more of Chef Alan’s secrets? Come to Virginia wine country for our Chef for a Day Culinary Getaway. Your taste buds will thank you!

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