Tag - culinary travel

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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Customer Reviews

Yucatán was great!PicMonkey Collage

The whole experience at Hacienda Petac was totally satisfying. I recommend it highly. It’s an absolutely gorgeous place. The villa itself has been restored impeccably, the rooms are elegant and luxurious, and the grounds are spectacular. Filled with lush tropical foliage. The cooking classes were fun, the food was good, the service impeccable.

I was there for a week long “culinary adventure” put together by Epitourean.com. These adventures are perfect for a woman traveling alone. Everyone is very friendly and helpful, you make lots of new friends and never feel left out or awkward because you’re not traveling with a partner.

All in all, a great experience, and I intend to do more of these. – Mickey

Abruzzo Amore 

My daugabruzzo2hter and I took the Abruzzo area tour a few weeks ago and I must say, this was one of the best vacations I have ever been on!

We met some wonderful people, the tours were fantastic, the chef was great. From the Bell factory to the wine tasting at the winery, to the wonderful cheese factory…..I cannot say how much this all was enjoyed.

Never lacked for fantastic food, wine or friendships, I am ready to take another Epitourean trip!!!! – Barb

 

Santa Fe Raves

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Just wanted to let you know that Stephanie and I has a FANTASTIC time in Santa Fe! We were given a huge condo at Ft. Marcy with our own bedrooms and baths. Such a nice surprise and bonus!

The Foodie Tour was awesome and much more than we expected! Delicious foods and a fun friendly guide!!!

Our dinner was FABULOUS!!!! Wow! We enjoyed the beautiful ambience, excellent service and of course, the gourmet food!

We can’t rave enough about our Epitourean experience. Thank you! – Diann & Stephanie

TRUE BLUE MARYLAND CRAB CAKES

Recipe courtesy of Chef Craig Sewell, of A Cook’s Cafe in Annapolis, Maryland.

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The Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the United States, has provided a livelihood for watermen since colonial days, as well as a delicious platform on which to build the local cuisine. It’s been said that no one in colonial Annapolis could go hungry, blessed with the bounty of the Chesapeake and rich, fertile land.

Modern day visitors to the city can experience local fare at the very inns and taverns some of the founding fathers did. In addition to fresh blue crab, Chesapeake oysters and other seafood, must-eats include popovers and Smith Island cake, washed down with a refreshing craft beer.

Create your own Chesapeake Bay culinary experience at home with this quick and easy Crab Cake recipe.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds fresh jumbo lump crab (Maryland Blue)
  • 1 pound fresh claw meat (Maryland Blue)
  • 3/4 cup rice flour (white or brown)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon old bay
  • 1 cup mayo (fresh, if possible)
  1. Blend wet ingredients with whisk.
  2. Add dry ingredients to wet mixture and whip until smooth.
  3. Fold crab into the other ingredients.
  4. Portion with a scoop, ensuring cakes are packed tightly.
  5. Sauté in butter until lightly golden on one side (about 4-5 minutes).
  6. Flip over and avoid patting down for a few moments, allowing egg and rice flour to set.
  7. Gently pat to even out, cooking another 4-5 minutes until golden.
  8. Serve warm with sauce of your choice.

b56b575795c545e1be7d1220176743a2Mastered this recipe and ready to learn more? Check out our Historic Annapolis Culinary Escape or one of our other quick and easy Edible Getaways.

 

 

Pipian Verde con Bistec en Relleno (Stuffed Beef Rolls) Recipe

Recipe courtesy of Señora Estela Salas Silva, of Casa Carmelita in Tlaxcala, Mexico.

In the last 25 years, Estela Salas Silva and her husband, Jon, have hosted and taught cooking classes to hundreds of culinary adventurers. To celebrate this exciting milestone, we’ve put together an anniversary package that includes favorite recipes–of guests and the hosts themselves–from the last 25 years. To give you a taste, here is a traditional Pueblan dish called Pipian Verde con Bistec en Relleno.

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 pounds thinly sliced beef
  • 6 pieces each raw bacon and ham, sliced into strips
  • 4 potatoes, cut french fry style
  • 2 dozen string beans, cut in half diagonally
  • 6 carrots, cut lengthwise french fry style
  • Pipian Verde Sauce (ingredients below)

PIPIAN VERDE SAUCE INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 bunch lettuce leaves
  • 2 sprigs parsley
  • 2 sprigs fresh (or 2 tablespoons dry) epazote
  • 2 small fresh serrano chilies  (stems removed)
  • 4 – 5 big tomatillos
  • 2-3 radish leaves
  • 5 sprigs of cilantro
  • 2 green onions
  • 1/4 onion
  • 1/4 cup green pumpkin seeds, roasted
  • 1/3 cup sesame seeds, roasted
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1/2  teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup water

1. Lay beef flat and place strips of ham, bacon, potato and vegetables in the center.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Save any leftover stuffing ingredients and add to

sauce in step 9 below.

2. Roll tightly into cigar shapes and secure in the middle with a toothpick.

3. Fry sesame seeds in hot dry pan until lightly brown and begin to pop and remove.

4. Fry pumpkin seeds in hot dry pan until they begin to pop and remove.

5. Puree sesame and pumpkin seeds in blender with cumin, garlic and ½ cup water.

6. Heat olive oil, stirring, add blended ingredients from above, salt to taste and sauté for 5 minutes.

7. Puree the first nine ingredients with 1 cup water for 2 minutes. Stirring slowly in one direction

only, add to above seed puree (rapid stirring or back and forth will have a tendency to cause the

sauce to separate).

8. Add the chicken stock and stir again in one direction only for 5 minutes.

9. Place rolled meat into sauce with leftover stuffing from above (step 1) and simmer lively for

about ½ hour or until the vegetables inside are soft.

10. Enjoy!

**The sauce for this dish can be made ahead and frozen for up to 6 months.  To do this, prepare sauce as above adding a little more tomatillos but DO NOT add any chicken stock.  When you want to make dish, cook meat as above, defrost sauce, heat, add chicken stock, meat and cook for 20 minutes.

Ready to learn more of Chef Estela’s delicious culinary secrets? Click here to learn more about our Taste of Puebla 25th Anniversary Culinary Holiday. Availability is limited!

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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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