One of the best parts of traveling the world is getting to experience incredible local cuisine. Food is an integral part of culture, and one of the best ways to truly immerse yourself in a destination. It's also the most delicious way to immerse yourself in the destination!
Just in time for Cinco de Mayo celebrations, we're sharing two quick and easy recipes with you: Pico de Gallo and Guacamole. The recipes come from our talented Corporate Executive Chef Robert van Rijsbergen. These yummy snacks will be a big hit at your next party!
Fun fact: Aztecs were making guacamole by at least the sixteenth century. In the United States, early recipes were published by the California Avocado Advisory Board in the 1940s. Popularity has increased over the years - in fact, over 1.5 billion pounds of avocados were consumed in the U.S. in 2013. We bet it's no surprise to hear that the most avocados are consumed on Superbowl Sunday and Cinco de Mayo!
Place all but half of one avocado in a food processor. Add two deseeded tomatoes, two deseeded red chilli peppers, the peeled, chopped spring onions and a handful of coriander/cilantro. Pulse until the ingredients have been chopped.
Deseed and chop the two remaining tomatoes. Chop the remaining half of an avocado. Mix these in, giving your guacamole a chunky texture. Move the mixture into a bowl and season with a pinch of sea salt, freshly ground pepper to taste, and a generous squeeze of fresh lime juice.
Yum! Just thinking about guacamole has us dreaming of Mexico. Our favorite Mexican port for cuisine is Huatulco, a town that specialized in Oaxacan cuisine.
Use our guacamole recipe to top fajitas, tacos, burritos, or serve it as a dip with tortilla chips!
Pico de Gallo
Pico de Gallo is a food of many names. It may also be known as "salsa fresca", "salsa picada" or "salsa mexicana". The red, white and green colors are reminiscent of the Mexican flag, and it's sometimes called "salsa bandera" (flag sauce) as well.
Dice the tomatoes, onion and jalapenos. Chop about a quarter of a bunch of coriander/cilantro. Dice half a cucumber, if you're adding it. Dice one avocado, if you're adding it.
Put all ingredients in a bowl. Add one teaspoon of salt, half a teaspoon of minced garlic, and the juice of half a lime. Mix well and serve immediately.
Alternative: Roast whole tomatoes in a frying pan or skillet on medium-high heat, until the skin begins to split apart.
Posted on River Cruises
Trying out the specialty restaurants is one of the great pleasures of dining on cruise ships. We recently sailed on the Regent Seven Seas Explorer – it has all-included, all-specialty restaurants.
Chef Enmin Wang at the pan-Asian Pacific Rim on the Regent Seven Seas Explorer was kind enough to share with us the recipe for the healthy, fresh, and delicious Tuna Tartare. He prepares it for us on video, and here's our version of the recipe:
For 2 Appetizer Servings
Step 1: Prepare Carrot/Ginger Japanese Dressing:Makes 375-500 mL
Otherwise, put all ingredients in a blender, blend til smooth. Taste, and add salt, pepper, adjust honey, lime juice, all other seasonings, adding water if desired and necessary for the right consistency. Put in a squeeze bottle for maximum ease, or a jar. This step can be done a day or two ahead of using; keep refrigerated.
This dressing is also delightful on green Japanese salads, and you'll have plenty of leftover to enjoy in other ways.
Step 2: Tuna
Mix all ingredients. Adjust all seasonings to taste.
Step 3: Plate
On each of two decorative plates:
Create a wide pool of Carrot Ginger Dressing.
If you have 6.5 cm rings, place the ring in the dressing and gently pack half of the tuna in the ring, pressing gently down. Remove ring. If you don't have a ring, build a small mound of tuna using two spoons, careful not to disturb the dressing.
Garnish top of tuna with:
Sprinkle around tuna in the pool of dressing:
Repeat with second plate. Serve immediately (with crisps if you wish) and do not allow to sit at room temperature.
IN CUISINE, CULINARY DISCOVERY TOURS, DINING, RECIPES, THE CULINARY CENTER, THE FINEST CUISINE AT SEA
By Executive Chef Kathryn Kelly
This recipe is one that was inspired from the many meals I’ve enjoyed in the heart of Tuscany. I love this recipe for Thanksgiving or a special harvest dish during autumn. When I serve this on a bed of polenta with a glass of Chianti, I transport myself back to a little farmhouse in Chiusa where I first experimented with this dish.
I prefer to leave the skin on the turkey breast, as it enhances the flavor immensely, but you can certainly prepare it without the skin if you wish. You may want to add a touch of butter or pecorino cheese to the prepared polenta for additional flavor. Originally a chicken recipe that I adapted for Thanksgiving, you can certainly choose to prepare it with chicken breasts – either way, I can promise you the evidence of your efforts won’t last very long. My guests always rave about this dish!
½ cup grated celeriac
½ cup grated parsnip
¼ cup chopped toasted walnuts
2 tablespoons dried cranberries, softened in hot water
1 tablespoon finely chopped sage
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon truffle oil
4 boneless, skinless turkey breasts
8 slices prosciutto
3 tablespoons butter
8 sage leaves
Mix the Stuffing
In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.
Prepare the Turkey
Preheat the oven to 350°F/177°C. Place each turkey breast, one at a time, in a large zip-lock bag and gently pound to a thickness of ½ inch.
On a work surface lined with parchment paper, lay out the prosciutto in 4 stacks of 2 pieces each. Place a turkey breast on top of each prosciutto stack, making sure the ends of the breasts are within the ends of the prosciutto. Place one-fourth of the stuffing on each breast. Roll the turkey and prosciutto tightly around the stuffing. Place the rolled turkey, seam side down, in a baking pan. Bake until the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 162°F/72°C.
Infuse the Butter
In a small sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the sage and infuse the butter for about 5 minutes. Remove the sage and reserve for garnish.
Drizzle with sage butter and garnish with sage leaves. Try pairing this turkey with creamy polenta with cranberries, and enjoy!
Lucie Pescatello is a seasoned World traveler and foodie!