Delicious Foods Worth Flying For

FoodsEnjoying food is a wonderful human experience, whether you are home or you are on travel or holiday. It is such a pleasurable and delicious multisensory experience for a traveler to get to know the culture of a certain destination. For foodies, choosing a destination is most often based on the destination’s culinary and gastronomic offerings. Before making any final decision, insofar as destination is concerned, check out their local cuisine.

The number of foods you can experience knows no boundaries. For starters, if you are looking for some special dishes that can justify travel, you can check out Mark Wiens’ suggestions he made in Migrationology’s (Travel for Food) post 33 Foods Worth Traveling Across the World Just to Eat.

Wiens writes, “After returning from any trip I’ll often reflect, browse through my photos, and realize that by far the most memorable experiences I had all revolved around food. And that’s no surprise… Not just because I’m a food obsessed individual, but because food is an essential ingredient of human life – survival, culture, tradition, lifestyle, festivals, relationships, comforts – food plays a part in everything.”

He then proceeded to present a list of 33 foods “worth trekking the globe to hunt down.”  The first ten are: [Read more…]

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Scampi: The Delicious Mystery

scampiDepending on which part of the world you are in, you will get different answers to the often asked question, “What’s in scampi?”  This is intriguing because scampi is universally loved as a dish, and yet people prepare it with diverse main ingredients.  Moreover, most of the consumers who contribute to this £50 million business probably eat something other than what they think they are eating when they eat scampi.

What’s inside your scampi?

The Culinary Dictionary defines scampi as “The Italian name for the tail portion of any of several varieties of miniature lobsters. In the U.S., the term refers to large shrimp that are split and brushed in a garlic oil or butter, then broiled. “Scampo” is the singular form.” It adds that scampi is “Another word for langoustine, or shrimp. This word is used in the U.S. as a description of shrimp broiled with butter, lemon, and garlic.” [Read more…]

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Decadently Delicious Osso Bucco

Osso Bucco

Credit: Alpha

The words Italian “osso bucco” literally mean “a bone with a hole”, referring to the hole in the middle of the beef or veal shank, the main ingredient of this rich dish. It is one of the most popular Italian dishes, and it is one that is possible as well loved as the French beef bourguignon.

In Kahakai Kitchen’s Easy Osso Bucco, celebrity chef Giada de Laurentiis says, Osso buco is braised veal shanks. The fabulously flavorful veal shanks are cooked for a long time, making the meat so tender that it literally falls off the bones. I’m not sure why, but I think people are afraid of this dish; maybe they’re intimidated by the unfamiliarity of veal shanks. But it’s really easy to prepare and just needs a couple of hours to cook, while the fragrant aromas fill your house and maybe even tempt the neighbors to ring the doorbell to find out what’s cooking. The perfect dish for a rainy Sunday…”

A Slice of Gastronomic Heaven

Dining on osso bucco means you are in for a truly flavorful treat. The dish starts with veal shank cut across in three-inch slices that are dredged in flour then browned in olive oil. The meat is braised in wine and a broth made from beef and vegetables. The most popular version of this dish is tomato based, and for most cooks, white wine is a must when cooking osso bucco.

Osso bucco can be prepared simply like a stew, needing only the right ingredients and patience to take a heary feast from stove to table. It can also be prepared as a gourmet dish.

This is an experience that celebrity chef Mario Batali shares in Real Moms Real Dinners’ It’s What’s Cookin’, where he says, Ok, so this one is not going to be one of my typical recipe’s that I’ll post because A) it was time consuming and semi difficult B) it was a more expensive gourmet dish to make… not your every day wed night dinner C) you need a Cast Iron Dutch oven to make it and D) It made a MESS out of my kitchen!! Ok, maybe that was the cook, but still…

“This was too yummy to not post…”

Batali’s gourmet version requires the use of a good Dutch oven, extra-virgin olive oil, a carrot, a small Spanish onion, a rib of celery, some thyme, two cups of basic tomato sauce, 2 cups of chicken stock, and 2 cups of dry white wine.

He browns the veal in extra-virgin olive oil, sets them aside, and proceeds to brown his vegetables. Then, he adds the liquids and the veal, making sure the shanks are covered at least halfway. The Dutch oven is tightly covered, and everything gets to cook together in an oven preheated to 375. Oven time is approximately 2 ½ hours – or whatever it takes for the meat to be fall-off-the-bone tender.

The Gremolata

Possibly, the added flavor of the gremolata makes the osso bucco even more special. Gremolata or gremolada is a traditional accompaniment to this sumptuous dish; it is made from parsley, grated lemon zest, and garlic processed into a rough paste. Some cooks will add pine nuts to this mixture for an extra creamy taste. It is sprinkled on top of the osso bucco right before it is served.

Serving Osso Bucco with Wine and Accompaniments

Osso bucco can be served with a wide variety of accompaniments. Traditionally, osso bucco comes with risotto alla Milanesa, but Mario Batali likes to serve it with angel hair pasta, and Giada de Laurentiis likes to serve it with potatoes mashed in olive oil and Parmesan cheese.

To complete the meal in true gourmet fachion, serve osso bucco with a glass of Amarone or cabernet or sangiovese.  If you prefer, a bottle of tempranillo, Malbec, zinfandel, merlot, malbec, or syrah would be just as appropriate.

Sit back, enjoy your osso bucco, and savor the delights of a truly Italian masterpiece!

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Delicious Way to Sustainable Eating: Give Overlooked Fish New Names and Looks

Fish“Eating with a difference… ” It is a positive thought, not only for your body, but for the planet as well. Puzzled? Read on.

Many want to find out more about what they can do to help the planet recover from massive harvesting and exploitation. There are many ways to do that. Start with the way you eat. Because every human has to eat 2-3 full meals a day (or more), this can mean having a “planetful” of people (nearing the 8 billion-mark) contributing to saving the marine resources. This also means ensuring there will be more mouths to feed for more years.

How difficult is foregoing delicious seafood (snapper, grouper and such) sound? With creativity, you can give “trash fish” (low economic value catch) new names … try “delicious fish” for a change. To merit the name, dress them up in your kitchen! If cooking is something you love to do, and eating is anticipated with much gusto, your “noble” effort will not only be rewarded with something more than a palatable dish to grace your dining plate, but a happy palate and a pocket too! In return, you’ll be giving sustainable fishermen a much needed boost to their business, and you may not ask the question “Is eating seafood right?” again. [Read more…]

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