We travel for many reasons. For some it’s to visit a country they haven’t been to before, immerse themselves in a new culture, learn a new language, expand their view of life through an appreciation and understanding of the greater world. For others, it’s about seeing, tasting and experiencing food or learning new recipes or cooking techniques from locals chefs and home cooks. It’s not possible to travel to far off and exotic destinations right now but you can embrace the spirit of travel. Let the smells of your kitchen take you on your own personal journey, where you remember with fondness the places and countries you visited. During the current world health crisis, more of us are cooking meals at home so let me inspire you on this culinary journey and share with you some authentic recipes I have collected from my recent travels.
Thai inspired Sweet Potato Soup
- 1 sweet potato grated (the orange kind, some people call these Yams!)
- 4 stalks of green onion (about half a bunch)
- 1 knob of finely grated ginger
- 4 tablespoons of Thai red curry paste (I used Thai Kitchen)
- ½ onion chopped
- 1 carrot diced
- 3 stalks of celery diced
- ½ cup of lime juice (I used the Lime concentrate bottled stuff)
- ½ tsp of dried chili seeds
- 2x 1 litre container of Vegetable stock (or you can make your own using the powder)
- ¼ cup of chopped cilantro
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Sauté the onion and celery together with 1 tablespoon of olive oil
Add the grated ginger and Thai Red curry paste and dried chili seeds. Sauté for 2 mins
Add celery, carrot, grated sweet potato (yam), vegetable stock and green onion.
Simmer for 15 minutes and then finish with ½ cup of lime juice and the chopped cilantro
Stir an enjoy
Eggs Benedict with Canadian Ham
4 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks
1 tbsp butter
4 slices of Canadian ham
English muffins split and toasted
1tbsp warm water
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (not from concentrate)
¼ tsp salt
½ cup melted butter
Chopped fresh chives, for serving
- Poach eggs: Fill a large saucepan with 2 inches water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a bare simmer. Break 1 egg into a small bowl and gently tip into the pan. Use a spatula to gently lift the egg from the bottom of the pan. Repeat with remaining 3 eggs and cook until the whites are just set, but the yolks are still runny, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the eggs to a paper towel–lined plate to drain.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add Canadian bacon and cook, flipping once, until golden on both sides, about 4 minutes.
- Arrange bacon on top of English muffin halves and top with poached eggs.
- Make sauce: In a blender, combine egg yolks, water, lemon juice, and salt and blend until frothy. With blender running, pour in hot melted butter in a very thin stream, blending until sauce is thick and emulsified.
- Spoon sauce over eggs. Sprinkle with chives and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Australia – Lamington Cake
Melted butter, to grease
½ cup of self raising flour
¼ cup of plain flour
¼ cup of corn flour
¾ cup of sugar
2 cups of desiccated coconut
1/3 cup strawberry jam
2 cups pure icing sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
½ cup water
Preheat over to 180 Celsius
Brush two 20cm cake pans with butter and line the bottom with parchment paper
Sift the combined flour and corn flour into a bowl. Use and electric beater to beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl for 10 minutes or until thick, pale and creamy. Sift half the flour mixture over the egg mixture. Use a large metal spoon fold until just combined. Repeat with remaining flour mixture.
Divide amount the prepared pans and smooth the surfaces Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden and the cake springs back when touched. Set aside in the pans for 5 minutes to cool before turning onto wire racks. You may have to run a knife around the outside of the cake to loosen.
To make the chocolate icing, sift the icing sugar and cocoa together in a bowl. Stir in water.
Spread the coconut over a large tray, Dip the base and sides of 1 cake into the icing and then add to the coconut and turn to coat. Transfer to serving plate. Spread with the jam. Dip the top and side of the remaining cake into the icing and then coconut. At this stage you can add whipped cream over the base of the first cake and then combine the two cakes.
Peru - Quinoa Pancakes
1 ½ cups of cooked quinoa
1 ¾ cups of flour
1 Tsp vanilla
2 Tsp baking power
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup of melted butter
3 Tbsp sugar
Pinch of salt
Mix all ingredients and leave to rest 30 minutes.
Cook in a frying pan with 1/2 tsp of butter for 3 minutes each side.
Malta -Fried Spaghetti (Called Froga Tat-Tarja or phonetically froja tatt-tarr-e-ah)
- 300grms Vermicelli Spaghetti
- 3 beaten eggs
- 5tbs grated cheese
- seasoning (salt and pepper)
- Olive Oil
- Beat the eggs into a big bowl, add the cheese and seasoning
- Mix the cooked spaghettini/vermicelli
- Put a little olive oil in a frying pan, and spread the contents of the bowl in it. Fry on a low heat till its golden brown and crispy on both sides.
Serve piping hot!
Tips - be careful when turning over the omelet, if it’s not cooked enough it will end up breaking up when you turn it. If the omelet is very large sometimes I use a plate to help turn it over.