The Traveling Foody – Tailgating

Hey there travelers and foodie fans.   Welcome to this week’s adventure.  It’s that time of year when Americans gather for two things; Tailgating and the various sporting events that follow.   Not everyone can get into the stadium to experience the game and oddly enough, many don’t even want to.  Those are the hardcore tailgaters.  They are the ones who arrive early to the party and thrive off the divine showing of their flare.  That’s right, Tailgaters.  It’s all about the crazy social event packed with amazing vehicles which strap on and let loose the power of the party.  Between the grilling madness, TV’s and sound systems battered off the generator, and the various alcohol infused fun, a tailgating party is like no other party.

If there is one person you need to answer any questions about tailgating, it’s this man; Joe Cahn, the self-declared Commissioner of Tailgating.  This guy is the epitome of hardcore and the Traveling Foody team has so much respect and love for the man.  He has traveled all over the United States tailgating and sharing his love and passion for the event by sharing food and stories with various fans.  We here at the Traveling Foody salute you, Joe Cahn.

When your vehicle is parked and tents and grilling apparatuses are ready, it’s time for a few games to work up that appetite.  Some of our favorite games to play at a tailgating party are beer pong, flip cup, corn hole and ladder toss.  We will leave you to investigate the explanation of the game titles.  Now that you have played the game and have created that appetite, it’s time to eat.  The old style tailgating brought you some great foods such as hamburgers, hot dogs, coleslaw and potato salad.  With modern technology, bringing the house to the tailgate is easier than ever. Plus it’s a convenient way to show you’re off your rig and cooking skills to the masses.  If you are lucky you could find yourself participating, watching or tasting the wonders of a tailgating cook off.

I like to leave you with a couple recipes this week that will surely impress the hardest of the hardcore tailgating foodie.  First, a Black Bean and Granny Smith Salad that will rock the tailgaters taste buds.  The recipe can be doubled, tripled, etc… And finally we have the Grilled Mussels with Red Pepper Relish.

Thank you all for stopping buy and I look forward to your wonderful likes, reposts, responses and emails each and every week.  Keep on traveling and exploring food and cultures!

 

Black Bean and Granny Smith Apple Salad

4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, unpeeled, cored, and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Cook and stir the onion and red bell pepper in the hot oil until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes; season with cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper.  Scrape into a mixing bowl; stir in the black beans, apples, lemon juice, and cilantro.  Refrigerate until cold before serving.

 

Grilled Mussels with Red Pepper Relish

Serves 4 – 6

Ingredients:

  • 3 red bell peppers
  • 3 slices of bacon
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 24 mussels, cleaned
  • ½ head red leaf lettuce

Directions:

Roast the bell peppers on the grill over high heat for 4 – 7 minutes, rotating so that all sides get toasted.  Put the pepper into a plastic or paper bag for 8 minutes.  Peel away the skin, discard the seeds and stems, and chop the peppers finely.  Cook the bacon in a pan on the stove until crisp, crumble, and combine with peppers.  Toss the mixture with the vinegar. 

Grill the mussels over heat until they pop open, 3 – 5 minutes. Put a spoonful of the relish in each mussel and serve over the lettuce leaves.  Do not eat any unopened mussels.

 

-Damien – The Traveling Foody

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Burgertastic

Welcome travelers and foodie lovers to this week’s blog.  I want to thank everyone who has been purchasing our book Around the World in 80 Recipes, which can be purchased at http://www.amazon.com/Damien-T.-De-Witte/e/B0080YZEU4 both in hard copy and Kindle format.

Sorry about the late posting this week as we have been very busy attracting new followers, passionate Traveling Foody fans and answering many emails.  On top of that, we have been gearing up to revamp the website (www.thetravelingfoody.com), reviewing local organic farms and releasing The Foodie Pet Book in the next 4 to 6 weeks.  I like to show our appreciation for your love and support by revealing to you our two burger recipes we submitted for the Sutter Homes: Build a Better Burger Contest.  Our lamb burger recipe ended up being disqualified due to the portion size not meeting the contests regulations.  But that’s okay with us.  We are still in the running for the contest with our beef burger!

And now for the recipes!  First we present our Lamb Burgers with Yogurt-Cucumber Sauce then on to our Texas Blue Cheese Bacon Burger with Jalapeno Honey Mustard Slaw.  We raise our glasses to you all as we enjoy the last moments of the warm summer sun.

Lamb Burgers with Yogurt-Cucumber Sauce

SERVINGS: 4

Ingrdients:

Yogurt-Cucumber Sauce

  1. ½ Seedless cucumber, peeled and halved lengthwise
  2. 1 Garlic clove, minced
  3. ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  4. 1 Cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  5. 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  6. 1 Tablespoon finely chopped mint
  7. Freshly ground pepper

Burger

  1. 1 ½ pounds ground lamb
  2. 1 Small onion, minced
  3. 1 Garlic clove, minced
  4. 2 Tablespoons finely chopped mint
  5. 2 Tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  6. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  7. Olive oil
  8. 4 small ciabatta rolls
  9. 4 romaine lettuce leaves
  10. 4 thin tomato slices
  11. 4 paper-thin red onion slices

Directions:

Using a small spoon, scoop out the seedy center of the cucumber.  Coarsely shred the cucumber.  Squeeze the excess liquid from the shredded cucumber without mashing it.  In a small bowl, mash the garlic with the salt to a paste. Stir in the yogurt, olive oil and mint.  Add the shredded cucumber, season with pepper and chill for 20 minutes.

In a medium bowl, knead the ground lamb with the onion, garlic, mint, parsley and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Shape the meat into 4 equally sized patties and transfer them to a plate lined with plastic wrap. Lightly brush the burgers with olive oil.

Grill the patties over medium hot heat. Grill the lamb burgers for about 6 minutes each side. Move the burgers away from the heat and grill the ciabatta rolls until lightly toasted on both sides, about 1 minute.

Texas Blue Cheese Bacon Burger with Jalapeno Honey Mustard Slaw

SERVINGS: 4

COLESLAW

  1. 1 Jalapeno pepper, seeded and stemmed
  2. ½ Cup mayonnaise
  3. 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  4. 2 Tablespoons honey
  5. 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  6. ¼ small head green cabbage, finely shredded
  7. ¼ small head red cabbage, finely shredded
  8. ¼ Cup julienne carrots
  9. ¼ Cup green onion, finely sliced
  10. 1 teaspoon dill seeds
  11. 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  12. 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  13. Salt and freshly ground pepper

BURGERS

  1. 1 pounds ground beef chuck
  2. ½ Cup crumbled blue cheese
  3. ¼ cup crisped bacon, chopped
  4. ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
  5. ½ teaspoon salt
  6. 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  7. 4 hamburger buns, split

Directions:

In a blender or processor combine jalapeno, mayonnaise, Dijon, honey and rice vinegar.  Puree until smooth.  Season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper.  In a large bowl combine cabbages, carrots, onion, dill and celery seeds then toss the combination.  Fold the dressing and hot sauce into cabbage mixture and season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill for about 25 minutes.

Combine the ground beef, garlic, bacon, salt and pepper in a bowl.  Mix the combination with your hands.  Fold in the blue cheese into the meat mixture.  Divide meat into 4 equal sized patties.  Grill over medium-high heat for 6 – 8 minutes per side.  Grill the buns until golden brown.

Top the burgers with the coleslaw and serve.

-Damien – The Traveling Foody

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It’s Berrylicious!

 Hejsan and Välkommen travelers and foodie fans.  Well, The Traveling Foody family has finally returned home in Seattle and we have been picking all our black berries, strawberries and blueberries.  We had noticed that many others are doing the same all around the globe and are also preparing for all the amazing berry festivals.  Growing up in Northern Orange County in the United States around Knott’s Berry Farm -strawberry fields galore- and being exposed to family farmers who jammed the wonderful treats everywhere from Minnesota, to our families from Europe, then moving to Washington where I was surrounded by blackberries.  The love of the berry runs deep in my family and friends’ way of life.  My grandmother would have my mother and my aunts sterilize the jars while she prepared her wonderful jams to sell at the rummage sale where people would pre-order a full year supply of her jams.  I’m in the process of learning her secrets so that we can continue the traditions.  Berries, like many other treats of the land, bring out the best in people.  People come together and become connected to one another by enhancing and indulging in the sweet treats that Mother Earth produces.  Berries, that are edible, provide us with fiber, vitamins and cancer –fighting antioxidants.

 

The Traveling Foody family would like to introduce you to a few of berries from around the world that might be familiar, or not.  I know we left many berries out but I figured we would present the more unfamiliar types.

 

Acai berry: Found in the Amazon jungle located in South America, the Acai berry is dark purple fruit which grows in the palm trees and is high in fatty acids, proteins and antioxidants.

Boysenberry: Boysenberries were developed in California in the 1920’s by crossing the raspberry, blackberry and logan berry.   Walter Knott and his wife grew the fruit.  Mrs. Knott made the berry farm famous for her preserves and later made a chicken pie shop due to the amount of people who traveled all over to try the preserves.

Bearberry: Bearberries are found in arctic and subarctic zones around the world.  The bearberry produces red berries.  

Bilberry: Bilberries are similar to blueberries; these tasty berries grow wild throughout northern Europe.

Currant: Currants thrive in regions with cool, moist conditions like England.  The round fruits may be translucent white, purple or red with a tart flavor used for preserves or wines.

Cowberry: Cowberries grow wild throughout Canada and Northern Europe.  The berry produces a tart red fruit like cranberries.  Many people use it for backing and preserves.

Elderberry: Elderberries are comparable to currants.  The berries are dark red to purple and make fine wine and preserves.   The plant grows well in moist, cool regions.

Farkleberry: Farkleberries are related to the blueberry.  Also known as sparkleberry, farkleberries are black and grow wild throughout the Midwest.  Birds mainly enjoy this type of berry.

Indian Plum: This blossoming shrub or petite tree is native to the Pacific Northwest, west of the Cascade Mountains.  The fruit is reddish and enjoyed mostly by birds.

Logan Berry: Logan Berries are a cross between a raspberry and a blackberry and has a distinct taste.   The berry is used mainly in jams and juices. 

Persimmon: Persimmons are botanically classified as a berry like the tomato.   These round orange fruit were formed initially in the Middle East and Asia and are grown today throughout the Southern United States. They have an acidic taste and somewhat mealy texture.

Tayberry: Tayberries are a hybrid which is a cross between a loganberry and a black raspberry which produces a sweet, red fruit.  The berry is grown in moist, fertile soil and is more frost hardy than blackberries.

Thimbleberry: A cousin of refined raspberries, thimbleberries grow from Alaska to northern Mexico.  The berry is softer and more perishable than raspberries.

Wintergreen: This plant grows on vines throughout Canada and the Northern United States.  The berries have an acerbic taste that get better by chilling.

Youngberry: Youngberry is a hybrid cross between a dewberry, raspberry and a blackberry in 1905.  The berries are mainly grown in New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.

 

Fun Facts:

  • There is a strawberry museum in Belgium.
  • Blueberries are one of the few natural foods that are originally blue.
  • Strawberries naturally contain salicylates which is an ingredient found in aspirin.
  • Over $3 Billion in berries are sold a year.
  • Blackberries contain Vitamin E, which is good for the heart.
  • Berries strengthen blood vessels, reduce heart disease and protect eyesight.
  • Blackberries and strawberries have high levels of phytoestrogens, which are said to help prevent breast and cervical cancer.
  • Over 80 percent of strawberries grown in the United States are from California.

 

I like to leave you this week with a Berry Breeze beverage, Blueberry Balsamic Rosemary Chicken and a Blackberry Mojito beverage.  Thanks for reading this week’s blog and supporting us.  Have a wonderful week and don’t forget to be a part of the adventure.

 

Berry Breeze

Makes 2 drinks

Ingredients:

  • 3 Ounces Makers Mark bourbon
  • 3 Ounces fresh orange juice
  • 3 Ounces cranberry juice
  • 1 ½ Ounces Cream Sherry
  • 1 Ounces fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ½ Ounces simple syrup
  • 1 Can lemon lime soda
  • 1 Can club soda
  • 2 Strawberries
  • 2 Sprigs fresh mint

 

Directions:

Combine the bourbon, sherry, orange juice, cranberry juice, lemon juice and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.  Shake and then strain into two tall glasses. 

Top each glass with a splash of lemon lime soda and a splash of club soda and garnish with strawberry and mint sprig.

 

Blueberry Balsamic Rosemary Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 Skinless, boneless chicken breasts (or 2 pounds chicken legs and thighs)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Shallots, thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 Cups Blueberries
  • ½ Cups balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ Cups maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon rosemary, coarsely chopped

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon oil and butter.  Season chicken with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and add to the pan when the oil and butter are hot and bubbly. 

Over medium – high heat, sear chicken breasts until golden brown.  Remove to a baking dish and set aside. 

Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and butter to the skillet and stir in shallots and cook until soft and lightly caramelized.  Add blueberries and cook 1 minute. Stir in vinegar, maple syrup, rosemary, remaining salt and pepper and simmer 10 minutes, or until the blueberries have collapsed. 

Pour the mixture over the chicken and put baking dish in the top half of the oven for about 15 – 20 minutes, until the chicken has cooked through to a temperature of 165°F.

 

Blackberry Mojito

Ingredients:

 

  • 12 Blackberries
  • 12 large mint leaves
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • ½ Cups seltzer water
  • ¼ Cups vodka or rum
  • 6 to 8 ice cubes

 

Directions:

Muddle blackberries, mint leaves, sugar, lemon juice and lime juice in a tall slender glass until berries are mostly crushed.  Add the seltzer, vodka, and ice.  Stir well and serve.

 

-Damien – The Traveling Foody

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Matured Beef!

Welcome travelers and foodie lovers to this week’s blog.  One of our favorite items the Traveling Foody family orders when available at the restaurant is aged beef.  There is just something tasty, buttery and not to mention the ancient process about aged beef.  Aging beef and other meats is a process that was used out of necessity in order to preserve it before the invention of refrigeration.  I’m sure that even back then the people knew of the wonderful taste and quality of aging meat.  The enzymes in the meat attack the structural proteins which naturally tenderized the meat.  In addition to tenderizing the meat, enzymes will also break down the proteins which turn them into amino acids, as an effect will intensify the flavors.

The 2 different types of aging beef are to dry-age and wet-age.  Both styles are aged at low temperatures between 34 and 38 degrees F.  In general, beef can be aged anywhere from a few weeks to 6 months.  Dry aging beef is done by hanging the meat, before cutting, in the freezer for a set time.  The outcome of drying beef is the loss of meat due to the water evaporating and surface mold.  Wet aging beef is performed by storing the meat in a vacuumed sealed bag and stored for the set time.  By wet aging the beef you will reduce the loss of the meat but you will not develop the same tastes and texture quality as you would in dry aging.

If you would to age beef at home you can:

  1. Buy a choice or prime beef or loin roast.
  2. Unwrap and rinse the beef well, then pat dry with paper towel.
  3. Wrap the beef loosely in a triple layer of cheesecloth and set on rack that sits on a baking sheet.
  4. Refrigerate in a 34 – 38 degree F fridge for 5 – 14 days. 
  5. After 1st day unwrap the meat and then rewrap it with the same cheesecloth. This prevents the cloth fibers from sticking.
  6. Unwrap meat when ready to roast or grill. 
  7. With a sharp knife, shave off and discharge the hard outer layer of the meat.
  8. Roast it whole or cut into steaks.

 

-Damien – The Traveling Foody

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Love your Avocado!

Welcome back travelers and foodie lovers to this week’s blog.  Seeing that we recently have been traveling in and out of South America and México I figure we would talk about one of my favorite fruits which is the avocado.

The state of Puebla, México is noted for originating the avocado.   Scientists have found avocado growth evidence in Puebla dated back to 10,000 BC.  The agricultural development of the fruit has a long history in South America as well.  One of the more interesting particulars of an avocado is the harvesting of the fruit.  Did you know that avocados do not soften while maturing on the tree?   Crazy right?  The tree in which the avocado grows on can act as a better storage unit than your fridge.  That’s right!  The fruit can actually be stored better on the tree for many months past maturing than the fridge or just sitting around.

Many think an avocado is a vegetable but it is not, it’s a fruit which is related to the berry family.  The avocado is also referred to as the alligator pear due to its green and rough exterior.  Another interesting topic about avocados is the name.  The Aztecs name for the fruit was “ahuacatl” meaning “testicle,” due to the shape of the fruit.  When the Spanish explores came and could not pronounce the Aztec word for the fruit they named it aguacate.  The later, well known term, “avocado” was formed by the Spanish which was formed from the Nahuatl origin of the word of the fruit.  The Spanish have other terms that they obscured from the Nahuatl that coincide with the usage of the fruit such as guacamole.  The Nahuatl term that the Spanish transitioned was ahuacamolli.

Some other fun facts:

  • Spaniards found they could use the juice from the seed for ink.
  • In 1519, Cortez had seen that the avocado was a staple in the native diet.
  • In 1554, Francisco Salazar mentions in his book the New Spain, the avocado being sold in the market place.
  • Seamen in the 1700’s would spread the fruit on their biscuits and call it midshipman’s butter.
  • In 1833 the first avocado tree in Florida was planted.

I like to leave you this week with a couple of wonderful recipes that The Traveling Foody family love to make.  One is an Avocado Fries side dish and the other is an Avocado and Black Bean Salsa.

Also, visit our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TravelingFoody and our wonderful website at www.thetravelingfoody.com for more information and some of our merchandise. Your support sustains the Traveling Foody and all that we stand for and it is greatly appreciated!

Avocado Fries

Ingredients

  • Canola oil for frying
  • ¼ Cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt plus a bit more for taste
  • 2 Large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 ½ Cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 Firm avocados, cut into ½ inch wedges

Directions

Pour the oil to a depth of 1 ½ inches into a medium sauce pan.  Heat the oil to 275°F.  Combine flour and salt into shallow plate.  Put eggs and panko in separate shallow plates.  Dip the avocado wedges in flour, shaking off the excess.  Dip in the egg, and dredge in panko to coat.

Fry avocado wedges in batches, 35 – 60 seconds until golden brown.   Drain on paper towel.  For large batches, place previous fried wedges on baking sheet and place in oven at 200°F until the rest of batch is done.  Sprinkle wedges with additional salt to taste.

Avocado Black Bean Salsa

Ingredients

  • 1 Can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Cup corn, thawed
  • 1 Can fire roasted diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 2 Garlic cloves minced
  • ¼ Cup packed cilantro, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tablespoons light olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon minced canned chipotles in adobo sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 avocados diced

Directions

Combined all ingredients except avocados.  Blend well.  Fold in the avocado and serve with chips.

-Damien – The Traveling Foody

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Welcome to England!

Cheerio and welcome travelers and foodie lovers to this week’s The Traveling Foody adventure in England.  As the 2012 Summer Olympics come to a close in England, I like to honor all the participants; from the athletes who performed their hearts out to the family and fans that have supported them throughout their lives, thank you for your outstanding performances.  Not only have there been ups and downs but many surprises and drama to the 2012 Summer Olympics.  Although, I am an American, I fully respect any great athlete and to see England take the Gold in their country for Men’s tennis… Well that was great to see!  Another highlight for us was watching the Water Polo events.  All in all, this has been a great experience for us and for many others for there was so much passion and determination by all of the athletes, coaches and supporters.

 

There might be a few readers that are unaware of England’s topography, migration and cuisine.  England is located in northern Europe between Scotland and Wales and has a temperate climate which allows farmers to produce a wide range of foods.  Early settlers grew wheat and barley for breads. Later, Romans brought new herbs and introduced farming techniques such as fencing livestock to supplement the hunter-gathering diet.  During the Viking invasions, the Danish and Norwegians brought with them smoking and fish drying techniques.  Many meals after this time were prepared as a stew or pottage.  English cuisine today has retained the heart of its earlier cooking history while utilizing its global shipping hub to incorporate herbs, meats and spices in creating the savory and sweet taste the world has come to know as English cuisine.

Cuisines of England that we love but are not limited to:

·         Toad in the Hole

·         Fish and Chips

·         Yorkshire pudding

·         Shepherd’s/Cottage pie

·         Bangers and Mash

·         Apple Crumble

·         Black pudding

·         Bubble and Squeak

 

I would like to leave you with a Lamb Kebab in Spicy Yogurt Dressing recipe which is featured in the England section of Around the World in 80 Recipes, which can be purchased at http://www.amazon.com/Damien-T.-De-Witte/e/B0080YZEU4.  The book also consists of a Shepherd’s pie and Toad in a Hole Recipe.  Don’t for get to visit the website and faceboook page for cool photos and updates.

Cheers!

 

Lamb Kebab in Spicy Yogurt Dressing

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 large corn-on-the-cob
  • 8 shallots
  • 5 oz natural yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove, skinned and crushed
  • 2 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 Tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 ½ lb boned leg of lamb, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 8 oz zucchini cut into ¼ inch slices
  • 4 tomatoes, halved
  • salt and pepper
  • lemon wedges, to garnish

 

Directions

Blanch the corn in boiling salted water for 1 minute, drain well, cut into 8 pieces and set aside.  Blanch the shallots in boiling salted water for 1 minute, skin and set aside.

To make the marinade, pour the yogurt into a shallow dish and stir in the garlic, bay leaves, lemon juice, allspice, coriander seeds and salt and pepper.

Thread the lamb cubes on to eight skewers with the zucchini, tomatoes, corn and shallots. Place in the dish, spoon over the marinade, cover and leave for 2-3 hours, turning occasionally to ensure even coating.

Grill the kebabs for about 15-20 minutes, turning and brushing with the marinade occasionally.

Spoon remaining marinade over the kebabs and garnish with lemon wedges.

 

-Damien – The Traveling Foody

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Surfs Up!

Welcome back travelers and foodie lovers to this week’s The Traveling Foody Blog.  The past 3 weeks we have been up and down the Southern parts of California, in and out of Mexico and South America.   I figure we talk a bit about beaches around the world and the surf culture which it inhabits.  Growing up surfing and being exposed to the beach life, I will always have a place in my heart for such things and a connection to the people, language, fashion, music, sport, food and art.  What does beach life and surfer culture mean to me?  It means I’m free; one with Mother Nature and at home.  Two highlights when I surf are being able to swim with smart and fascinating animals and the meal to replenish the body after a workout with the surf.  I still get slack from friends and people for saying, “Dude” and, “Stoked” in every sentence.  But I don’t mind.  It’s these types of things that make us who we are.

 

The history of surfing is rich in culture and can be traced back to the ancient Polynesians.   The modern popularity and culture of surfing began to burgeon during the 1950’s and 60’s in Hawaii, California and Australia.  Then, the surf culture began to affect fashion, literature, films and music.  Given that surfing on the oceans has a restricted geographical necessity (i.e. the coastline), the culture of beach life often subjected the surfers and vice versa.  In the 60’s, the surf culture of Southern California popularized the bikini, board shorts, the woodie wagon and of course music such as the Beach Boys and Dick Dale.  Surfing has also influenced the creation of new sports such as skateboarding and snowboarding.  When the waves were down, the surfers needed to continue their flow with the sea but they only had asphalt so they attached wheels to a smaller board and called it Skateboarding.

 

I love surfing and chilling around the Southern regions of California and Baja.  Here are a few beaches The Traveling Foody crew loves and recommends:

 

Bells Beach (Victoria, Australia)

Home of the Rip Curl Pro and featured in the movie Point Break and 1966s The Endless Summer.

Lover’s Beach (Baja, California Sur, Mexico)

This hidden cove with rock formations springing out makes for an excellent destination for the romantics.

Byron Bay (Australia)

Byron Bay is not only known for the surf but the pubs, cafés and the music scene.

Pipeline (Oahu, Hawaii)

Known for the reef breaks the beach offers some of the most amazing and beautiful curls in the surf.

An Bang Beach (Hoi An, Vietnam)

An Bang Beach offers soft waves and beautiful white sand.

Southwestern Beach (Koh Rong, Cambodia)

One of top beaches that the Gulf of Thailand with over 5,000 meters of untouched white sand.

Sun Island Beach (Maldives)

Some people might say this would be the best beach.  In the middle of the Indian Ocean this gem will take your breath away with the coral reefs being visible from the beach.

Nungwi (Zanzibar)

The shallow waters of Nungwi’s shores will have you thinking you can walk on water.

 

For more information visit us on facebook or at www.thetravelingfoody.com

I like to leave you with a refreshing Shellfish Watermelon Ceviche.

Shellfish Watermelon Ceviche

6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 navel orange
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice Plus 1 Tablespoon
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup diced seeded watermelon
  • ½ teaspoon finely grated peeled ginger
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons finely diced red onion
  • 2  teaspoons finely chopped fresh jalapeño
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ lb sea scallops cut into ½ inch pieces
  • ¼ lb large shrimp in shell, peeled, deveined, and cut into ½ inch pieces
  • ¼ lb cooked lobster meat, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons chopped fresh mint

 

Directions:

Cut, peel and remove segments of the orange free from membranes. Chop enough segments to measure ¼ cup.  Stir together chopped orange, orange juice, lime juice, watermelon, ginger, onion, jalapeño, and salt (to taste) in a large bowl.  Bring a 1-quart saucepan three-fourths full of water (Seasoned with salt) to a boil and add scallops.  Reduce heat to a simmer and poach scallops until just cooked through, about 1 minute. Transfer using a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking.  Bring water in saucepan to a boil and poach shrimp the same as scallops.  Drain the shrimp in a colander and transfer to bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking. Drain scallops and shrimp well and pat dry.  Add scallops, shrimp, lobster, and mint to watermelon mixture and toss to combine, then season with salt.  Covered and chill at least 1 hour.

 

-Damien – The Traveling Foody

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South America! Here We Go!

Welcome travelers and foodie lovers to this week’s venture in culture, food and topography.  This week we are visiting various regions in South America and loving every bit.

 

Both North and South America are named after the cartographer and explorer Amerigo Vespucci.  During Christopher Columbus’s exploration, it was Amerigo that thought Columbus ventured to a new world and not Asia.  Following the Feminine names of regions in Europe and Asia, the newly explored area was named America.  Inca, Azteca and Mayan culture were the largest empires in South American history.  The Aztecs were a powerful society until Hernando Cortez, a powerful Spaniard military leader, declared war on them.   The Aztecs were outmatched by the military modernization.  Over 600 years ago the Mayan culture developed until the culture disappeared due to wars and famine.  The Inca built their society high in the Andes Mountains and like the Mayan the Inca battled too many wars, thus over utilizing the supplies of the entire society.  At this point the majority of South America was ruled and occupied by Spain.

 

In the old world, many of the South American natives knew how to grow and harvest a large variety of various plants.  South American land is as diverse as is its culture.  Like Mexico, when European settlers arrived, they incorporated native dishes with their own fare.  Like North America, South America is comfortably nestled between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.  The numerous fruits and fresh fish are a true staple in the Amazonian region.  The large mass of Argentina and the long coastline of Chile provide the region with lamb, venison and fresh food from the sea.  Peru is known for their llamas and for the over 4,000 varieties of potato and sweet potato.  Feijoada, which is a bean, beef and pork stew and is made all over Brazil.  One can spend a lifetime exploring the various cuisines and culture of South America.  It’s easy to see the love and passion come out in the many cultures and foods of South America.

 

Many people now have heard stories about the cowboys of North America, but very few people and movies have been made about the cowboys of South America.  The Cowboys are named Gauchos and are famous for their horsemanship.  Most of South America is mountainous creating topography hard to travel on land.  Brazil leads plane manufactures in South America in production due to the size and shipping accessibility.  Another great topic is coffee.  Columbia is the largest coffee producer in the world. The beans are dried and roasted to bring us morning and late night coffee pleasure.   One last cultural that is a must when visiting South America is to make your way to Brazil 46 days before Easter.  It’s CARNAVAL!  Carnival, or Carnaval is a celebration in Brazil.  Rio de Janeiro is the capital of the festival, and although we will not be in that area next year we will have our fellow traveling foody reps reporting and photographing next year.

 

I like to leave you this week with yet another recipe from one of my books.  Around the World in 80 Recipes can be purchased on Kindle or Paperback at http://www.amazon.com/Damien-T.-De-Witte/e/B0080YZEU4.

Have a wonderful week and I look forward to exploring with you.

 

Feijoada

Serves 10 to 12

Ingredients

  • 3 strips of raw bacon
  • 2 onions
  • 3 cloves garlic (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1 lb smoked sausage
  • 1 lb boneless beef (any cut of meat)
  • 1 (14-oz) can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 Tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 4 cups canned black beans
  • salt and pepper

 

Directions

Cut the bacon strips into big pieces.  Fry them in a large pot over medium-high heat for 3 minutes, stirring often.  Turn the heat down to medium.  Cut the onion in half.  Peel off the skin and outer layer.  Chop both halves into small pieces.  Peel the cloves of garlic. Chop them into small pieces.  Add the onions and garlic to the bacon in the pot.  Stir until the onions are soft, about 3 minutes.  Cut the sausage and beef into 1-inch pieces.  Add them to the onions and garlic.  Cook until the meat is brown on all sides.  Add the stewed tomatoes (with juice), hot water, yellow mustard, and some salt and pepper.  Turn the heat down to simmer.  Cover the pot.

Cook for about 45 minutes, stirring often.  If it looks too thick, add more water, ¼ cup at a time.  Add the black beans (with liquid).  Cover the pot, and cook for 10 more minutes.  Serve in a bowl.

 

-Damien – The Traveling Foody

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¡Viva México

Hola viajeros y amantes del gourmet.  Hello travelers and foodie lovers.  This week we explore Mexico.  A current attraction in Cancún, Mexico is “Bodies” by Jason deCaires Taylor.  Taylor creates hundreds of life-size human sculptures which act as a coral reef.  With the installment of the sculpture, marine biomasses, fish and tourism will divert attraction from the old reefs, thus giving the old reefs a better chance of natural rejuvenation.  Another attraction to Mexico is Copper Canyon which you might recognize the name from the show “Man vs. Wild” on the Discovery Channel.  The canyon is made up of 6 distinct canyons in the southwestern region of Chihuahua, Mexico.

 

Mexican food and the culture is something to be appreciated.  Like most countries, a meal is a bonding experience.  Mexican foods and culture are no stranger to this experience.  Mexico has introduced many wonderful products such as peanuts, vanilla, beans, tomatoes and of course CHOCOLATE!  From the Aztec’s usage of salsa and tamales to the Mayan’s incorporation of tortillas with bean paste, ancient Mexico has introduced myriad infusions of their cuisine to the world’s table.  With European settlers in the 1500’s bringing new products and livestock, Mexican food had reached new tasty heights.  The combination of indigenous and European traditional food has become Mexican cuisine as we know it today.  Present Mexican cuisine is so delicious and hard to resist.  With a few margaritas, an afternoon meal can easily run into a meal at dusk.

 

This week I leave you with a Black Bean Salad recipe found in my book Around the World in 80 Recipes.  The book can be purchased on Kindle or Paperback at http://www.amazon.com/Damien-T.-De-Witte/e/B0080YZEU4.

Have a wonderful week and I look forward to exploring South America with you next week.

 

Black Beans Salad

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 6 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans , rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 oz) can corn , drained
  • 4 fresh tomatoes, diced
  • ½ cup red onion, chopped
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of hot sauce

 

Directions

Cook brown rice by measure out 1 cup of brown rice.  Rinse the rice thoroughly in a sieve or strainer until the water runs clear.  Heat a little oil in the pot over medium heat and fry the rice for a moment before adding the water.  This helps build flavor, but is definitely optional.  Add 2 ¼ cups water and stir just once.  Bring to a simmer and cover over tightly.  Turn the heat to low and cook for 45 minutes.  Remove the lid and stir once to make sure there is no more liquid water at the bottom of the pan.

In a medium bowl, combine black beans, corn, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeno, lime juice, oil, salt, pepper and hot sauce.

To serve, place a scoop of hot rice in a bowl or on a plate, top with a generous scoop of the black bean mixture.  Stir together before eating.

 

-Damien – The Traveling Foody

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Let’s Go To The Fair!

Hello all you traveling Foodie lovers.  This week we are talking about going to the fair.  Fairs are a meeting grounds for everything human culture.  Fairs have been around for many years.  It’s all about the show casing.  From arts and crafts, live stock and farming techniques to the crazy foods.  Which type of foods?  Well these days it’s not only fresh but its deep-fried.  Trends evolve from year to year at the state, county and global fairs.

The first fair in the world is not exactly known.  However, the chronicles of mankind are filled with references to fairs, not in an institutional context, but as a part of everyday communal interaction.  Indication in scriptures point to the existence of fairs as early as 500 BC.  Merchants from all over the countries would come together to trade regional goods and native wares.  Later, entertainment and other forms of activity were added to gatherings making them into the fairs that we recognize today.  In 1765, the first Northern American fair was presented in Windsor, Nova Scotia.  Elkanah Watson, from New England, earned the title, “Father of US agricultural fairs” by organizing the Berkshire Agricultural Society.  He created the Cattle Show in Pittsfield, Massachusetts in September 1811.  Today there are more than 3,200 fairs in North America alone, bringing people closure together to share and learn about the agriculture and domestic products.

Let’s not forget about the foods of the fair.  Between all the exhibits and competitions, people get hungry and they want food.  What kind of foods?  Well, it seems every so often fairs foods start a new trend.  Right now it’s everything on a stick and something being deep fried.  Let’s not forget about the classic funnel cake or some local ice cream.  Some of the more interesting treats we have tried were hash brown covered hot dogs, or a banana rolled in a flour tortilla and then deep fried.  Have you ever tried fried beer?  Or fried coke? How about a fried Twinkie?  Next time you are at the fair, explore some of the more interesting foodie goodness.

 

With so many fairs all over the globe I know that many of you will find one close to you.  I’d like to leave you lovely foodies with a corn dog recipe and funnel cakes.

 

Corn Dog

Ingredients

  • 1 quart oil for deep frying
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons bacon drippings
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 pounds hot dogs
  • wooden sticks

 

Directions:

Heat oil in a deep fryer to 365 degrees F (185 degrees C).  In a large bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in bacon drippings.  Make a well in the center, and pour in the egg, buttermilk, and baking soda.  Mix until everything is smooth and well blended.  Insert wooden sticks into the ends.  Dip the hot dogs in the batter one at a time, shaking off the excess.  Deep fry a few at a time in the hot oil until they are as brown as you like them.  Drain on paper towels and serve.

 

Funnel Cake

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

 

Directions:

In a deep-fryer, or heavy skillet, heat oil to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).  In a large bowl, beat milk and eggs together.  Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  Stir into the egg mixture until smooth.  While covering the funnel hole with one hand, pour in 1 cup of batter.  Start from the center in a swirling motion to make a 6 inch round.  Fry on both sides until golden brown.  Remove and drain on paper towels.  Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and serve warm.

 

-Damien – The Traveling Foody

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