Posts Tagged With: culture

The Traveling Foody – Enter Fall

Welcome all you Traveling Foody fans.  You may have noticed that we didn’t write very many articles over the summer.   Don’t worry!  No one was hurt.  We were thoroughly – maybe too thoroughly – enjoying summer in the Northwest U.S.  For most of the year in and around the greater Seattle area, the weather is not always the best for strolling the water front or having a picnic.  Like many places within the 45 and 65 degrees latitude, when the summer comes you get outdoors and play hard and as much as possible.  So, that’s exactly what the entire Traveling Foody family did.  We ventured out into the great Northwest playing music, attending numerous music festivals and events, growing foods, cooking, working on various art projects and hanging out with people from all over the globe.  This summer was very special as the warm dry weather carried through August and most of September giving us the elusive “Indian Summer”.  This is great for all of our gardens as we just started to can and freeze some of our goods in preparation for the winter months.  Some of our garden has even been used to share and trade with other gardeners.  By doing this we see that it brings people together and that it keeps your pantry and kitchen diverse with others’ touch of pride and passion.

Well, with fall slowly rolling in and the leaves turning all their glorious reds and yellows and browns, good comfort food is on the list.  All those frozen foods will be thawed and used in stews and soups.   All our pickled foods will be a part of our hors d’oeuvre we serve at the dinner parties with cheese, crackers, beer and wine.  They also make wonderful gifts for our family friends and ice breakers to make new Traveling Foody friends.  We are excited that we have more time to bring to you our love, passions, art and friendship over this wonderful world of blogging.

We have a few recipes we would like to share with you to get everything jumpstarted.  We like to bring out the big gun that is a popular one in America.  The Traveling Foody family and the magic of our test kitchens present you with our version of Mac –N- Cheese.

Macaroni and Cottage Cheese Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz dry elbow macaroni
  • 1 1/2 cup small curd cottage cheese
  • 8 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 2/3 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 3 tbsp melted butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil and cook the pasta one minute less that the directions call for. Drain very well and add to a 9 x 12 inch baking dish.  Stir in the cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, sour cream, milk, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. In a small bowl, stir the bread crumbs and melted butter together. Sprinkle evenly over the top, and bake for 35 minutes, or until top is golden brown and bubbling.

Next we are going out to the garden to make a delicious Kale and Potato Soup.

Kale & Potato Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 Whole potatoes, golden, diced
  • ½ Cup onion, diced
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 5 Cups chicken broth
  • 14 oz tomatoes, diced
  • 15 oz kidney beans
  • 5 Cups kale, chopped

Directions:

Add all items except kale to large soup pot. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.  Cook until potatoes are almost done (about 20 minutes) and add kale.  Continue cooking for 10 minutes.

One of our favorite types of sandwiches and a favorite of Sweden is Smörgås med ost och päron (Cheese and Pear Sandwich).  This sandwich is lite and perfect for a lunch party.

Smörgås med ost och päron (Cheese and Pear Sandwich)

Makes 10

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 5 slices white bread
  • 5 small lettuce leaves
  • ¼ lb bleu cheese
  • 2 ripe pears
  • ½ lemon
  • 1 red pepper, sliced

Directions:

Butter the bread and trim off the crusts.  Slice the bread diagonally, making triangles.  Top each slice with a lettuce leaf.

Mash the bleu cheese with a fork.  Slice the unpeeled pears lengthwise into slices about ¼-inch thick.  Rub them with the lemon half and put a slice of pear on each bread triangle.  Top the pears with a spoonful of mashed blue cheese.  Garnish with a thin slice of red pepper.

On those chilly days it’s all about warming the body and the soul with a big bowl of Phở.  You do not need to go all the way to Vietnam for this treat.

Phở (Beef Noodle Soup)

Broth ingredients:

  • 3 cans beef broth (low-salt suggested)
  • 2 carrots, julienne
  • 1 Tablespoon ginger, chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 3 Tablespoons fish sauce

Ingredients:

  • ½ lb roast beef, sliced into very thin bite-sized strips
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups fresh bean sprouts
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, coarsely chopped
  • 2 chilies, sliced at a diagonal
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
  • 1 package rice noodles, cooked

Directions:

Make broth by pouring contents from three cans of broth into a large saucepan.  Add carrots, ginger, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, garlic and peppercorns.  Simmer covered for 20 minutes.  Add fish sauce and simmer about 5 more minutes.  Strain by pouring through a colander.

To serve, arrange the following on a platter: beef, onion, bean sprouts, cilantro, basil, chilies, lime wedges and noodles.  Ladle the broth into bowls, and serve.  Each person chooses items from the platter to add to his or her bowl of broth.

A couple of these recipes and more can be found in our book Around the World in 80 Recipes, which can be purchased at http://www.amazon.com/Damien-T.-De-Witte/e/B0080YZEU4

-Damien – The Traveling Foody

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The Traveling Foody – Super Bowl Party Fun Time Extravaganza

Welcome travelers and food lovers to this week’s blog.  It’s not just another day in America.  It’s Super Bowl time.  For those of you that are not up to speed on what the Super Bowl is, it’s the final winner take all game for the National Football League.  The Super Bowl parties have grown to a scale of hundreds of millions of viewers.  Why?  For the game?  For the funny commercials?  Or is it the entertainment?  The Super Bowl party is one of the major entertaining parties of the year.  The fans, commercials, food.  Oh yeah… There is the game to.  The great thing about this type of party is that it’s relatively easy going for the host(s) and the guests.  So don’t hold back on the TVs in every room and the copious and various types of food and drinks. The high strung competition level during the Super Bowl brings out the best in everyone.

Food Tips:

  • Do as much as you can ahead of time as you can.  This will give you more time to entertain.
  • Raw vegetables are a healthy choice and easy to prepare.
  • Finger foods are a hit and can be prepared the day before.
  • Crock-Pots are a great way to keep food warm.
  • Chicken wings are always a fan favorite for the party.
  • A nacho bar is a tasty and an inexpensive treat to feed the crowd.

As requested by the Traveling Foody family and friends we will be providing the party goers with elk meatballs.  One will be with a cranberry chili sauce and the other with a root beer bbq sauce.  Both are very special and very yummy.  Below is the recipe for the elk meatballs in cranberry chili sauce.  You can make the root beer bbq sauce the same way by combining 1 part of your favorite root beer and 1 part bbq sauce. This recipe and others can be found in our book Around the World in 80 Recipes, which can be purchased at http://www.amazon.com/Damien-T.-De-Witte/e/B0080YZEU4 in both hard copy and Kindle formats.

Elk Meatballs with Cranberry Chili Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Elk meat or combine 1 lb ground elk and 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup dry Italian bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon catsup
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • ¼ Tablespoon pepper 

Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 (10 oz) Heinz Chili Sauce
  • 1 (10 oz) Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry sauce

Directions

In a bowl, combine meatball ingredients; mix well.  Shape into 1-inch balls.  Place on rack in shallow roasting pan.  Bake at 350°F 10 to 15 minutes.  Remove meatballs.  

Combine jelly and chili sauce in 3-quart saucepan.  Cook over medium heat until jelly is melted, stirring to mix well. Add meatballs. Simmer for ½ hour on stovetop or place in crockpot on high for 1 hour or low for 2 hours.

-Damien – The Traveling Foody

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The Traveling Foody – North Oregon Coast Unveiled

Welcome wonderful travelers and food enthusiasts to this week’s blog.   This week we visited some amazing towns on the North Oregon coast.  Between the diversity of the culture and of the coastal line, the coast does not disappoint.  The winter time is a wonderful time to visit the Oregon coast.  Not only is it off season but, the beach offers an array of visual stimulation.  The ocean has drastic features that will insist that you are watching.  The weather was mild during our visit.

We first arrived at our wonderful cottage at the Hillcrest.  The main reason we stayed at the cottage was it’s location to Broadway and the beach.  I didn’t want anything right smack in the middle of everything and we were not disappointed.  Even though the cottage was not directly on the beach it was a small block away.  The staffs at the Hillcrest are amazingly accommodating.  They offered us a few tips at some foodie places and were spot on.  Although, there are many places to stay on the prom in Seaside, there are few that give you that old style 1970’s beach apartment feel.  You know, the type of “Three’s Company” vibe and structure where in one of the two bedrooms the closet has a doorway to the closet in the living room.

Our trip takes us through Seaside, Ecola State Park, CannonBeach, Oswald State Park, through Wheeler, Tillamook Bay and into Tillamook.  Seaside is a popular destination with travelers and food and family attractions throughout the year.  One of the many highlights was waking up about 7am, drinking a cup of coffee, and walking on the beaches while watching the sunrise.

Bumper what? Bumper cars! That’s right.  Bumper cars.  Funland facilitates indoor electric bumper cars which twist this way and that.  Funland hosts hundreds of games to choose from and some really good pizza. Over 21?  Have a beer!  The 12 year old in you will come out when visiting Funland…. Either that or the good beer kicked in.

Ranked at seven on the Travel Channels “World’s Best Beaches,” CannonBeach is unlike most beaches in the world.  The beach is flat and goes on forever where the Northwest Territory stops right at the edge of the sand.  The rivers and streams from the mountains feed the Pacific Ocean with fresh cold water.  The monoliths are some of the largest in the world.  Haystack is the most famous of the monoliths and we captured some amazing footage for the Traveling Foody.   Some of our best footage was in and around Ecola State park where one location had a sizable film crew.   I then found myself describing the scenery using the best David Attenborough impersonations I could possibly do and many laughs were had.  That being said, Haystack and Astoria (a town north of Cannon beach), was the set location for “Point Break” and “Goonies.”

One morning we decided to head south and visit the town of Tillamook.  Tillamook is a well known place for their dairy and cheese making so we couldn’t wait to visit the factory.  Squeaky cheese and a homemade Tillamook grilled cheese sandwich were amazing.  The factory offers the visitors views of the cheese making processes and packaging.  While some were destined to try out their large selection of ice creams others were there for the jerky… That’s right.  They are also known for their jerky.  Down the street from the Tillamook factory was the Blue Heron French cheese company.  The farm is known for their brie.  The country story in front offers wine tasting, sandwiches and various products to experience.

You can’t travel without tasting the food and drink.  Here are a few places that are a must when visiting the areas.

Foodie places:

  • Norma’s Ocean Diner was amazing with their chowder.  The right balance between their clams and diced potatoes.
  • The Stand in Seaside provided an exciting Hispanic grilled infusion of flavors for the palate.  This was one of my highlights.
  • Tora Sushi Lounge satisfies your mind, body and taste buds.
  • Bill’s Tavern and Brewery in Cannon beach was amazing.  Normally I don’t find myself drinking stout but I was adventurous and it paid off.

“Wake up.”

“Check!”

“Go to Beach!”

“Already there.”

The Oregon coast is captivating fun and wild.  It will pull you into its canvas and before you know it you are a part of the scenery.  Pictures speak louder than words I hear.  Here are a few that we snapped in and around the areas.

423648_306307059490623_618809278_n574920_306307096157286_125760225_nseaside-eola-park-cannon-beach-2012-256.jpg12614_306304009490928_244190973_n33863_306317476156248_1266126072_n282930_306307802823882_34838365_n421068_306303516157644_286764196_n66458_306306266157369_986148331_n542971_306305319490797_406311863_n602927_306304926157503_570903805_n

-Damien – The Traveling Foody

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The Traveling Foody – The land of Fire and Ice – Iceland

Komið þið sæl og blessuð.  Welcome everyone to The Traveling Foody’s travels through Iceland.  Known as the land of “Fire and Ice,” where hot molten lava flows throughout the crevices of the mountains and downward through the valleys, coming to an abrupt halt with the freezing glaciers into the final stages of its flow.  Not only is the landscape beautiful but so are the people who carry a live and let live outlook of utmost liberalism mixed with the pride of town and country; makings for a truly amazing culture.

Many people still might ask why?  Why Iceland and why would you go this time of year?

One of the reasons the Traveling Foody family visits Iceland is for the Iceland Airwaves Festival in Reykjavik.  The past week has been a fantastic experience at the Iceland Airwaves Festival in Reykjavík, not only for our family but for others all over the globe.

The first Iceland Airwaves Festival was held in an airplane hangar in 1999, and since, the festival has been one of the leading and most sought after annual platforms for new music.  Some of the world’s most thrilling artists perform at this festival.  This year’s festival had many mind opening artist performances and highlights.  Some of our favorite artists were Hjaltalín, Sigur Rós, Ásgeir Trausti, Sereo Hypnosis; they had amazing grooves.  The Apparat Organ Quartet had a cool Euro pop feel.  Úlfur had an amazing sound and an amazing set.  For the fellow metal fanatic, Atrum did not disappoint.  The artist we love to jam to and watch for years has been GUS GUS.  They definitely did not disappoint us fans.  Bottom line, the music was flowing like the Schnapps which also warms the body on a cold winter’s night.  So many artists at the festival were on their fun “A Game.”

There is more to Iceland Airwaves that just music.  Let’s take a trip back into time to try and grasp a little essence of the land and culture.

Iceland is a Nordic European island which is located in between the North Atlantic and ArcticOceans on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.  The largest city and the capital is Reykjavik.  With a plateau of sand, lava fields, mountains and glaciers, the island offers various characteristics of the topography that consistently changes making the country an adventurous place to visit.  Compared to other OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries, Iceland has lower taxes, while maintaining a Nordic welfare system which provides tertiary education and universal healthcare.  Since the 1990’s, Iceland has become one wealthiest, most developed and one of the most productive nations per capita.  In 2008, like many countries, the banking system failed.  Even though Iceland is still in recovery, the country still ranks high in economics and political stability.  Having an egalitarian society and a smaller population, Icelandic pride is distinguished in their culture.  The roots of the Icelandic culture lie in the Nordic, Celtic and Scandinavian connection and background.  Many Icelanders venture outdoors to enjoy hiking, fishing, swimming and living in the moment.  Some of the most amazing apparels we see have come from Iceland and one of our personal favorite apparel items we have seen are the hoodies, sweaters and gloves.  If you get a chance, do an internet search on some of Icelandic weaves.  You will then see why we wrote about them.

Like many of Iceland’s historical roots, lamb, fish and dairy are a part of their cuisine.  Some of our favorite foodie items are kleinur (Icelandic fried pastry), skyr (yogurt) and hangikjöt (smoked lamb).  The quality of the ingredient is the emphasis that the best chefs and cooks have always concentrated on.  Icelandic chefs are up there to the top when it comes to local and fresh ingredients.  So the majority of great dishes specialize in seafood.  If you get a chance, attend the Food Fun competition.  This competition consists of chef’s competing in innovating dishes with fresh ingredients produced only in Iceland.

We have found that Reykjavík is an amazing city to host many arts, music and food festivals all year around.  An opened armed welcoming to all travelers.  Reykjavik has got to be one of the most amazing and distinctive natural beauty cities in the world.  We met lots of performers and many new friends.  Meeting people and sharing music, art, ideas and food is what keeps our Traveling Foody family traveling all over the globe.  I hope that many of you will continue to be a part of our Traveling Foody family.

If you get a moment email and share with us any tails of travels and food at thetravelingfoody@gmail.com

-Damien – The Traveling Foody

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The Traveling Foody – Oktoberfest!

Welcome travelers and food lovers to this week’s blog.  It’s a rocking Oktoberfest.  We have been very busy towards the end of this year so some of our blogs you will notice a week gap here and there.  We are gearing up to finalize the Foodie Pet book which has been a blast but taking up more of our time due to our high standards in our product.  That being said, let’s rock this Oktoberfest.

Our own Traveling Foody’s David Dewey, will be experiencing some amazing American Oktoberfest parties in Leavenworth, Washington.  Although not as big as Munich and other cities throughout America, Leavenworth does not disappoint with its beautiful Bavarian style village and surrounding mountains.  In America, the larger festivals are held in various areas of Ohio, Wisconsin and Minnesota.  The largest festival in the world is held in Munich, Germany.

What is the true story behind Oktoberfest?  Well, Oktoberfest is a 16 day festival also known to the locals in Munich as “die Wiesn” – named after the fairgrounds in where it is held in the Bavarian city of Theresienwiese.  It all started back on October 12th 1810, when Crown Price Ludwig – later to become King Ludwig I – was to marry Princess Therese Charlotte Luise of Saxony-Hildburghausen. The people of Munich were all invited to the festivities which were held in the fields by the city gates.  The fields were then named after the Princes and have kept their name ever since.  The festival was later moved into September to allow for better weather conditions.

Only the beer conforming to Reineitsgebot standards (Purity laws), can be served at Oktoberfest.  The beer is required to be brewed within Munich’s city limits and the breweries that can produce must do so under particular criteria.  We salute the following breweries for making world class biers:

Augustiner-Brau

Hacker-Pschorr-Brau

Lowenbra

Paulaner-Brau

Splatenbrau

Staatliches Hofbrau-Munchen

 

Some fun facts and tips for you:

  • The marquees get very crowded.  You need to purchase vouchers in advance in order to get a place to eat and drink.
  • Over 6.6 million liters of beer is consumed.
  • Be sure to book your hotel room 1 year in advance.
  • Food in the marquees is more expensive than the stands in other parts of the park.
  • Landlords are able to charge their guests for using their toilets.

 

Today we leave you with one of our favorite German treats: Kartoffelknödeln  This recipe and others can be found purchasing at http://www.amazon.com/Damien-T.-De-Witte/e/B0080YZEU4 both in hard copy and Kindle format.

 

Kartoffelknödeln (Potato Dumplings)

Makes 2 dozen

Ingredients

  • 8 medium potatoes
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • Flour

Directions

Peel the potatoes.  Place them into a large pot and fill the pot with enough water to cover them.

Bring the water to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer until the potatoes are soft (about 20–30 minutes).  Drain the potatoes well in a colander, place them in a bowl, and mash them, using a hand mixer or potato masher.   Add the egg yolks, cornstarch, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper.

Rinse out the pot and refill it with water and heat to boiling.  While the water is heating, shape the potato mixture into golf-ball sized dumplings.  Roll the dumplings in flour and drop immediately into boiling water for 15 to 20 minutes.  Serve with butter and salt.

-Damien – The Traveling Foody

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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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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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