Passport to a Savory Staycation
From jam-packed sightseeing schedules to spontaneous adventures, who doesn’t love vacations for creating memories and trying new experiences? On the flip side, there can be just as much fun or R&R when you stay home. Plus, you can save a few bucks and escape the inevitable stress of travel.
If far-flung locales didn’t make it into your itinerary this summer, we’ve got an exciting and easy DIY project to help you get your passport stamped anyway—try a culinary adventure around the globe. Ready to go?
Start by making a recipe passport. Borrow a little inspiration from blogger Crystal Nguyen at DIY Envy, but then change things up and create your “food passport” for different countries instead of restaurants. You can print simple templates and fill them in with recipes you want to try. We’ll help you get cooking with a handful of delicious destinations. Bon voyage! Or should we say bon appetit?
FIND YOURSELF IN FRANCE
You may have seen the movie Ratatouille once or twice by now, but have you tried whipping up your own version of this classic French dish? If the answer is no, summer’s the time to do it—when the markets are overflowing with all the ingredients you need to bring this magical dinner to life. Deb Perelman from Smitten Kitchen walks you through her colorful version of ratatouille that bakes in the oven.
POP OVER TO PORTUGAL
Here’s a tasty concoction you’re likely to find on the menu in the south-central region of Portugal known as Alentejo. Award-winning culinary writer David Leite at Leite’s Culinaria shares helpful tips and substitutions for preparing the popular Portuguese Gratin of Shrimp and Spinach in your own kitchen.
GRAVITATE TO GREECE
Just when you think a classic dish like chicken soup can’t get any better…life hands you lemons. And you make Avgolemono. If you haven’t tried this Greek version of chicken soup (with a twist), everything you know about comfort food is about to change. We turned to Food Network Chef Cat Cora for an extraordinary recipe that will have you begging for seconds.
TRAVEL TO TURKEY
When Paleo food blogger Badier Velji traveled to Turkey in 2000, he tasted something he says he’ll never forget—a kofte kabob. He spent the next 10 years trying to re-create the flavors and spices before posting this surprisingly simple recipe for Easy Peezy Turkish Kabobs on his website The Lazy Caveman. No lamb? No problem—his tasty version calls for ground beef.
Kuzhambu is a type of stew seasoned with fried curry leaves and other spices. In this creamy version from Veg Inspirations, food blogger Usha prepares the South Indian dish with a touch of ripe mangoes, just in time for summer.
Layla Pujol may live in Seattle, but her roots are in Ecuador. Although her style of cooking ventures beyond many borders, her blog Laylita includes a list of close-to-her-heart Ecuadorian specialties worth a go. We love her Seco de Pollo, a chicken stew cooked slowly in a beer sauce with onions, garlic, peppers and spices. Are we there yet?
JUMP INTO JAMAICA
Ready for some island flavor? This kicked-back meal gets kicked-up taste with a blend of eight different spices—all of which you probably have on hand. Food editor and blogger Jenna Weber from Eat Live Run lent her incredible Jamaican Jerk Chicken recipe to PBS’ Fresh Tastes food blog. Come and get it, mon!
STILL HAVE PAGES TO FILL?
We have lots of delicious recipes in our own World Kitchen collection that’ll help you bring the world at large into your home, like Greek Yogurt and Strawberry French Toast and Fiesta Guacamole Salsa. Check back often for more international flavor inspiration, and while you’re at it, take a visual stroll through the Corelle dinnerware sets. Our Winter Frost White collection sets off any dish you’re cooking up, but there are also lots of contemporary designs that’ll add style points to whichever country’s cuisine you’re visiting tonight.
YOUR TURN: What foods immediately take you back to a favorite travel memory?