0 comments on “Food of the Gods: Greek Ingredients
 

Food of the Gods: Greek Ingredients
 

By Restaurant Manager Georgios Korakianitis

With influences from Turkey to Italy, Greece has a vast and unique culinary landscape that has captivated a global audience. In Greece, bread, olives and olive oil are the pillars of the Greek table wherever you travel, from an upscale restaurant in Athens to a farmhouse on Crete. You’ll have a hard time finding a family gathered around a table without this trio, not to mention a
fresh bottle of wine.

 

What many travelers do not realize is that Greek cuisine not only features many typical Middle
Eastern foods, but is also strongly influenced by Rome, tracing back to when the Romans
conquered Greece in the 2nd century. So you’ll see plenty of pasta and sauces alongside yogurt, rice
and rich sweets made from nuts, honey and sesame seeds. Arab influences have also left their mark on the southern region of Greece, which means you’ll see spices such as cumin, cinnamon, allspice and cloves in the dishes. Greek coffee, of course, traces its roots to Turkey, while potatoes
and tomatoes were brought from the New World after European explorers landed in the Americas.

In Greece using local ingredients isn’t a trend, it’s simply how we cook – using what is in season
and what is available in our region. Every Greek meal is fresh and inviting, but it also takes you on a journey through Greece’s history and thousands of years of growing, cooking and eating. As you
will discover once you sit down to eat in Greece, no meal is ever “just a meal” – our celebration of life and dining is one in the same. So I invite you to discover more about just a few of the many Greek ingredients featured on board that capture the essence of our joyful and timeless cuisine.

 

Feta Cheese
The national cheese of Greece, feta, can only be produced in Greece – and only in specific regions such as the Peloponnese, Lesvos and mainland Greece – due to its Protected Designation of Origin. By law, feta is produced from either 100% sheep’s milk or a combination of sheep’s and goat’s milk. It’s the crowning centerpiece on any Greek salad and is a key ingredient in traditional dishes such as spanakopita and feta saganaki – a delicious filo-wrapped feta drenched in honey and coated in sesame.

Caper Leaves
Very difficult to find outside of Greece, caper leaves are typically pickled or boiled and then preserved in jars with brine, similar to caper berries. In fact, when our ships leave Greece, we purchase enough caper leaves to last until the ship is planning to return. Our chefs like to use them
in fish dishes and salads, such as the heirloom tomato salad.

Capers
A bold and briny ingredient, capers are picked, cured and sorted according to size. Harvesting
capers is an arduous process since they can only be picked by hand every spring. They are ideal
for garnishing and add a punch of flavor to sauces, salads, pasta dishes, fish and lamb. We
use them most often on board in our featured Greek fish at the Chef ’s Greek Market Dinner, as well as in a variety of pasta dishes and salads.

 

Kalamata Olives
This king of Greek table olives is favored around the world. The almond-shaped, deep purple
olive is noted for its rich tangy flavor that is often smoky or has hints of wine. Kalamata olives are typically left on the tree to mature a bit longer and are only harvested once their color begins to turn dark. They are usually stored in olive oil or vinegar, and are typical in Greek salads and make a great tapenade.

Filo Dough
Filo dough is an unleavened tissue-thin dough that is stretched or rolled so thin you can see through it. This type of dough is very versatile since it can be layered, filled, folded, rolled and even turned into cups, flowers or spirals. On board, we use filo in various Greek recipes such as baklava and spanakopita, as well as dishes like strudel, pastilla and tartlets. Filo-based pastries are made by layering many sheets of filo brushed with olive oil or butter, filling them and then baking.

Come live the Greek life with us in the Mediterranean this summer!

0 comments on “Recipe: Caribbean Macadamia-Crusted Fish with Banana Chutney”

Recipe: Caribbean Macadamia-Crusted Fish with Banana Chutney

By Executive Chef & Director of Culinary Enrichment Kathryn Kelly

There is something magical about the turquoise waters of the tropics and the luscious, abundant ingredients that suggest casual, soulful food. That’s the inspiration behind our culinary classes during the Caribbean season. The tropical fish, herbs, fruits, and spices in the Caribbean are the perfect combination to create seasonal, sustainable farm-to-table cuisine. And there’s nothing like the fresh, distinct and complex cuisine of the tropics for summer gatherings and balmy evenings on the patio. I hope you enjoy this deliciously aromatic Caribbean-style fish!

SERVES 4

CHUTNEY
2 ripe bananas
½ cup sultana raisins, plumped in 1 tablespoon hot water
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Pinch of allspice

SAUCE
1 cup heavy coconut cream
1 to 2 teaspoons red curry paste

FISH
2 cups pulverized macadamia nuts
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 cup rice flour
2 egg whites, beaten
4 (6-ounce) fish fillets (such as snapper, grouper, cod or halibut), room temperature
Clarified butter or peanut oil, for frying

MAKE THE CHUTNEY
In a medium bowl, mash the bananas until smooth. Stir in the raisins, lime juice and allspice. Cover and reserve.

PREPARE THE SAUCE
In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the coconut cream and red curry paste, adjusting the curry to taste. Warm through and then remove from the heat.

PAN FRY THE FISH
Prepare a sheet pan with an elevated wire rack. In a small bowl, combine the macadamia nuts, breadcrumbs and coconut flakes and mix well. Set up a breading station with 3 shallow bowls – one each for the flour, egg and nut mix. Pat the fish fillets dry and dip each in flour, then egg and then nut mix, fully coating them. Place on the prepared pan and let rest for 10 to 30 minutes.

In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add enough butter or oil to reach half the height of the fish. Heat the fat until a breadcrumb sizzles when added to the pan. Using tongs, carefully place each fillet in the pan and cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides. Transfer onto paper towels to drain.

TO SERVE
Divide the chutney between 4 plates. Top each with a fish fillet and serve the red curry sauce on the side.

0 comments on “Our Favorite Tea Pairings & Tasting Notes
 

Our Favorite Tea Pairings & Tasting Notes
 

 

It’s easy to miss our serene and elaborate afternoon tea once you disembark. Why not recreate your own version at home? These four perfect pairings from our Senior Culinary Director, Bernhard Klotz, are the ideal inspiration. Put on a kettle, turn on some melodious Schubert and enjoy!

Twinings Tea Pairings

ENGLISH AFTERNOON
TASTING NOTES
Combination of Keemun and Ceylon teas; light- to medium-bodied, slightly sweet, crisp and refreshing

PAIRING SUGGESTIONS
Cream scone or a rich cake

EARL GREY
TASTING NOTES
Perfectly balanced with the distinctive flavor of bergamot, a citrus fruit

PAIRING SUGGESTION
Citrus tartlet

PEPPERMINT
TASTING NOTES
Invigorating with an uplifting aroma and fresh mint taste

PAIRING SUGGESTION
Chocolate tartlet

GREEN TEA
TASTING NOTES
Healthful and revitalizing with fresh flavor and enticing aroma

PAIRING SUGGESTIONS
Salmon, shrimp or crab sandwich

How do you do tea time? Tell us below or in the comments on Facebook!

0 comments on “6 Culinary Experiences Not to Miss in Alaska
 

6 Culinary Experiences Not to Miss in Alaska
 

Mt. McKinley, Alaska

 

Alaska is known for its beautiful landscapes, fascinating culture and thrilling adventures. But one lesser-known aspect of Alaska is its scrumptious seafood and local fare that culinary travelers will love. Although there are many options near our ports, Oceania Cruises also offers unique excursions that invite you to experience Alaska’s fresh and rich cuisine.
Here are six culinary experiences you shouldn’t miss while you’re enjoying The Last Frontier:

1. Baranof Island Brewing Company | Sitka
After adventures at the Sitka National Historical Park and Sitka Sound Science Center, our “Taste of Sitka” excursion brings you to Baranof Island Brewing Company, a local microbrewery specializing in handcrafted brews. As part of the excursion, you will enjoy a microbrew and wild Alaskan salmon. Visiting Baranof Island Brewing Company is perfect for beer aficionados and those interested in discovering more about the beer-making process.

2. George Inlet Lodge | Ketchikan
While visiting Ketchikan, the George Inlet Lodge is a must. A testament to how much we love this culinary experience, the George Inlet Lodge is featured in two of our shore excursions: “Cruise George Inlet And Crab Feast” and “Mountain Peak Flightseeing & Crab Feast.” This local Alaskan lodge is known for its rustic charm and Alaskan hospitality. On each excursion, you’ll have the chance to enjoy Alaska’s prized Dungeness crab, along with other Alaskan delicacies.

3. A Traditional Salmon Bake | Juneau
If you’re craving Alaska’s famous salmon, then the “Gold Creek Salmon Bake” is perfect for you. This excursion as well as our “Historic Gold Mine, Panning & Salmon Bake” excursion transport you to beautiful Salmon Creek, where you’ll enjoy a nearby waterfall while savoring freshly-caught Alaskan salmon, Gold Rush potatoes, traditional cornbread, fragrant blueberry cake and more.

4. Best-Kept Culinary Secret | Skagway
Known for its fishing, Skagway is the perfect locale to sample Alaskan seafood. Burro Creek Lodge is a private rustic resort that’s accessible only by canal on an enclosed custom-built boat or by air, so it’s long been a local secret. On our “Burro Creek Waterfall Lodge & Crab Feast” excursion, you’ll experience a meal to remember. Savor fresh Dungeness crab and shrimp boil, along with andouille sausage, corn on the cob and red potatoes all accompanied by beer or wine. And save room for dessert!

5. Alaskan Cooking Class | Icy Strait Point
If you’re missing the kitchen, then join our “Wild Alaska Culinary Experience” excursion. During this excursion, you’ll have the opportunity to learn from local Alaskan chefs and cook your own Alaskan seafood. This one-of-a-kind cooking class invites you to experience Alaska like a local and expand your recipe repertoire.

6. Locals’ Favorite Hangout | Haines
A three-minute walk from the port, Big Al’s Salmon Shack is a modest eatery that serves some of the best salmon and fish & chips in the area. This to-go joint is loved by locals and tourists alike and is the perfect stop after an excursion for sampling food that both tourists and locals love.

Join us in Alaska this summer to experience a delicious, new side of one of our favorite corners of the world.

0 comments on “Recipe: Tom Kha Gai (Thai Chicken Coconut Soup)
 

Recipe: Tom Kha Gai (Thai Chicken Coconut Soup)
 

Tom Kha Gai Soup

This quintessential Thai chicken coconut soup is a deliciously aromatic accompaniment to any meal with an Asian flair or a complete meal on its own. This soup is served in Red Ginger, our Asian restaurant on board, and you can learn this recipe and other Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese favorites from this restaurant during our “Most Requested Red Ginger” class at The Culinary Center on Marina and Riviera.

According to Chef Kathryn Kelly, Executive Chef & Director of Culinary Enrichment, Thai cuisine is best characterized as complex, balanced, fresh and spicy – and this classic chicken and coconut soup brings that description to life with fresh lemongrass, lime juice, coconut milk, Thai chilies and galangal – which is also known as Thai ginger and is in the ginger family, but the flavor is markedly more citrusy and earthy.

Tom Khai Gai Soup

Thai Chicken Coconut Soup (Tom Kha Gai)

Serves 6

16 cups low-sodium chicken stock
3 stalks lemongrass, mashed
1 cup coarsely chopped galangal
8 kaffir lime leaves
2 Thai chilies
6 boneless chicken breasts
1 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon fish sauce
2 cups straw mushroom pieces
18 cherry tomatoes, halved
Juice of 3 to 5 limes
18 cilantro leaves

In a large stockpot over medium heat, combine the chicken stock, lemongrass, galangal, lime leaves and chilies and simmer until the stock reduces by half, about 1½ to 2 hours. Decrease the heat to low, add the chicken and poach to an internal temperature of 165°F/74°C. Remove the chicken, let cool and shred. Strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth.

Return the stock to the stockpot over medium heat, reheat the stock and add the coconut milk and fish sauce. Divide the shredded chicken, mushroom pieces and cherry tomatoes among 6 bowls. Just before serving, stir the lime juice into the stock, adjusting the amount to taste. Divide the stock among the bowls, garnish each with cilantro leaves and enjoy!