The Seasoned Traveler

Recipes and remedies using herbs, spices, and other natural ingredients from the world's pantry


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Easy, Beautiful, Tasty Summer Eating!

Photo by Mark Weinberg at Food52

Photo by Mark Weinberg at Food52

Psyched to see that Food52 chose my Mahi Mahi and Avocado Tacos with Mango-Cilantro Salsa recipe as a Community Pick! Check out the recipe and beautiful photo by Mark Weinberg, plus a Food52 review, here. Cheers to summer feasting!

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Pork & Scallop Shumai (Open-Faced Dumplings)

ShumaiSquare3TSTEarlier this year, when I made Gingery Pork & Chive Pot Stickers, I declared 2014 The Year of the Dumpling. As a second foray into making these bite-sized morsels, I tackled another favorite of mine, shumai (in Japanese) or shãomài (in Chinese). I roughly followed Andrea Nguyen’s lovely recipe for pork-based dumplings (from her exquisite Asian Dumplings cookbook) except combined the pork with scallop to create more of a Yokohama-style shumai that I loved from my time in Japan (true Yokohama style also uses shrimp in the mix). Continue reading


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Shrimp Pad Thai

PadThaiTST There’s so much to love about Thailand’s most famous noodle dish — the variety of fresh ingredients, the ribbons of rice noodles, and the flavorful sauce just to name a few. This version of pad thai gets a mouth-watering tangy-sweet deliciousness from tamarind paste and lime, and lots of vibrant freshness from cilantro and mint. You could easily saute some chicken if you prefer, but I’ve used little sweet shrimp here. Some lightly scrambled egg, chopped peanuts, scallions and chives round out the balance of flavors and textures. With all the protein and fresh ingredients in this, you can enjoy a bowlful or two guilt-free.

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Korean BBQ Short Ribs

KoreanBBQTST2I am eternally grateful to two former college roommates who introduced me to the best of Korean food. There’s nothing like the sweet-salty marinade of kalbi (or galbi), Korean BBQ short ribs. These are great on the grill, but this time I tried baking & broiling them and they were just as delicious. You can serve them up with white sticky rice and a sprinkling of green onions, or tucked inside lettuce wraps. Enjoy! Continue reading


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Chinese-Style Chicken Lettuce Wraps

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To me, the ideal summer meal comes together relatively quickly without turning on the oven. These chicken lettuce wraps are just that; the most labor-intensive part is in chopping all the fresh produce, and then it cooks up in less than 15 minutes on the stovetop. It’s a wonderful family dinner or summer party finger food. I love the vibrant colors and flavors here, especially the kick of ginger and sweet hoisin sauce and the subtle notes of orange. Some lightly sautéed bell pepper and crushed peanuts give it some lovely crunch. I use romaine lettuce as I think it stands up better than traditional iceberg to hold all that delicious filling inside and to me has more flavor. Make these fresh & vibrant chicken lettuce wraps and you won’t ever crave the Chinese restaurant ones again! Continue reading


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Salt-Roasted Whole Fish Encore: Dorade Royale

DoradeTSTAfter salt-roasting our first whole fish the other week and enjoying the resulting flavorful and tender branzino, we decided to try another fish this way, this time dorade royale. It’s another Mediterranean fish that’s delicate and goes wonderfully with lemon and herb seasonings. Dorade is slightly rounder and shorter than branzino: Continue reading


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Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos with Avocado, Mango Salsa & Sambal-Lime Mayo

FishTacosTST2Our family doesn’t have a regular taco night, but we’re thinking of starting one after having these. Just look at all those colors and textures on the plate — the slightly spicy and zesty mayo drizzled over pan-seared mahi mahi, a bright mango-cilantro salsa, some crisp red onion and raddichio and soft slices of avocado. Playful, flavorful and healthful, these make a great quick meal for a summer evening with family.

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Salt-Roasted Whole Fish with Lemon & Herbs

SaltFishTSTI first tasted branzino, a fish from the Mediterranean, while in Croatia on the Dalmatian coast. Delicate, flavorful and mild, it is one of my favorites. I’ve seen branzino even in U.S. grocery stores; it is sometimes labeled simply as “sea bass,” but if it is from the Mediterranean and small and slender in shape, it is likely branzino. You might also find it under the French name loup de mer or the German wolfsbarsch. We don’t have a huge variety of fresh fish here in Berlin, so when I saw these branzino, I knew what we were having for dinner!

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Meatball Sliders with Basil Marinara

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Just a little something for the weekend — these meatball sliders can be prepared ahead of time on the stovetop and could feed a crowd while you fire up the grill and get sides and salads ready. The meatballs are super soft and moist on the inside so they’re easy to scrunch down in a sandwich roll. I like them smothered in marinara sauce and garnished with mozzarella and extra fresh basil leaves.  I hope the crowd at Fiesta Friday enjoys them. Happy weekend, everyone!

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