The Seasoned Traveler

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


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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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Leek & Ricotta Strata

StrataTST2 A rustic breakfast dish or side, this strata can feed a crowd with minimal effort on the cook’s part. And it’s tasty! I’ve used some light spring flavors of leeks, creamy ricotta, fresh thyme & chives, but you could use whatever veggie-cheese-herb combination appeals to you. Leftover Easter ham would be a great addition too! Happy Easter to all celebrating, and happy Fiesta Friday — come check out this week’s party!

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Spring Herb, Asparagus & Emmentaler Omelette

omeletteTSTTrue story: After living in Bosnia for a few months, I once complained to friends how unappetizing I found the eggs there. “They smell like hay, and what’s up with that dark orange yolk?” I said. One friend, who had grown up on a farm in the U.S., started laughing. And then she laughed some more. And when she was able to breathe again, she gave me a little pat on the arm and said, “Laura. They have that smell because the hens are grass-fed. That’s a good thing. And the orange yolk means they’re fresh.”

Ah-ha! Well, I certainly felt dumb. I guess I had grown used to sanitized and odorless industrial eggs with pale yellow yolks. Sure enough, after a couple years in Bosnia, I came to love those farm-fresh eggs, as well as all the other abundant fresh produce there. My lesson: Sometimes it’s good to question your instincts.

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Steamed White Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce, Chervil & Ham

AsparagusTSTIt’s a little early for asparagus here in Germany, though buds are blossoming and fair-weather birds have returned, but we’re getting imported white asparagus from Greece with purple hues at their tips. Once steamed, the fat white spears turn buttery soft and sweet and go so nicely with a heaping of rich and lemony hollandaise sauce (made super easy with an immersion blender), a sprinkling of herbs (I used chervil here, but chives work well too) and coils of sliced ham. A plateful of flavors to usher in a glorious asparagus season!

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