The Seasoned Traveler

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


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Boeuf Bourguignon, Tuscan Villa Style

IMG_6889I love the classic French Boeuf Bourguignon that Julia Child made famous in America, but with the six hours of prep/cooking time and the expensive bottle of wine it requires, it’s not exactly practical or budget-friendly for this home cook. My version here takes some shortcuts to get this flavorful, hearty, and elegant stew on the table in well under three hours, and I’ve also taken the liberty of substituting a smooth, dry Italian Tuscan wine (sacré bleu!) for the traditional (heavier) French Burgundy. It’s what I love to drink with a fancy dinner anyway, and there are plenty of great bottles for $15 or less. My favorite budget Tuscan is Nobile di Montepulciano, and it works beautifully here to create a stew fit for Tuscan nobles in their wintry villas. Buon Appetito!

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Seared Duck Breasts with Cherry & Red Wine Sauce

IMG_6545I’m not sure I can convey how phenomenal this dish is. Consider this: We’ve made it about 20 times since discovering the recipe on Williams-Sonoma’s site a few years ago. It was our Christmas dinner last year AND our New Year’s feast. And yes, we are having it again this Christmas!

Oh, we are having it again this Christmas and I cannot wait. Probably New Year’s too, let’s just get it out there now.

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Pork Tenderloin with Coriander-Spiced Prunes

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Coriander is the kind of spice that usually plays a supporting role in curries, other sauces and spice rubs. Here it’s the star seasoning. This sweet, nutty seed complements pork, red wine and prunes so it’s perfect as the star ingredient in seasoning pork tenderloin and infusing a red wine and prune reduction sauce. I love this dish in winter; I find it so soothing and simple, but it’s elegant enough to be the main course of a festive feast for the holidays. Continue reading