Travel Europe Without Leaving Your Kitchen
The Covid-19 outbreak has even the most adventurous travelers momentarily grounded. Luckily, it’s 100% possible to expand your horizons without ever leaving the comfort of your own home.
One of the most exciting and fulfilling parts of traveling to foreign places is experiencing that culture’s unique gastronomic delights. We compiled our favorite European recipes so you can have a culinary adventure from the comfort of your own kitchen. After finding their country of origin on your Newverest Scratch Off Map, place a grocery order and start cooking up some of these incredible, authentic recipes.
It’s not the same as exploring the globe — but it just might be the next best thing.
Rome, Italy — Bucatini all'Amatriciana
Rome is one of Europe’s most captivating cities. Perhaps the only thing more incredible than the historic architecture and breathtaking scenery is the amazing Italian food. If you think you know real Italian food, think again — there’s so much more to eat in Rome than just your average pizza.
To make it feel like you’re dining in a charming, candlelit Italian restaurant, uncork some red wine and serve up some Bucatini all'Amatriciana. This dish is named after the small town of Amatrice — which is located about an hour northeast of Rome — and combines together authentic flavors from the region. The simple red sauce pairs perfectly with Bucatini, a long and hollow pasta that is popular in Rome.
Authentic Bucatini all'Amatriciana
- Heat 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add 4 oz. thinly sliced guanciale, pancetta, or chopped unsmoked bacon and sauté until crisp and golden, about 4 minutes. Add 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes and 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper; stir for 10 seconds. Add 3/4 cup minced onion and 2 cloves minced garlic; cook, stirring often, until soft, about 8 minutes. Add 1 28-oz. can peeled crushed tomatoes with juices, reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with salt; add 12 oz. dried bucatini and cook, stirring occasionally, until 2 minutes before al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta cooking water.
- Add drained pasta to sauce in a skillet and toss vigorously with tongs to coat. Add 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water and cook until sauce coats pasta and pasta is al dente, about 2 minutes. (Add a little pasta water if the sauce is too dry.) Stir in 1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino and transfer pasta to warmed bowls.
Berlin, Germany — Schnitzel
Berlin is a dynamic, multifaceted city that should definitely be on any traveler’s bucket list. The capital of Germany, Berlin is filled with plenty of historic landmarks and notable sights. Spend some time there, and you’ll also notice that it’s a city filled with a unique culture and an ultra-cool sense of style. Modern but big on history, it truly combines the best of both worlds.
It’s impossible to think of German food without thinking “Schnitzel.” This hearty fried dish is a true staple in the country. Don’t get it confused with “Wienerschnitzel,” which is made exclusively using veal cutlets. Regular Schnitzel uses pork instead. If you want to pair it with authentic side dishes, serve it alongside Spätzle, fried potatoes, or a leafy salad.
Authentic German Schnitzel
- Place 4 boneless pork chops between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound them until just 1/4 inch thick with the flat side of a meat tenderizer. Lightly season both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Combine 1/2 cup all-purpose flour with 1 teaspoon salt. Place the flour mixture, 2 large eggs (lightly beaten), and ¾ plain breadcrumbs in 3 separate shallow bowls. Dip the chops in the flour, the egg, and the breadcrumbs, coating both sides and all edges at each stage. Be careful not to press the breadcrumbs into the meat. Gently shake off the excess crumbs. Don't let the schnitzel sit in the coating or they will not be as crispy once fried — fry immediately.
- Make sure the cooking oil is hot enough at this point (about 330 degrees F) as you don't want the Schnitzel to sit around in the coating before frying. Use enough oil so that the Schnitzels "swim" in it.
- Fry the Schnitzel for about 2-3 minutes on both sides until a deep golden brown. Transfer briefly to a plate lined with paper towels.
- Serve immediately with slices of fresh lemon and parsley sprigs or with your choice of sauce.
Paris, France — Ham & Cheese Croissant
Paris is one of Europe’s most romantic cities. From strolling the Seine to taking photos in front of the iconic Eiffel Tower, every day spent in Paris is a dream come true. If you’ve never been to the City of Lights, it’s the perfect place to stretch your legs after quarantine has ended. Until then, why not transform your dining room into a charming Parisian bistro?
French food is notoriously heavy and decadent. Plus, it can be incredibly difficult to cook. For something a little simpler, why not make a light, effortless, and delicious French lunch instead. A Croque Monsieur Croissant is an easy way to introduce French flavors into your kitchen in an accessible way. Add some other light sides like fresh fruit and you’ll be all set.
Authentic Croque Monsieur Croissant
- Cut the 3 croissants through the middle so you have a top and a bottom. Pre-heat the broiler/grill. If you'd like to crisp up the croissants a bit, place them outside first under the broiler/grill for a couple of minutes, then turn and toast the inside, keeping a close eye on them as they can easily burn.
- Spread a thin layer of Dijon mustard on the inside of the bottom of the croissants and lay 3 slices cooked ham top — you may need to cut the ham to get it to fit a little better. Cover the ham with 1/2 cup Gruyere cheese, grated so you have a good layer but it's not falling off.
- Toast the bottom half of the croissant (with the ham and cheese on) so the cheese melts. When the cheese has melted, put the top of the croissants back on to create a sandwich. Top with Bechamel Sauce and a sprinkling of chives.
London, England — Fish and Chips
London is full of iconic locations. From Buckingham Palace to Big Ben to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, there’s something inherently classy about this historic city. Don’t let rumors about its “dreary” atmosphere fool you — London on a warm, sunny day is one of the best places to spend an afternoon.
A city that is steeped in tradition, no visit is complete without consuming at least one serving of Fish and Chips. No matter if its served up in a pub with a pint or eaten out of a Styrofoam container after a night out, there’s nothing quite as “British” as this classic meal. To bring this same comfortable sense of charm to your own home, try your hand at frying up some fish and chips in the comfort of your own kitchen.
Authentic Fish And Chips
- Heat oil in a deep fryer or a large heavy pan or Dutch oven until the temperature reaches over high heat until it reaches 325 degrees F.
- Peel and thickly slice 4 large Russet potatoes — place the slices into a large bowl of cold water until ready to fry. When ready, thoroughly drain the sliced potatoes and blot them with paper towels to remove excess water. Once the oil is 325 F, carefully fry the potatoes in small batches to avoid overcrowding and fry for 2-3 minutes until pale and softened. Use a slotted spoon to remove them from the oil and let them cool to room temperature.
- Increase the temperature to 375 degrees F. Carefully add the fries again, frying in small batches, until they are golden brown and crispy, another 2-3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, place them on a baking sheet or roasting rack, sprinkle with salt while they're still very hot, and place them in the warmed oven while you're frying the fish.
- For the Fish: Combine 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp, and salt in a large flat bowl. Pour in 1 1/4 cups cold light beer and whisk until smooth (use the batter immediately, do not let it rest for a while). In another large flat bowl add some extra flour for dredging.
- Cut 1 1/2 pounds fresh cod, haddock, or other firm-fleshed white fish into four pieces. Blot the fish with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Thoroughly dredge all sides of the fish in the flour and shake off the excess.
- Dip the fish into the beer batter to thoroughly coat all sides, allowing some of the excess batter to drip off (but not too much!)
- To fry the fish, you can either use a deep fryer or a medium-sized skillet and fill it with oil to a depth of about an inch.
- Heat the oil to between 350 F and 375 F, using a candy thermometer. Carefully drop the fish into the oil.
- Fry the fish in the deep fryer for 5-8 minutes or until nicely golden. If using a frying pan fry the fish for about 2 minutes on each side or until nicely golden. Remove the fish with a slotted spoon, letting the oil drop off, then place the fried fish on paper towels for a few seconds. Serve immediately with tartar sauce and British malt vinegar.
Barcelona, Spain — Paella
Winding cobblestone roads and Catalan architecture are just a few of the things you’ll discover when you travel to Barcelona. Old fashioned, elegant, and mysterious all at once, there’s something about this Spanish city that is incredibly restorative.
Life moves at a bit of a slower pace in Spain. A country known for taking daily “siestas” very seriously, dining at an authentic Spanish restaurant is a leisurely experience that is designed to last for hours. If you need to incorporate some of this laidback attitude into your lifestyle, cooking up some fresh Paella is the perfect place to start. Whatever you do — don’t rush through this dinner. Take your time and remember that when it comes to dining (and life) sometimes the journey is far more important than the destination.
Traditional Spanish Paella
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat in a large-sized non-stick pan or well-seasoned skillet. Fry 1 large chopped onion, 6 cloves of finely chopped garlic, and 1 small diced red bell pepper together; cook until onion is transparent, about 3 minutes.
- Cut 4 large boneless skinless chicken thigh fillets into bite-sized pieces. Sauté chicken until golden on all sides. Add in 4 large chopped tomatoes, salt, and pepper to taste. Cook for 5 minutes until they release liquid and the tomatoes begin to create a sauce.
- Add 1/2 cup dry white wine, 10-12 cleaned mussels, and 8 ounces calamari rings. Allow to cook for a further 5 minutes; allow the wine to evaporate to half the quantity, then pour in the 3 3/4 cups low sodium chicken broth, 2 cups medium-grain rice, 1/2 cup frozen peas, and 1 tsp saffron powder. Mix all ingredients until well combined.
- Bring to a boil; reduce the heat and cover to allow MOST of the liquid to absorb into the rice while stirring occasionally to prevent the rice from sticking and burning to the pan underneath. (Cook until the rice is ALMOST cooked through.)
- Add in 21 ounces of prawns, mixing them through the rice, and cover again to allow the prawns and rice to cook completely.
- Once cooked, sprinkle with 2 tsp fresh chopped parsley. Place red pepper strips over the top of the paella for the enhanced flavor to serve. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil before serving.
You don’t have to be an expert in the kitchen to try out new foods from around the world. It’s a great way to broaden your horizons and break up the boredom that may come along with being safer-at-home. After whipping up some of these famous global delicacies, plan your next big adventure using a Newverest Scratch Off Map so that you can try out the real thing as soon as possible.