staying home Cook and Cocktail Your Way Around the World from Home

Cook and Cocktail Your Way Around the World from Home

Sail off to the Peruvian Amazon with Aqua Expeditions’ ceviche.
Sail off to the Peruvian Amazon with Aqua Expeditions’ ceviche.
From ceviche and sweet potato biscuits to an English ginger cake and cocktail, here’s what we’re whipping up this week – because we can’t all be sourdough masters.

Raise a fork if weeks of lunch and dinner at home is wearing your go-to recipes a little thin. Recently, the Virtuoso Life editorial team got to talking about the great meals we’ve learned to make around the world – handmade pasta in Tuscany, French pastries at a weeklong workshop outside Bordeaux, pintxos in the Basque Country. Some are deliciously straightforward: Managing editor Marika Cain regularly pulls out the original printout for pad prik king that she picked up at the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok 15 years ago. Others are tasty, if a bit technical – senior editor Joel Centano learned to make tum bebek (spiced minced duck wrapped in banana leaves) in Bali, but he’ll likely leave that one to The Ritz-Carlton pros. To help spice up things up at home these days, we’ve rounded up seven home-kitchen-friendly recipes from some of our favorite hotels and destinations, plus something special for your best friend. Kick it off with a cocktail, then get cooking – and don’t forget to share with us on Instagram with #VirtuosoTravel.

Classy classic: A bit of hanky-panky at The Savoy.
Classy classic: A bit of hanky-panky at The Savoy.

The Hanky Panky

Bar manager Ada Coleman created this twist on a martini at The Savoy’s American Bar in the 1920s, where it’s been a classic ever since. Tip: If you don’t regularly drink Fernet Branca, most liquor stores stock airplane bottles; one is enough for ten cocktails.
• 1 ½ oz. gin
• 1 ½ oz. sweet vermouth
• 1 bar spoon (or teaspoon) Fernet Branca
• Orange rind for garnish
Stir ingredients well in a mixing glass with ice and strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with an orange twist.
Zesty spa cuisine from Sanctuary Camelback Mountain.
Zesty spa cuisine from Sanctuary Camelback Mountain.

Cucumber, Zucchini, and Hearts of Palm Salad

This healthy salad from Scottsdale’s Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa comes together quickly and gets better with a nap in the fridge.
• 1 cucumber, peeled and diced
• 1 ripe heirloom tomato, diced
• 1 medium green zucchini, peeled and diced
• 4 oz. small ends of hearts of palm (fresh, canned, or jarred), sliced into rings
• 1 yellow onion, sliced thin
• 4 stems parsley, chopped
• 1 tsp. ground cumin
• 2 Tbsp. paprika
• 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
• 2 Tbsp. yuzu juice (substitute any citrus juice)
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate overnight before eating.

Valentino Parmissano prepares for a cooking class at Palazzo Seneca.
Valentino Parmissano prepares for a cooking class at Palazzo Seneca.

Italian Meatballs and Sauce

Chef Valentino Parmissano of Palazzo Seneca’s Michelin-starred Ristorante Vespasia shares a comfort-food classic that will deliver you straight to Umbria. Need a visual? Join him in his home kitchen for a step by step video.
• 3 ½ oz. ground pork
• 3 oz. ground beef
• 1 garlic clove, blanched and minced
• ¼ red onion, finely chopped 
• 1 slice bread, dunked in water and squeezed
• 1 egg
• 2 Tbsp. grated Parmigiano Reggiano 
• 1 can chopped tomatoes (15.5 oz.)
• 1 can tomato purée (15.5 oz.)
• extra virgin olive oil

In a small saucepan, sauté onions in two tablespoons of olive oil until soft. While the onions cook, combine bread, garlic, beef and pork, and two pinches of salt and mix lightly. Add egg and cheese and mix just until combined. Roll into ten golf-ball-size meatballs.
Add chopped tomatoes and puree to onions and bring to a simmer. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a medium skillet and brown meatballs over medium-high heat, then and simmer, uncovered until the sauce thickens. Portion meatballs on plates and spoon sauce on top.

This Spanish staple is one of the quickest soups you can make.
This Spanish staple is one of the quickest soups you can make.
Photo by Getty Images

Gazpacho with Tomato-Cucumber Relish

Chilled soup season is right around the corner. This gazpacho from Waldorf Astoria’s La Quinta Resort & Club near Palm Springs is a vitamin-packed salute to Andalusia that’s perfect for backyard and balcony picnics.
• 12 Roma tomatoes (or 1 ½ pounds best available)
• 1 red bell pepper
• 2 garlic cloves
• 1 green jalapeño pepper
• 1 cucumber
• ¼ red onion
• ½ cup tomato juice
• ¼ cup sherry vinegar
• ¼ cup olive oil
Quarter, core, and seed the tomatoes, peppers, and cucumber and roughly chop before placing into a blender. Chop onion and garlic and add to blender. Add tomato juice, sherry vinegar, and olive oil, and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill until cold. 

Tomato-Cucumber Relish

• 3 Roma tomatoes
• 1 cucumber
• 2 tsp. sherry vinegar
• 1 Tbsp. olive oil
Quarter, core, and seed the tomatoes and cucumber and cut into a small dice. Stir in vinegar and olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon on top of gazpacho for garnish.

Pedro Miguel Schiaffino prepares ceviche on Aqua Expeditions’ Aria. 
Pedro Miguel Schiaffino prepares ceviche on Aqua Expeditions’ Aria. 
Photo by Tanveer Badal
Peruvian Ceviche

At its heart, ceviche is a simple and straightforward dish, but there are definitely tricks to nailing it. Follow along with Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, consulting chef for Aqua Expeditions’ Amazon riverboats and owner of famed Lima restaurant Malabar, as he walks us through preparing his country’s national dish. The video starts with a Pisco sour.
• 1 ½  lbs. sushi-quality sea bass or other firm white fish
• 1 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
• 1 medium yellow or white onion
• 2 celery stalks, chopped
• 1 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and smashed
• 2-3 garlic cloves, smashed
• fresh cilantro
• fresh hot chili pepper to taste
Clean the fish, reserving scraps (no skin). Cut into ¾-quarter-inch cubes and return to refrigerator in a shallow bowl.
While the fish chills, prepare the tiger’s milk. Place fish scraps in a bowl with celery, ginger, and garlic. Add half an onion thinly sliced, pole to pole, two sprigs chopped cilantro, chopped chili pepper to taste, and two big pinches of salt. Pour in lime juice, stir, and let sit five minutes. Pulse five times in blender to break everything up (do not puree), and strain through mesh sieve, pressing down to extract juices. Discard solids.
Remove fish from refrigerator and mix with two pinches of salt. Slice remaining half onion pole to pole in quarter-inch slices. Add half of slices, four sprigs of roughly chopped cilantro, and sliced chili pepper (to taste) to fish and stir to combine. Pour tiger’s milk over mixture, stir to combine, and serve immediately. Sprinkle additional sliced onions over plate to taste.
Breeze Ocean Kitchen on Palm Beach.
Breeze Ocean Kitchen on Palm Beach.

Mango and Charred Corn Salad

Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa’s refreshing side hits the spot on sunny spring days. Hold a conch shell to your ear (or a paper towel tube in a pinch), take a bite, and picture the view of the Florida surf from the resort’s beachside Breeze Ocean Kitchen. Tip: If grilling’s not an option, slice the corn off the cob and char lightly in hot skillet, followed by the limes, sliced-side down.
• 1 mango, diced
• 2 tomatoes, seeds removed and diced 
• 4 scallions, chopped
• 4 ears corn, grilled
• 2 limes, halved and grilled
• 1 red pepper
• ¼ bunch of parsley, minced 
• hot sauce
Slice kernels off corncobs after grilling. Combine all ingredients, squeeze limes over mixture, and season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste. Serve with seafood, tacos, or over lettuce as a salad.

Set for tea in the Sun House with the ginger cake, center.
Set for tea in the Sun House with the ginger cake, center.

Ginger Cake

A delicious project for afternoon tea: Heckfield Place’s ginger cake. The warmly spiced loaves will be new addition to the scones and cakes of the Sun House’s tea service once the Hampshire, England, estate reopens.
• 2 ounces (about 3 inches) fresh ginger, peeled and cubed
• ½ cup superfine sugar
• ½ cup vegetable oil
• ¾ cup molasses
• ½ cup boiling water
• 1 ⅛ cup all-purpose flour
• ⅓ tsp. ground cinnamon
• ⅓ tsp. ground cloves
• ¼ tsp. baking powder
• 1 egg
Preheat oven to 250 degrees (yes, that low). Puree ginger and sugar in food processor and place in large mixing bowl. Stir in molasses and oil. Dissolve baking powder in boiling water and stir into sugar mixture.
Sift flour into a separate bowl and add cinnamon and cloves. Fold into wet ingredients, add egg, and stir lightly to combine. Pour mixture into a buttered, parchment-lined loaf pan. Bake on middle shelf for 50 minutes, increase oven to 300 degrees, and bake ten minutes more. Cool on a wire rack until room temp before turning out.

Sweet Potato Biscuit 

Chef Michelle Weaver’s personal biscuit recipe puts Low Country pride on the plate at Belmond Charleston Place. Tip: To help the biscuits rise, place them as close together as you can on the sheet pan.
• 2 cups all-purpose flour 
• 3 Tbsp. brown sugar 
• 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder 
• 1 tsp. salt 
• ½ tsp. baking soda 
• 6 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cubed 
• 1 cup sweet-potato puree 
• ½ cup buttermilk  
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk dry ingredients together in a large bowl and cut in butter with a fork until it resembles coarse crumbs. Mix potato puree and buttermilk together and stir into dry ingredients. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead four to five times. Roll dough into a one-inch thick disk, cut biscuits with a two-inch biscuit cutter, and place on a sheet pan. Roll dough one more time and repeat. Cook 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown, rotating after six minutes. Brush with melted butter and serve. Makes eight to ten biscuits.
These Virtuoso Life team dogs will be getting treats this weekend. From left: Louie, Sunny, Utley, Annabelle, and Charlie.
These Virtuoso Life team dogs will be getting treats this weekend. From left: Louie, Sunny, Utley, Annabelle, and Charlie.

Kabocha Squash Dog Treats

There’s no doubt dogs are getting the best deal these days – multiple walks and Saturday-level togetherness seven days a week. That doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a quick and easy (and kid-cook-friendly) treat from The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe.
• 4 cups almond flour
• ½ cup peanut butter
• 1 cup pumpkin pulp or squash puree
• 2 eggs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients well, then roll out and cut into desired shapes. Bake on sheet pan with nonstick spray for 20 minutes. 

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