Turn what’s in your refrigerator into a global travel excursion with help from Epicurean Tourist ™ PAIGE Simmons, among Hollywood's top celebrity caterers and now our HELP SQUAD foodie for thought, providing us with recipes to warm our hearts.
What’s the first thing we want to do when a breakup hits? We want to get away. Sadly, life doesn’t always afford the opportunity. So, as a quick fix where passports are not required, take your taste buds on a trip around the globe through budget-friendly gourmet meals you can cook at home.
Sample some of the world’s most popular and unique recipes with our Epicurean Tourist ™. Turn what’s in your refrigerator into a touristy event for one – or more, depending on who you meet along the way. Epicurean Tourist ™ is about the culture and history behind the great recipes of the world, and cooking is about as social as it gets – or, it can remain as a solo endeavor.
Many, unlike ever before, take to solo travel and are much inclined to travel for wellness over tourist attractions than in any other time. Epicurean travel allows you to get to know your likes and dislikes over the safety of your own stove. Enticing the worldliest of palettes, your test kitchen enables you to sample local culture, customs and cuisine around the globe. You will then know more about you, as well as where to go and what to order when life affords a true getaway.
Paige’s premiere Hollywood catering company Dine With 9 specializes in cuisines from nine of the most exotic islands and destinations around the world. We therefore kick-off our epicurean series with those nine in mind, setting sail from the island of Jamaica where clear waters provide the freshest seafood…
Then, a short stay in Cuba to show how simple foods can be made extravagant.
Next stop, the volcanic island of Dominica where rare vegetables and fruits make their spicy dishes unforgettable.
Our 4th stop, a long sail across the Atlantic to the Canary Islands for a taste of Spain. Then, off to the Mediterranean where we sample Paige’s Mediterranean Couscous recipe, the first in our series of seduction recipes designed to warm our hearts after a breakup.
This recipe makes two portions, one for you and the other, for your to-go box. Each recipe is designed to stay within reasonable budgets and aimed at using locally grown ingredients. Start with these ingredients:
2 1/2 cups of Israeli or pearl couscous (uncooked)
2 cups of baby Portobello mushrooms (sliced)
2 cups Japanese eggplant (cubed)
1/8 cup dried cranberries
4 fresh garlic cloves (minced)
2 shallots (minced)
8 large fresh basil leaves (julienned cut)
3 large mint leaves (julienned cut)
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
3 ounces of organic pure olive oil
1/8 cup of mirin
Water for boiling couscous
*Use an organic high-quality olive oil because it will act as the sauce for this dish. Olive oil is good for your heart and is delicious. Save time and use fully cooked couscous that can be reheated in the microwave. Preparation:
Pour 2 ounces of olive oil into skillet on medium heat. Add cubed eggplant and sautée until translucent and lightly brown. Remove when done and set aside on plate.
Add the third ounce of olive oil to skillet (more if needed), then add fresh mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes on high.
Turn heat on skillet down to medium, add shallots, garlic, cranberries, basil and mint leaves. Continue cooking until lightly brown.
Add eggplant back to skillet and season all vegetables with thyme, oregano, salt, pepper and mirin. Continue to sauté for about 3-minutes.
Remove skillet from heat and set aside.
Boil water for couscous on high heat.
Once water reaches boiling point, add couscous. Cook couscous according to package instructions.
Drain water from couscous, toss with sautéed Mediterranean vegetable mixture. Serve immediately.
Next stop, a journey across the desert and sea to the Philippines for Asian-inspired cuisine.
Later enjoy a long stay on the island of Tasmania for a unique taste of the Australian outback.
Our 8th stop entails a short journey across the sea where we arrive in New Zealand for more mouth-watering seafood.
Final destination is the Hawaiian Islands…
Our travels don’t stop here. This is just a spot to wet our appetites for adventures yet to come. We will continue to travel vicariously through our Epicurean Tourist ™ as Paige travels around the globe meeting with culinary chefs, liquid chefs, sommeliers, gardeners and those who preserve culture - and seduction through food.
She'll share their country’s pride, life stories, local hot spots, favorite dishes and traditional techniques used for preparing the dishes that define their culture. Ingredients are key, so our Epicurean Tourist ™ will take you to local markets and gardens to find out what herbs, produce and staples distinguish each culture’s culinary style. Paige also shows you where to find these ingredients in your own backyard.
Stay tuned for more recipes from Epicurean Tourist ™! Paige is celebrity caterer to Mariah Carey, Kathy Ireland, Alyssa Milano and Hit TV Series Project Runway and After Lately with Chelsea Handler.