Food has always been one of the best incentives to travel. "World Class Cuisine," a television show on the Discovery Channel, and the title of the companion cookbook by Gail Grecco (Rutledge Hill Press) brings the faraway shores of Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Scotland and England to our doorstep.
This production focuses on the elegant cuisines of these foreign lands. While the travelog highlights the recipes, it also shows the fresh-air markets, butchers and the inns or restaurants that are important points along the culinary landscape.
Many of the recipes are a bit grand for a quick and easy dinner, but there are some tastefully simple ones, such as Shrimp with Dill and Ouzo, that are well worth the effort and fit into our Fast and Fresh time frame.
The national drink of Greece is ouzo, an anise-flavored liqueur often used in Greek cooking. In this rendition from the Symposio restaurant, the chef offers a refreshing recipe that makes either a wonderful entree or an appetizer.
It's a cinch to make and is best served over a starch to soak up the delicious sauce. Rice is suggested here, so prepare that first and have it in the final cooking stages while you make the shrimp.
Serve a simple fresh salad to complement the entree.
Dessert takes on the character of Greece with poundcake slices topped with a blanket of warm, sweet lemon yogurt sauce. Crunchy walnuts grace the top.
Items you should have as staples are: olive oil, fresh tomatoes, salt, pepper, rice, salad fixings, salad dressing, yogurt, cornstarch, walnuts.
Your 10-item-or-less shopping list:
1 pound large (size 16-20) shrimp
Shrimp with Dill and Ouzo
1 tablespoon olive oil
20 large shrimp (about 1 pound), peeled and deveined
1/2 cup ouzo
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the shrimp and saute about two min
utes. Add the ouzo, tomatoes and dill. Boil three minutes. Add the heavy cream and stir well. Season with salt and pepper; simmer gently three more minutes. Serve immediately over rice or pasta.
Sweet and Warm Lemon Yogurt Sauce
Makes 1 3/4 cups
1 6-ounce container frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup nonfat plain yogurt
Mix all ingredients together in a medium microwave bowl. Heat 2 to 4 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time.