At this festive time of year, many river cruise lines share the best-loved holiday recipes of their passengers. Here are a few of our favorites.
From Viking River Cruises:
VIENNESE HOT CHOCOLATE
This recipe comes to us from Reiner Marks, who prepared this drink aboard Viking River Cruises ships in Europe many times. Reiner has fond memories of how much our guests enjoyed the drink, which he says “tastes delicious.” Enjoy!
3 C of low-fat milk
7 oz premium dark chocolate, grated
1 T granulated sugar
1 C heavy cream, chilled
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 T confectioner’s sugar
Cocoa powder or chocolate shavings
In a saucepan, gently heat 1 C of milk with grated chocolate. Simmer over low heat until all chocolate has dissolved. Combine remaining milk and granulated sugar in another saucepan and gently heat, whisking until all sugar has dissolved. Add chocolate mix to sugared milk and continue simmering over low. In a bowl, whisk heavy cream and vanilla together on high slowly adding confectioner’s sugar until peaks form. Remove hot chocolate from heat and divide into cups. Place a generous dollop of whipped cream on top of each. Garnish with a pinch of cocoa powder or sprinkle with chocolate shavings and serve.
Makes 4-6 servings, depending on mug size.
GLÜHWEIN (HOT MULLED WINE)
Around the Christmas season, public houses in nearly every European town offer mulled wine as a delicious antidote to the season’s chill. To warm up on a stormy evening or put yourself in a celebratory mood, you can make your own glühwein at home.
4 qts dry red wine (e.g., zinfandel, pinot, burgundy)
1 C white sugar (more to taste)
1 pt brandy
12 whole cloves
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp mace
1 qt dry white wine
6 cinnamon sticks
1 orange, sliced
Pour red wine into a 3-gal pot (or larger) and begin gentle heating. Add sugar and spices. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add brandy and white wine, slices of 1 orange and the lemon. Steep for 1 hour over low heat. Serve hot and garnish with orange slices or a cinnamon stick.
Makes 12-15 servings.
You don’t have to be in France to enjoy AmaWaterways French Apple Pie
• 1 unbaked ready-made pie crust shell
• 1,600 grams (3 cups) tart apples
• 115 grams (½ cup) white sugar
• 45 grams(3 T) brown sugar
• 1 egg
• 60 grams (1/2 cup) pastry/pie flour
• 2 grams (1 t) cinnamon
• 125 ml (½ cup) whipping cream
• 15 ml (3 T) Cognac or Calvados brandy
Preheat oven to 375° F / 190 °C.
Peel and cut the apples into thin slices. Place in a bowl with half the sugar and cinnamon and
mix until coated. Arrange apple slices in pastry shell. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes,
then let cool.
Beat the egg and the rest of the sugar until mixture is pale yellow. Beat in the flour, then the
whipping cream, and finally the brandy. Pour the mixture over the apples. Return pie shell to the oven for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with sugar and return to oven for 20 minutes. Keep warm until
ready to serve.
One of the popular drinks served by AmaWaterways crew members in cold weather as passengers return from excursions is called Jägertee. This means “hunter tea,” a specialty beverage that originated in the 19th century and named because it was relished during the cold winter days by hunters and foresters.
1 cup red wine
1 cup black tea
1 cup spiced rum
1 cup orange juice
1 cup plum brandy or Schnapps
2-3 whole cloves
2 lemon slices
¼ cinnamon stick
Pinch of sugar
Place tea, wine, rum, brandy, orange juice, spices and lemons in a large pot. Allow the mixture to simmer for about 5 minutes – do not boil. Remove from heat. Use a ladle to fill mugs. Sprinkle with sugar to taste.
From Avalon Cruises:
When there’s a chill in the air … and you’re really missing the food from your Avalon Waterways river cruise, the chefs share their recipe for Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Soup.
Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Soup
4 large red bell peppers
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery sticks, trimmed and sliced
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 bay leaf
4 1/4 cups vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup heavy cream
Place rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 390° F.
Place whole red bell peppers in a dish. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and rotate to lightly coat each pepper in oil.
Roast for 15 minutes until blackened on the top. Remove from the oven and flip each pepper. Roast for another 15 minutes until the other side is also softened and blackened.
Remove from the oven and immediately cover the pan with foil. Allow to steam for 10 minutes. Uncover and let the peppers rest until cool enough to handle.
When cool enough to handle, remove the stem and all of the seeds and the charred red pepper skin. Discard.
To make the soup, place a large pot over medium heat. Add the remaining olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are softened and translucent about 5 minutes.
Add the carrots, celery, and parsley. Cook for 3 minutes more.
Add the cumin, garam masala, and bay leaf. Stir to combine. Add the roasted peppers. Add the stock, turn the heat to low, place a lid on the pot and simmer for 20 minutes or until the carrots and celery are softened through.
Remove the pan from the heat and use an immersion blender to blend the soup mixture smooth.
Stir in heavy cream and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Appealing? If you are want to try these and many more outstanding dishes on a river cruise, please feel free to send me an email or call me so we can discuss your vacation plans for 2018 or 2019 in detail. I would love to make this happen for you.
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