How’s The Food?

That’s one of the first questions our clients ask when we discuss a new-to-them river cruise line. Some clients are worried that there will only be “foreign” foods with too many sauces. Others are concerned that the selections will not be authentic regional dishes. Happily, the menus satisfy most guests. There will be a variety of choices but if they won’t suit, passengers can opt for one of the “always available” entrees which may include a fish, poultry or beef dinner.

To give you an idea of the food served, here are recipes from popular river cruise lines.

From Uniworld Boutique River Cruises:

Manhattan Transfer
From summer through fall, Bucharest’s markets present a parade of seasonal fruits. None is more Romanian than the sour cherry. The tasty berry garnishes this classic Manhattan made with rye whiskey and vermouth. You might try it in an Old Fashioned, too. Find this cocktail onboard the River Duchess on the Highlights of Eastern Europe itinerary or make it at home!

Manhattan

INGREDIENTS:
• 6cl (2.03 fl oz) straight rye whiskey
• 3cl (1.01 fl oz) sweet vermouth
• 2 dashes Angostura bitters
• 1 sour cherry
PREPARATION:
Build over ice in a mixing glass. Stir and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with a sour cherry.

From AmaWaterways:

One of the most delicious aspects of traveling is to indulge in the incredible cuisine of the places you visit. Inspired by French velouté soups, this rich and flavorful cream of Chardonnay soup is made and paired with Chardonnay, of course. Leeks at the peak of their freshness and the bright sweetness of white grapes combine with butter and cream to create the perfect springtime comfort food. You can serve it as an appetizer or make it the star of the meal, served along with rustic French bread. Chardonnay Soup

CREAM OF CHARDONNAY SOUP

Try this recipe for Cream of Chardonnay Soup that’s often served onboard AmaWaterways ships. Chardonnay contributes the most richness of any dry white wine commonly used for cooking. For rich, creamy soups, wine can provide a welcome note of freshness and contrast – almost like a squeeze of lemon or an extra layer of flavor. The creamier a soup is, the more full-bodied a wine it can take.
INGREDIENTS:
3½ tablespoons of unsalted butter
½ cup onions, chopped
½ cup white leeks, chopped
1 cup white flour (or wheat flour)
2 cups Chardonnay
10 ½ cups vegetable stock
1 ½ cups of heavy cream
1 ½ cups of white grapes
½ cup of fresh parsley, chopped
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

PREPARATION METHOD
• Wash produce thoroughly
• Chop onions and leeks into small cubes and set aside
• Peel white grapes, remove seeds and slice
• Wash parsley, chop and pat dry

Use a large pot on medium heat to sautéed onions and leeks with butter until golden, then gradually add in the flour to thicken. Pour 1 cup of Chardonnay and all of the vegetable stock. Season with salt and pepper and let the soup simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain soup through a mesh cloth and add in the rest of the Chardonnay. Add heavy cream to soup. Garnish with warm grapes and parsley before serving.

Makes 10 servings.

From Viking River Cruises:

French Gougères Cheese Appetizers

Gougères are among the most popular hors d’oeuvres in France. A traditional specialty of the Burgundy region, gougères are often made with Gruyère cheese. You can also use other cheeses (such as parmesan) to add an extra depth. Enjoy these with a glass (or two) of good French wine.
Ingredients
• 1½ C water
• ½ C unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
• 1 tsp (5 g) salt, divided
• 1½ C flour
• 6 lg eggs
• 1 C (130 g) grated Gruyère cheese, packed
• ½ C (90 g) good quality parmesan cheese, packed
• ½ tsp (2 g) fresh ground pepper
• ½ tsp (2.5 g) salt
Directions
Place one oven rack in top third and a second rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 400°F (204°C). Line two rimmed baking sheets with lightly greased parchment paper. In a 3- or 4-qt saucepan over medium heat, bring water, butter, and half the salt to a simmer, stirring until butter melts. Add flour all at once, stirring rapidly with a wooden spoon until mixture forms a smooth, thick paste with no lumps. Remove pan from heat; allow mixture to cool until it feels just warm. Using a hand-held mixer, beat in one egg at a time until all are incorporated. Stir in cheese, pepper and remaining salt. Drop spoonfuls of dough 3 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets. Bake until dough is puffed and golden brown, about 30 minutes, swapping the position of baking pans halfway through.
• Prep time: 16 minutes.
• Cook time: 30 minutes.
• Makes 10 servings.

Wiener Zwiebelrostbraten Wiener Zwiebelrostbraten

Wiener Zwiebelrostbraten might not exactly roll off your tongue, but it will melt in your mouth. The name, pronounced VEE-ner TZVEE-bell-roast-brotten, literally means “Viennese roast beef with onions.” Very popular in Austria and Bavaria, this recipe enhances the beef flavor of the sirloin steaks through slow oven braising with that staple of Viennese cuisine, beef stock.

Ingredients
• 4 T butter
• 2 med onions, peeled & thinly sliced
• 1 tsp (2⅖ g) sweet Hungarian paprika
• 6 8-oz boneless beef sirloin steaks, pounded ¼-inch thick
• Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
• 3 T(44 ml) vegetable oil
• 4 C (946 ml) beef stock or consommé, fresh or canned, boiled down to 2 C (473 g)
• ½ C (60 g) sour cream
Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). In a large cast-iron skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Sauté onions until light brown, stirring often; add paprika; cook another minute. Remove onions from pan; set aside. Season steaks with salt and pepper. Add vegetable oil to same skillet and add steaks; brown on both sides. Turn off heat, add beef stock to skillet, arrange onions on top and cover. Bake until tender, about 2-2½ hours. To serve, place steaks on a pre-warmed serving platter with onions arranged on top. Cover loosely to keep warm. Return skillet with remaining liquid to high heat and bring to a boil. Stir in sour cream; immediately remove from heat and pour over steaks. Serve immediately.
Serving Suggestion
This dish is traditionally served with roast potatoes or buttered parsley potatoes; you can garnish with crispy fried onions if you like.
• Cook time: 2-2 1/2 hours
• Makes 6 servings.

From Uniworld Boutique River Cruises: Uniworld Desserts

Mrs. Tollman’s Signature Honeycomb Ice Cream

1 cup corn syrup
8 oz granulated sugar
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon baking soda
1-quart premium vanilla ice cream

Dissolve the syrup, sugar, and vinegar over a medium heat. Turn the heat up high and boil until the syrup turns to a light caramel.
Take the pan off the heat and quickly stir in the baking soda, then pour the mix into a high-sided baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper and greased with butter. Leave to cool and harden: do not refrigerate!
Once hardened, this brittle, crunchy slab becomes your honeycomb base.
Slightly soften the vanilla ice cream in a chilled ceramic bowl. Carefully break the honeycomb slab into various sizes, none more than 2cm square, and quickly fold half into the ice cream.
Pour the ice cream into a desired ice cream mold or back into the original ice cream container and freeze again.
Keep the remaining honeycomb in an air tight container for topping when serving.

Sound appealing? Want to plan a river cruise for 2017 or 2018? I would love to make this happen for you.

Need more information? We service many of our clients entirely through email:

  • Click Here To Email Us

  • or by phone – 800-372-1963
  • Viking’s Holiday Magic

    As we watch summer fade into fall, it’s time to plan to celebrate the holidays in old-world style. Viking River Cruises’s holiday sailings offer the most memorable gift you could imagine: in-depth cultural enrichment in Europe’s best loved river ports. Perfectly planned itineraries abound with Yuletide magic, the ideal way to experience Europe’s picturesque atmosphere and charm. This is the most festive time of year to cruise these waters as glittering lights and finery adorn Europe’s streets. On board your home away from home, the discovery continues with cultural enrichment activities designed to keep you fully immersed in the holiday riches of Europe—delicious regional cuisine, destination performances, festively decorated ships, and onboard lectures. Celebrate the season with Viking, and you’ll also enjoy Viking Inclusive Value. One price includes so much from meals and beverages to shore excursions and Wi-Fi.

    Europe’s Christmas Markets with Viking River Cruises
    Europe’s Christmas markets are where the romance and spirit of the holidays come alive. It’s not just the markets that have all the magic of the holidays, but Viking ships are adorned with extra shimmer and sparkle as well. Explore some of the fairy tale settings of Europe’s Christmas Markets.

    Interested in learning more about our European Christmas markets cruises? Visit us at: Viking River Cruises

    Viking for the Holidays: Danube Waltz

    Celebrate the holidays with the cultural traditions of Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary. Enjoy art, architecture, history and charming Christmas markets in European destinations including Passau, Vienna, Salzburg, Bratislava and Budapest.

    Viking for the Holidays: Romantic Danube

    This popular 8-day holiday cruise lets you discover Danube delights in Hungary, Austria, and Germany. From historic Budapest to beautiful Vienna to medieval Regensburg, experience the holiday season like never before.

    Gingerbread and glühwein are traditional treats that are enjoyed during the holiday season.

    Traditional Gingerbread with Chef Walter Simon Snr.

    Spiced and nutty in flavor, these traditional German Christmas cookies resemble soft gingerbread. Enjoy them at home or give as a gift—either way they fill your home with delightful aromas while baking. Taste these and many other holiday treats on one of our late fall or winter cruises along the Rhine or Danube.

    Ingredients:
    Cookies:
    One-half cup honey
    One-half cup molasses
    Three-quarters cup brown sugar (packed)
    One egg
    One tablespoon lemon juice
    One teaspoon lemon zest
    Two and three-quarters cup flour
    One-half teaspoon baking soda
    One teaspoon ground cinnamon
    One teaspoon ground cloves
    One teaspoon ground allspice
    One teaspoon ground nutmeg
    One-third cup candied citron (diced)
    One-third cup hazelnuts (chopped)

    Icing:
    One cup sugar
    One-half cup water or milk
    One-quarter teaspoon vanilla extract
    One-quarter cup powdered sugar

    Directions:

    Cookies:
    Combine honey and molasses in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; stir in brown sugar, eggs, lemon juice and lemon zest. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and all spices. Add the molasses mixture and mix well. Stir in citron and hazelnuts. Cover and chill overnight.

    Preheat oven to 350°. On a floured surface, roll out a small amount of the chilled dough to one-quarter-inch thickness. If dough is sticky, use more flour when rolling. Using a cookie cutter or a glass, cut round cookies out and place them on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Place baked cookies on a cooling rack and brush icing while still hot. You can decorate with slivers of nuts or candied citron or other dried fruit. Or if you prefer, you can drizzle with melted chocolate. Store in a sealed container with a wedge of apple or orange to retain moistness.

    Icing:
    Heat sugar and water or milk with vanilla in a small saucepan, but do not boil. Remove from heat and stir in powdered sugar. If icing becomes crystallized, reheat and add water or milk as needed.

    Makes 8–10 servings.

    GLÜHWEIN (HOT MULLED WINE) 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
    Ingredients
    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
    1 orange
    1 lemon

    Garnish
    6 cinnamon sticks
    1 orange, sliced

    Directions
    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.

    Cook time: 1 hour

    Makes 12-15 servings.

    If you are considering a Festive Season river cruise, please feel free to send me an email or call me so we can discuss your vacation plans in detail.

    Need more information? We service many of our clients entirely through email:

  • Click Here To Email Us

  • or by phone – 800-372-1963

  • River Cruise Recipes

    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! Viennese Hot Chocolate

    Ingredients
    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

    Garnish
    Cocoa powder or chocolate shavings

    Directions
    In a sauce pan, 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.

    Ingredients
    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
    1 orange
    1 lemon

    Garnish
    6 cinnamon sticks
    1 orange, sliced

    Directions
    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.

    Gluhwein - Hot Mulled Wine Cook time: 1 hour

    Makes 12-15 servings.
    Continue reading River Cruise Recipes

    Journey into the Heart of Italy

    Uniworld® Boutique River Cruise Collection introduces a new itinerary for 2013 in the historical seat of Western culture, the birthplace of the European Renaissance, and the home of some of the most exquisite art and architecture on earth: Italy.

    The wine and food alone are worth the trip, but Ital offers so much more. Travel from Venice to Rome on the 13 day Splendors of Italy. Sun-drenched vineyards, the poetry of Dante, gondolas on the canals of Venice, Romeo & Juliet-Italy is a destination offering something for everyone.

    Uniworld’s Splendors of Italy 2013 Itinerary

    Continue reading Journey into the Heart of Italy