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Staff Sound-Off: Travel Recipes

We asked our staff, “Have you encountered any new foods in your travels that you now eat at home?” See what recipes from our trips we now make at home.

Chifles, or fried plantains; avocados; and tomatillos: all foods I ate while doing mission work for two months in Ecuador. Although avocados are all the rage right now, back in 1993, slicing up a whole avocado and eating it plain with rice and chicken wasn’t very common. I loved its simple, fresh taste and have eaten them that way ever since. I first tried tomatillos in Quito years ago but have only recently incorporated them into our menu every summer. Sometimes I incorporate them in homemade salsa verde, which is a traditional way to serve tomatillos. But let me tell you a little secret: They make the best fried green tomatoes.

— Donia Simmons, creative director

I first tried mussels on a trip to Prince Edward Island in Canada, where they had been freshly harvested by local fishermen. I was instantly hooked. My hosts taught me to eat them like a local, using an empty shell like a pair of tweezers to extract the meat from another shell. Today, I order mussels almost every time I seen them on a restaurant menu.

— Brian Jewell, executive editor

My husband Graham and I love searching out local favorites, so we come home with new recipes from just about every trip. Some of the recipes we make at home now are Takikomi Gohan, a Japanese rice dish; Apple Barn’s apple butter; and Hattie B’s hot chicken.

— Ashley Ricks, graphic designer and circulation manager

I was never a big seafood fan until I started trying it on cruises to see how it was. Now I love seafood, especially crab cakes.

— Kyle Anderson, account manager

I’ve traveled a lot throughout Southeast Asia and love Thai and Indian food. I’m not brave enough to try and make any of my favorite dishes at home, so these are my go-to restaurants when I go out to eat.

— Kelly Tyner, director of sales and marketing

We like to eat jambalaya made with shrimp, andouille sausage and chicken at home. I’m sure we’re not cooking it down as much as the jambalaya we’ve enjoyed in parts of Louisiana, but it’s pretty good. That’s a dish we’ve ordered numerous times in Southern seafood places down around the Gulf Coast. I’m a bit of a stickler for getting all three meats into ours, so it’s not a dish we eat regularly, but we do have it several times a year. I should probably be having an Abita beer with it, but more often than not, I’m probably bringing home some Red Stripe instead.  That’s my go-to beer for Southern dishes like jambalaya.

— Mac Lacy, publisher

I remember when I went to Chicago for the first time and had a Chicago Italian Beef Sandwich. I now try to mimic them at home and crave them every time I’m in the city.

— Daniel Jean-Louis, account manager