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Rick Stein embarks on a series of culinary long weekends in search of food excellence and brilliant recipes to cook at home, heading to markets, restaurants, wineries, cafes and bars.
Rick Stein embarks on a series of culinary long weekends in search of food excellence and brilliant recipes to cook at home, heading to markets, restaurants, wineries, cafes and bars. He begins his first adventure in autumnal Bordeaux. Rick arrives just in time for ceps and the judging of a local wine contest. He hires a 2CV for an excursion to the coast, which has abundant mussels and oysters. At home he cooks a memorable dish of steak frites with bordelaise sauce.
Rick Stein enjoys a winter break in Reykjavik in search of the perfect cod and samples succulent fjord-reared roast lamb.
Rick enjoys a long weekend in Berlin, where history and the avant garde dwell enticingly side by side. He samples some delicious seasonal creations like pureed sunflower seeds, Jerusalem artichoke flans and crushed frozen pine nuts.
Rick visits Vienna - the city that once ran the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Vienna continues to be home to comfort dishes like tafelspitz and goulash and gave its name to one of Europe's most popular dishes - the wiener schnitzel. It even produces its own unique white wine produced in vineyards overlooking the city's imperial architecture. Whilst enjoying the sights and sounds of the hometown to Klimt and Freud, Rick also learns the essential etiquette to its coffee house culture and indulges in the city's sweet tooth by enjoying a plate or two of apple strudel and sacher torte. And no visit to Vienna would be complete without a concert of Mozart or Strauss, whose music was undeniably inspired by this unforgettable city.
This week, Rick visits Bologna in northern Italy, a city so famous for its food that it is known as the stomach of Italy. He learns how to make the local fresh egg pasta used for tortellini, tagliatelle, ravioli and lasagne. At the market, he finds a fish stall and cafÚ where he enjoys squid stuffed with mashed potato and capers. Bologna is a medieval city with a university even older than Oxford and Rick explores the cloisters and the Whispering Walls. He even climbs Bologna's famous Asinelli Tower, despite vertigo.
Rick Stein visits Lisbon on the banks of the River Tagus, a city in love with its seafood and possibly the best custard tarts in the world. The culinary effects of Portugal's historic explorations are still seen in its dishes with hints of cinnamon and freshly chopped coriander from the east, and tomatoes and chillies from the Americas. Rick is inspired to cook the city's favourite snack - salt cod fritters, delicious almond tart and pork with clams, a favourite dish throughout Portugal. With seafood at the forefront of his mind, he makes sure he arrives just in time for Lisbon's famous St Anthony's Day parade and sardine festival.
Rick Stein visits the home of new Nordic cuisine - Copenhagen - where groundbreaking chefs create artful dishes and religiously stick to seasonal Danish ingredients. Rick goes foraging for rosehip, learns about the art of pickling buds, bark and flowers and how to create razor clam shells from dough. But he is cheered to also find plenty of traditional favourites, like the city's famous Sm°rrebr°d open sandwiches on rye bread, delicious poached turbot with cabbage and lemon butter sauce and of course the ubiquitous Danish pastry or two! At home, he cooks fried pork belly with lovage potatoes and parsley sauce - voted Denmark's favourite dish.
Rick's series of culinary city breaks continues with a trip to the historic city of Cadiz in southern Spain. Rick is captivated by its narrow winding streets as he walks in the footsteps of Phoenician and Arab traders who made a lasting impression on the city. Tavernas offer tantalising tapas including chickpea stews, cured pork lardons, freshly grilled mackerel and rice dishes flavoured with garlic, saffron and parsley. Rick times his visit perfectly to enjoy the city's two most revered culinary stars - fresh tuna and manzanilla. At home, Rick cooks arroz verde - green rice - and flamenco eggs, a dish of eggs with tomatoes and vegetables.
Rick's series of culinary city breaks continues with a trip to the north-eastern Greek city of Thessaloniki nestling on the northern shores of the Aegean Sea. The city is revered as the gourmet capital of Greece and birthplace to possibly the greatest warrior general that ever lived, Alexander. Rick explores a city of many identities, a time warp of Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman structures surprisingly teeming with a very young student population hungry for dishes that reflect the freshest of seafood, vibrant mezzes flavoured with cinnamon, paprika and saffron and sweet syrupy pastries. A true blend of west meeting east. Rick arrives just in time for harvesting peaches on land and mussels out at sea. At home he cooks veal and aubergine stew after meeting the doyenne of Greek cooking Vafa Alexiadou.
To round off his ten-part series, Rick Stein visits the fascinating city of Palermo in northern Sicily. Like a vibrant carpet, the city is patterned with echoes of Arab, north African, French, Spanish and Italian influences making its cuisine unique and irresistible. Pine nuts, raisins, almonds and golden breadcrumbs are combined with flavours of local sun-ripened tomatoes, lemons and the finest olive oil to create unforgettable dishes that just have to be replicated at back home. Palermo is a grand city with rough edges synonymous with Garibaldi and the setting for one of Rick's favourite novels of all time - The Leopard. He arrives just in time to see locals celebrating a festival in honour of Palermo's patron saint, Rosalia, and even gets a cookery lesson from a real life dutchess. At home, he cooks marsala chicken.
Rick Stein(Rick Stein)
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