Stills: Apple TV. Design elements: Getty Images. Collage: Cassie Basford.
In case you have yet to watch Eugene Levy's new series on Apple TV+ called The Reluctant Traveler, we recommend you add it to your "must watch" list. The beloved Schitt's Creek star sets out to explore eight new countries where he very "reluctantly" (hence the name of the show)—and with lots of skepticism—forces himself to partake in the local cultural activities.
Although the show is mostly about the areas he visits, what's a travel show without a little bit of food culture? His meals range from those as adventurous as warthog sausage and crocodile schnitzel to classics like creamy ravioli and truffles. However, because those are not as easy to come by without traveling the world, we've compiled a few recipes for you to re-create the magic at home.
Episode 1: Finland
Reindeer Fillet, aka the Finnish "Super Food"
Starting the series off strong, we see grilled reindeer fillets alongside foil packets of what we can only assume are vegetables. A vegetable foil packet is easy enough to make at home, but as sourcing reindeer meat isn't the easiest of feats, we'll have to settle for something like this Grilled Filet Mignon with Vegetable Kebabs. It's an easy recipe perfect for weeknights (takes only 30 minutes to make!) and uses popular vegetables such as tomatoes, white mushrooms, zucchini and red onion.
Episode 2: Costa Rica
Since Costa Rica is known for its coffee, it's no surprise that Levy spends most of his time on a coffee farm. And the luxury doesn't end there, as the menu offers coffee-crusted wagyu, alongside what looks like potato fondant, romanesco broccoli and a pan sauce. In place of that, we recommend trying our Steak au Poivre, alongside our Melting Potatoes. The steak isn't coffee-crusted, but it is peppercorn-crusted for added flavor and texture.
Rice & Beans
As his last meal in Costa Rica, Levy is served a typical Costa Rican meal of rice, refried beans, plantains and tortillas. And, luckily for you, we have the perfect Easy Rice & Beans recipe that would be great with our Air-Fryer Plantains. And if you're feeling up for the challenge, you could even make a batch of our Homemade Corn Tortillas to serve on the side.
Episode 3: Venice
Cicchetti, aka Small Snacks
If there ever was a place to eat, Venice is it. Levy's Venetian snack arrangement includes crostini topped with bacalao (dried cod) and what looks like sliced ham or prosciutto, alongside fried mozzarella. Unless you're planning a trip to Venice soon, our roundup of appetizer toast recipes is perfect for a homemade cicchetti spread And if you're the lucky owner of an air fryer, these Air-Fryer Mozzarella Sticks are always a tasty choice.
Gondola Ravioli, Truffle Cod with White Beans & Chocolate Cigar with Gold Leaf
We'd all be so lucky to be served ravioli shaped into small gondolas, and flaky cod with cannellini cream and black truffles. But for now, here is a recipe for Lobster Ravioli and Crispy Cod with Charred Snow Peas & Creamy Herb Sauce that can make your home feel like a five-star restaurant. You could also make a batch of our Italian White Bean Salad as a nutritious and flavorful side. And for dessert, this Chocolate Chess Pie can take the place of the chocolate cigars.
Episode 4: Utah
Wood-Fired Skillet Pancakes
Here breakfast was as simple as a wood-fired skillet pancake with clarified butter that was topped with fresh berries, powdered sugar and maple syrup. Our Whole-Grain Buttermilk Pancakes might not be exactly wood-fired, but you can certainly top them off with maple syrup and berries for a sweet and filling bite.
Episode 5: Maldives
"Dream Meal" & Floating Breakfast Board
Prior to arriving at his hotel, Levy is asked what his "dream meal" is—a "cheeseburger, fries and a shake—vanilla or chocolate," he says. And this is exactly what he gets. And we can't think of a better recipe than these Better-Than-Takeout Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries.
Because we can't all wake up to a brunch board floating in our pool as he did, here is a roundup of our favorite healthy brunch & breakfast recipes so you can make your own.
The Hotel Chef's Extravagant Onion Soup
As we don't all have access to "a trio of well-selected cheeses," a personal hotel chef and truffles, here is a much easier recipe for a simple onion soup. Our French Onion Soup has all the classics: sweet onions, beef broth, thyme, Gruyère and toasted bread. Serve it alongside a salad for a delicious and balanced meal.
Episode 6: South Africa
Warthog Dried Sausage & Crocodile Schnitzel Wrap
Warthog and crocodile are two things we can't say we've covered. However, we do have a delicious Winter Charcuterie Board with thinly sliced cold cuts to mimic the cured flavor. And instead of crocodile schnitzel, you can try our Pork Schnitzel with Creamy Dill Sauce (the ingredients might be a little easier to find).
Episode 7: Lisbon
Marinated Fish & Piri Piri Sauce
If you're looking to re-create the marinated cod and homemade piri piri sauce, we suggest making our Lemon-Garlic Baked Cod and serving it alongside the piri piri in the recipe for our Baked Piri Piri Chicken Thighs. Simply follow steps 1 through 5 (omitting the chicken completely) and serve the sauce on the side of (instead of on) the cod.
Custard Egg Tarts
Mini custard tarts are a staple sweet treat in Portugal, and although not the same, our Mini Lemon Curd Tarts are delicious stand-ins for when you need a mini treat. The base is made of a simple graham cracker crust, then filled with sweet and tart lemon curd.
Episode 8: Tokyo
The Japanese Classics: Yakisoba, Mochi & Japanese Egg Salad Sandwich
In case you're in the mood for yakisoba after watching Levy slurp some down, our Tofu, Mushroom & Bok Choy Soba Noodle Bowls will help satisfy the craving. Serve it with a chilled draft beer, just like on the show, and finish off with a slice of our Coconut-Butter Mochi Cake with Lime Curd. It may not be traditional mochi, but it sure is tasty. And lastly, for a play on the internet-viral Japanese egg salad sandwich, you can't go wrong with this Best Egg Salad Recipe for Sandwiches.
Sashimi Dinner: Sea Urchin & Conger Eel
If you're itching to experience a sea urchin and conger eel sashimi platter, you might have to look outside of your home. But in the meantime, try our Spicy Salmon Sushi Roll-Ups. They're filled with lots of fresh veggies—such as carrots, cucumbers and avocado—as well as a nutritious and spicy salmon mixture for a filling and flavorful sushi-inspired main.