Beyond exploring new destinations and relaxing by the sea, cruising is an opportunity to embark on culinary adventures that will tantalize your taste buds. From fresh local fare to voyages featuring James Beard Foundation chefs on board, Windstar Cruises is renowned for its diverse and delicious dining options. These four dishes have earned their place in the hearts of our guests, and Peter Tobler, Director of Food and Beverage, has shared the recipes so you can recreate some of those mouthwatering moments at home. Bon appétit!
Pan Seared Scallops, Thai Green Curry Sauce, Asian Mango Slaw
“Guests adore this James Beard Foundation recipe created by Jennifer Jesinski for its remarkable combination of flavors and textures,” Tobler says. “The dish expertly marries the sweet tenderness of scallops with the spicy allure of Thai green curry sauce, creating a memorable taste sensation.” This dish takes it one step further with the addition of a crunchy Asian mango slaw, providing a delightful contrast of textures and sweetness to each bite.
Fresh mango, peeled, pitted and roughly chopped (100 gr)
Keffir lime leaves, fresh or frozen (two whole)
Ginger, grated (5 gr)
Rice wine vinegar (20 ml)
Olive oil (20 ml)
Fresh mango, peeled, pitted thinly sliced (100 gr)
Mixed lettuce leaves, washed (50 gr)
Napa cabbage, thinly sliced (80 gr)
Red onion, thinly sliced (25 gr)
Blend all ingredients for the vinaigrette thoroughly in a blender until smooth. Remove and refrigerate until ready to use. Mix all the salad ingredients together in a large bowl just before serving. Dress the salad with mango vinaigrette and coat lightly so that the mixed leaves are completely dressed but not weighed down.
Green Curry Sauce
Green curry paste, store bought (50 gr)
Coconut milk, canned (240 ml)
Chicken stock, canned (100 ml)
Palm sugar (3 gr)
Fish sauce (3 ml)
Keffir lime leaves, torn (three whole)
Basil leaves (10 gr)
Fresh Thai red chili, optional (2 gr)
Olive Oil (10 ml)
Reduce coconut milk by half. In a separate pan, add olive oil and green curry paste and sauté, stirring constantly over medium heat for about two minutes, until aromatic. Add chicken stock, keffir lime leaves, reduced coconut milk, palm sugar and fish sauce to the green curry paste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until reduced to half. Stir in basil leaves and red chili (optional).
Sea Scallops (under 10 size), frozen (12 pieces)
Olive Oil (30 ml)
Sea salt, to taste
Cracked pepper, to taste
Thaw scallops in refrigerator. Discard water and pat dry with a kitchen towel.
Heat olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium high heat, just until the oil starts to smoke. Add scallops and season with salt and pepper. Pan-fry on both sides for two minutes until golden brown.
Spoon the green curry sauce on a plate and place three pieces of pan-fried scallops on top of the sauce, leaving space in between each scallop. Gently spoon the tossed salad in between the scallops. Dot the plate with mango vinaigrette using a teaspoon. Serve immediately.
Citrus Pumpkin Risotto Gremolata
For those craving a dish that is both delicious and nutritious, citrus pumpkin risotto with gremolata is a guest favorite that delivers on multiple levels. “The use of citrus and pumpkin infuses the risotto with bright and refreshing flavors, creating a unique twist on traditional risotto,” Tobler says. “The gremolata adds a burst of fresh and zesty flavor with its combination of lemon zest, garlic and herbs, enhancing the overall taste of the dish.” Pumpkin is also rich in vitamins and fiber, making this a healthier option. And since this dish is free of salt, oil, sugar and gluten, a wider range of guests can enjoy a flavorful and satisfying meal without compromising their dietary needs.
Pumpkin Puree and Roast
Pumpkin or Butternut Squash (400 gr)
Vegetable Stock, no salt (200 ml)
Heat oven to 175°C/350°F. Cut the pumpkin in half and scrape out seeds and pulp from the center. Peel one pumpkin half and cut into 2 cm cubes. Spread pumpkin cubes on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes until edges are brown and cooked. Cut the other pumpkin half into one-inch rough cubes. Boil in vegetable stock until cooked. Remove, cool and blend to a smooth puree.
Arborio rice (300 gr)
Fresh orange juice (90 ml)
Pumpkin puree (200 gr)
Roast pumpkin (100 gr)
Green peas, frozen (75 gr)
Saffron (a pinch)
Water (100 ml)
Vegetable stock, no salt (800 ml)
Galaxy Dust salt substitute (10 gr)
Nutritional yeast (5 gr, for garnish)
Micro herbs or edible flowers (2 gr, for garnish)
Heat a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Add the rice, toast lightly and then remove it from the pan. Reduce heat and pour in water to cool the pan, and stir until the water has almost evaporated. Add toasted rice, pour orange juice stirring constantly until the juice has almost evaporated. Continue adding vegetable stock in 100 ml increments, cooking, and stirring constantly. Add saffron, and stir in pumpkin puree, roasted pumpkin cubes and green peas. Season with Galaxy Dust salt substitute.
Fresh Parsley, finely chopped (40 gr)
Garlic, minced (3 gr)
Lemon, zested (1 tsp)
Cracked black pepper, to taste
Galaxy Dust salt substitute (2 gr)
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Season with cracked black pepper and Galaxy Dust salt substitute.
Spoon the risotto onto a pasta plate and sprinkle on gremolata and nutritional yeast. Garnish with micro herbs or edible flowers. Yields four servings.
Seared Tournedos of Beef & Braised Oxtail Provençale, Red Wine Jus
For those with a penchant for hearty and indulgent dishes, seared tournedos of beef and braised oxtail (served with young carrots and potato mousseline) is a culinary masterpiece that never fails to impress. Tournedos are small filets of beef, usually cut from the tip of the tenderloin. “This dish combines the tenderness of perfectly seared beef with rich, flavorful and succulent braised oxtail, all elevated by the depth of a red wine jus,” Tobler says. This dish offers a harmonious mix of textures and tastes, creating a luxurious dining experience that showcases the artistry of French cuisine you’ll want to show off at your next holiday feast.
Braised Beef Oxtail
Oxtail (1000 gr)
Shallots, peel & slice (180 gr)
Carrots (two whole)
Celeriac (200 gr)
Tomato Paste (10 gr)
Garlic Cloves (three pieces)
Red Wine (300 ml)
Chicken Stock, canned (120 ml)
Olive Oil (15 ml)
Parsley Sprigs (two pieces)
Rosemary Sprig (two pieces)
Bay Leaf (one piece)
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
All Spice (pinch)
Parsley, chopped (2 tsp)
Rosemary leaves, chopped (½ tsp)
Thyme Leaves, chopped (½ tsp)
Pine Nuts, toasted (15 gr)
Lemon, zested (½ tsp)
Tomatoes (two whole)
Thyme (four springs for garnish)
Heat oven to 180°C/356°F. In a large bowl, combine salt, pepper and allspice. Add oxtail to bowl and rub the mixture all over the meat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Blanch and peel the tomatoes, and when they have cooled, cut tomatoes in quarters and gently squeeze the seeds out. Dice the de-seeded tomatoes and set aside. Heat a heavy pan (or a heavy soup pot with a lid) over medium-high heat. Add olive oil as many oxtail pieces as can fit in a single layer without overcrowding the pot. Sear, turning occasionally, until the meat is uniformly golden brown all over, including the sides. Transfer meat to a plate; repeat until browned. Add shallot to the pan drippings and cook over medium heat until lightly caramelized. Add carrot and celeriac and brown for approximately five minutes. Stir in tomato paste and garlic and cook for one minute.
Pour the wine and stock into a pot. Bundle parsley sprigs, rosemary branches and bay leaves with kitchen twine and drop them into the pot. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook over medium heat until the liquid has reduced by half; this will take about 15 minutes. Return oxtail to pot and bring to a simmer. Cover pot and transfer to oven. Cook, until meat is forking tender, approx. 3 to 3½ hours.
Transfer oxtails to a plate. Spoon off fat from the surface and discard (there will be a lot of it). Strain the sauce through a fine chinois and reduce to sauce consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Separate the oxtail meat from the bones using a fork. Toss together the oxtail, chopped parsley, chopped rosemary, chopped thyme leaves, toasted pine nuts, lemon zest and tomato concasse in a small bowl.
Beef Tournedos (180 gr each, four pieces)
Salt, to taste
Cracker pepper, to taste
Season beef with salt and pepper, and sear or grill the beef to the desired temperature. (Recommended medium rare.)
Potato (900 gr)
Heavy Cream (100 ml)
Milk (75 ml)
Butter (50 gr)
Nutmeg (a small pinch)
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Peel the potatoes, cut into evenly sized pieces, and place them in a large pot. Fill the pot with cold water so that the potatoes are covered by one inch. Add one tablespoon of salt and bring to a boil on high heat. Cook the potatoes for about 15 minutes at a slow, steady boil. The potatoes should be very soft. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot; allowing them to dry out a bit. Keep the pot on low heat and gently stir so the steam slowly stops releasing. Remove from the heat and rice the potatoes into a large bowl. Quickly wipe down the pot and add the milk and butter. Melt the butter into the milk, taking care not to scald the milk. Slowly pour the milk and butter mixture into the rice potatoes. Stir gently with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. In a separate bowl, whisk the whipping cream until soft peaks form. Scoop half of the whipped cream into the potatoes, and gently fold it in without mixing too hard. Add the remaining whipped cream, salt, ground white pepper and ground nutmeg. Repeat folding in all the ingredients. Taste the potatoes to check seasoning.
Baby Carrots with green top (four pieces)
Butter (40 gr)
Salt, to taste
Peel and cut baby carrots in half lengthwise. Melt butter in a pan and sauté carrots until just cooked. Season with salt.
Spoon the potato mousseline onto the center of the plate and place the tournedos on top. Top tournedos with 1½ tablespoon of oxtail mixture and arrange the butter glazed carrots. Spoon around the red wine sauce and garnish with a sprig of thyme. Yields four servings.
Bittersweet Chocolate Soufflé, Vanilla Sauce
No culinary journey is complete without a decadent dessert, and this bittersweet chocolate soufflé with vanilla sauce is a chocolate lover’s dream. “With its delightful contrast of rich, dark chocolate flavor with a sweet, creamy vanilla sauce, this perfect balance of flavors and textures truly indulges the palate,” Tobler says. The chocolate soufflé is a testament to culinary precision, rising to a perfect height with a fluffy interior that melts in your mouth. It’s the sweet finale you deserve after a day of adventure on the high seas.
Milk (144 ml)
Butter (37 gr)
Flour (37 gr)
Sugar (37 gr)
Egg Yolks (two each)
Egg Whites (three each)
Dark Chocolate (55 gr)
Combine the butter and flour in the mixer with a paddle attachment until dough is formed. Pour the milk into a pot and bring to a boil, and in small amounts, add the dough to the hot milk and whisk until smooth and thick. Transfer to the mixing bowl with the paddle attachment, add the dark chocolate and mix well. Slowly add the egg yolks and mix until all ingredients are combined. Whip the egg white while slowly adding the sugar, and whip to a hard peak. Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the mixture. Scoop the mixture into buttered, sugared soufflé ramequins. Bake at 350F for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, dust with icing sugar and serve with vanilla sauce.
Milk (250 ml)
Egg Yolks (four each)
Sugar (40 gr)
Vanilla extract (2 gr)
Pour the milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Mix the egg yolks with sugar and vanilla extract. Add a splash of hot milk to the egg mixture and mix well, pour the egg mixture into the boiling milk and cook until 83C/181F. Strain and cool down to 5C/41F. Yields four servings.