Our 10 Most Popular Recipes of 2017 on Grantourismo are an interesting mix of winter comfort food and Southeast Asian specialities – from a hearty Rabo de Toro and aromatic Cote de Boeuf to a refined Five-Spice Crispy Pork Belly and rich Cambodian Fish Amok.
As 2017 comes to a close, we’re reflecting on the year that was here at Grantourismo. We’re looking at what you searched for and where you spent your time. It’s our recipes that are the most-visited posts and the 10 most popular recipes of 2017 on Grantourismo are those that are being read the most right now.
Our northern hemisphere visitors, who are in the midst of a very chilly winter, are increasingly coming to the site for those warming winter classics. While visitors in the sunny southern hemisphere are browsing recipes for Southeast Asian specialities.
Some of the most read recipes of 2017 are for dishes like Rabo de Toro and Cote de Boeuf, which have been popular since I first cooked them in their countries of origin. That was back in 2010 for our series The Dish, on cooking the quintessential dishes of places we travel to, during the year-long grand tour that launched our site.
Others, such as Prahok Ktis, Five-Spice Crispy Pork Belly and our Cambodian Fish Amok Recipe have been become more popular in the 12 months since we published them. So here are our 10 most popular recipes of 2017 on Grantourismo. We can’t wait to see what you read – and cook – in 2018.
10 Most Popular Recipes of 2017 on Grantourismo
This fantastic Rabo de Toro Oxtail Stew recipe hails from Jerez in Spain, and is one of the most time-consuming recipes we’ve ever made for our site. Prepared over two days, it makes us wonder just how many people go on to attempt it – and how it ended up at the top of the list of our 10 most popular recipes of 2017 on Grantourismo. Every time I’ve made it since, I’ve found it really only works with great quality oxtail meat – which is not that easy to find here in Cambodia unfortunately.
It’s funny that this Cote de Boeuf recipe, courtesy of Chef Pierre Gagnaire, started with me spending a shift in the kitchen of this fascinating French chef’s restaurant in Dubai, Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire. The chefs let me prepare a dish for Gagnaire and his head chef for their post-service supper that night. Throughout the evening the Cote de Boeuf aromas were making me salivate. So when we interviewed Gagnaire in France months later after lunch at his Paris restaurant, we asked him to share the recipe, and that became The Dish for Paris.
While I’ve made this Moroccan Lamb Tagine with Prunes and Almonds recipe dozens of times, making it in Morocco was special. We did a road trip from Marrakech to spend a weekend in Essaouria on the Atlantic coast. It was a cold evening with copious amounts of red wine, great music, and a raging fire going in the living room of our riad. It was one of the most memorable evenings of our twelve month round-the-world odyssey. To this day, people ask me if it needs the prunes. Yes, and no, you can’t use apricots. They’re best reserved for chicken tagine.
This recipe for Bubur Ayam or Indonesian Congee with Chicken being one of our 10 most popular recipes of 2017 on Grantourismo is quite a surprise. Although I’m very proud of this recipe. Our cook, Desak, at our tropical villa in Tumbak Bayuh village on Bali in Indonesia, was so kind to let me watch her and take notes whenever she made it – in exchange for me teaching her some Western favourites. It’s such a great, honest dish that’s quite straightforward to prepare but is really scrumptious.
This Tomato Bredie recipe for the classic Cape Town stew is another slightly surprising one in our 10 most popular recipes of 2017. I guess it’s a reflection of how much an impact the dish makes on travellers to Cape Town who learn there’s more to the food of South Africa and Cape Town cuisine than barbecue. I really enjoyed discovering the similarities between the slow-cooked dishes and the fact that both this dish and Rabo de Toro are eaten on the second day.
Our authentic Khmer Prahok Ktis Recipe (also written as Prahok K’tis) is one we’re also proud of as it’s absolutely delicious. As the dish is an acquired taste for many due to the prahok (fermented fish), it’s great to see it in the 10 most popular recipes of 2017. There are lots of very average and downright wrong recipes for this dish, so this recipe is one that we hope steers people in the right direction. Along with the Fish Amok, these are a couple of Khmer dishes that really make an impression on travellers to Cambodia, including guests on our culinary tours.
This Cambodian fish amok recipe is one for an authentic steamed fish curry made in the old style. It was taught to us by several elderly women cooks. The mother of one was a cook to the king and the father of another a village cook, while one women is a cook who makes old-style meals for wealthy local families. We’ve detailed the corruption of fish amok, which is Cambodia’s unofficial national dish, and the various forms it takes in tourist restaurants, from an amok curry to tofu amok. So it’s wonderful to see visitors arriving here having searched for an authentic version of this classic. In short: if it ain’t made with fish, it doesn’t have noni leaves and it’s not steamed, it ain’t fish amok.
Winter in Poland equals pierogi. No question about it. The Russian side of Lara’s family have always made pelmeni and vareniki, which are very similar to pierogi. However, when we were in Poland during our year-long trip, we visited a restaurant in Krakow to learn how the Polish tackle these rustic dumplings. We picked up lots of tips from the chefs that helped us create one of our most popular recipes for 2017. We’re making a big batch these holidays. We just need to pretend it’s snowing.
I was surprised to see this recipe for Spicy Turkish Lamb Chops with Bulgur which I made in Istanbul, Turkey, in our 10 most popular recipes of 2017. I’ve been making spicy lamb chops with grilled eggplant and capsicum, a red wine sauce, and yoghurt to tame the heat, since we lived in Sydney in the 1990s. But I’ve always served it with couscous. When we rented an Ottoman house for a few months in Antalya some years ago, to write travel guidebooks, I started using Turkish bulgur instead of the North African grain. I made this dish so often my local butcher started giving me packets of spice to help marinate the lamb I bought from him.
This Five-Spice Crispy Pork Belly recipe which I made in our kitchen here in Siem Reap is the most recently published of our 10 most popular recipes of 2017 on Grantourismo. I made variations of this dish close to a dozen times before committing to this particular recipe. It’s quite simple, however, it’s the final stage of cooking to get that desirable crispy skin that really impresses guests.