Couples who travel together, stay together.

And couples who eat together do too.

For the ultimate date night dinner, we asked Classic Journeys guides to share their favorite date-night recipes, to create the ultimate around-the-world menu.

Make this six course meal for two, and enjoy the flavors of Classic Journeys destinations at your dinner table, starting with Maine and Morocco, and continuing onto many more.

Hors d’oeuvre: Maine oysters 
Aerial shot of oysters on plate with ice and lemons

“What better way to begin a meal for two?” asks John, whose oyster farm you’ll visit on our Acadia & Maine tour. “Super easy to prepare and serve, oysters are one of the most famous aphrodisiacs of all the time, and Maine oysters are the best in the world—juicy, salty, and buttery!”

Ingredients for Maine Oysters—

6 of your favorite oysters from Maine. My favorites are the ones that have been harvested from the fabled Damariscotta River, such as Glidden Point!
1 lemon, cut into wedges
4 cups ice cubes, crushed
Salt and pepper

How to serve Maine Oysters—

Put the crushed ice onto a plate, then place the oysters and lemon on top. Squeeze the lemon onto your oyster just before you eat it. Enjoy!

Appetizer: Moroccan kefta 
Moroccan meatballs on skewer

“Though they’re small” says Morocco guide, Saida, “these meatball appetizers are packed with Morocco’s signature fruit and spice flavors. They don’t take long to make, and they taste just as good if you make them in advance and reheat them.” 

Ingredients for Moroccan kefta—

(for the kefta)
Half pound ground beef or lamb
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
Half teaspoon of ground cinnamon
Quarter cup of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Quarter cup of fresh mint, finely chopped

(for the apricot glaze)
1 tablespoon of butter
Quarter cup of apricot preserve
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

Fresh mint or basil leaves to garnish

How to make Moroccan kefta—

Mix all meatball ingredients in a bowl, then form the mixture into small meatballs.
Heat oil in a pan, then fry the meatballs until cooked.
Warm the glaze ingredients in a pan until a syrup forms.
Pour the syrup over meatballs and add the mint or basil leaves on top.

Salad: panzanella from Tuscany 
Tuscan traditional summer salad

“You bring a Tuscan summer’s day into your kitchen when you make a Panzanella” says Tuscany guide, Elenor, “Even if you eat it in the middle of winter! It is a perfectly refreshing salad course. I like to make this about an hour in advance, so that all the juices soak together deliciously.”

Ingredients for Tuscan Panzanella—

Extra virgin olive oil
1 cup of crusty bread, cut into cubes
6-inch cucumber, cut into small cubes
1 cup of green, red and yellow bell peppers, seeded and cut into cubes
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup of fresh basil, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper

(for the dressing)
Half teaspoon of finely minced garlic
Half teaspoon of Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons of balsamic or champagne vinegar
Quarter cup of extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

How to make Tuscan Panzanella—

Lightly fry the bread cubes in olive oil until they’re golden brown.
Whisk ingredients for the dressing.
Mix everything together, let it stand a while so that the juices soak in, then serve!

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Main course: Provencal duck breast with figs 
France Provence recipe duck breast with figs

“Everybody thinks of duck a l’orange when it comes to French cuisine. But that is because they haven’t yet tried duck with figs!” says our Provence guide, Isabel, who makes award-winning olive oil with her husband, an acclaimed chef. “People also think French cooking is complicated, but this is very easy to make, and looks wonderful on a plate. You can cook the duck breast to your preference, and for a side, I suggest mashed potato or vegetables. Bon appetit!”

Ingredients for Provencal duck breast with figs—

2 duck breasts
4 fresh figs, cut into quarters
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons of honey
Salt and pepper

(for the red wine jus)
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
Quarter cup of dry red wine
Quarter cup of chicken stock
1 tablespoon of honey
Salt and pepper

How to make caramelized baked figs—

Heat your oven to 400F.
Cover the figs in the vinegar and honey. Sprinkle on salt and pepper.
Place the figs cut-side up in a baking dish, add the rosemary and bake for 15 minutes, until caramelized.

How to cook the duck breasts—

Score the skin of the duck breasts, then season.
Over medium heat, fry the duck breasts in a pan, skin side down, until a dark golden brown. Turn over and cook the other side for up to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Let it stand for 10 minutes (while you make the jus) before serving.

How to make the red wine jus—

Warm ingredients together in a pan, and simmer until they reduce. Add half a teaspoon of flour if you want the sauce to thicken. Pour jus over the duck when serving.

Dessert: New Zealand pavlova
New Zealand mini pavlova recipe

“This dish was named after the famous ballerina, Anna Pavlova,” our New Zealand guide Kreig tells us. “It’s great for a multi-course dinner because you can make it in advance, and it only requires a few ingredients. You can really personalize it too, choosing your favorite fruits, flavoring and coloring the cream and meringue, and adding toppings like nuts, chocolate or edible flowers. Traditionally you would make a large pavlova then take slices for it, but I think the mini version is cute for a date night or dinner party! If the meringues break, just mix everything together and say you have prepared an English Eton Mess (a UK classic, invented as a result of a damaged pavlova!). It will be just as delicious!”

Ingredients for New Zealand pavlova—

2 meringue shells (you can either buy these ready-made, or make them from scratch)
1.5 cups of whipping cream
1 vanilla pod
Fruit. Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, red-currants, blueberries, passionfruit, whatever you like best!
Topping (optional) chopped pistachios, raspberry coulis, melted chocolate, again, whatever you fancy!

How to make New Zealand pavlova—

Whip the cream with the vanilla pod. Spoon the cream on top of the meringue, then add the fruit on top. Sprinkle on toppings if you are using them. And voila! Super simple and delicious. Refrigerate until you serve.

Petit four: Costa Rica rum chocolate truffles
Costa Rica handmade chocolate truffle recipe

“Always save the best until last!” says Kenneth, Costa Rica tour leader and naturalist, “These truffles are little bites of Pura Vida. They are a perfect finishing touch to a meal, and are very easy to make. If you want something else instead of the alcohol, try another Costa Rica staple and swap for espresso coffee. Or, make both and have fun guessing which truffle is which!” 

Ingredients for Costa Rica chocolate truffles—

4.5fl oz whipping cream
5oz Costa Rican chocolate, finely chopped
0.5oz unsalted butter
2 tbsp Costa Rica rum
Quarter cup of cocoa powder

How to make Costa Rica chocolate truffles—

Melt the chocolate and butter together in a pan, or in the microwave, stirring frequently.
Stir in the cream and rum.
Leave to cool in the fridge for a few hours, or overnight.
Using a teaspoon, scoop out the mixture and quickly roll it into a ball shape with your hands, then dip into the cocoa powder.
Place back in the fridge to cool down.

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