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Taste the difference: Global recipes from All-Inclusive resort chefs

Whether you’re craving Mexican food, Jamaican drinks or delicious Dominican dishes, our talented chefs have you (and your inner foodie) covered with these tasty recipes. | By Hannah LaRock | May 13, 2022

If you consider yourself a foodie, you’re likely just as excited about diving into a delicious international dish as you are diving into the stunning blue waters found around the world. While nothing beats trying the real thing in your dream destination, these delicious recipes offer a small taste of what’s to come on your next international vacation.

  • Strong beginnings: Start your day right with an iconic Dominican Republic breakfast

  • Treat yourself: Sip on a refreshing factory mule before chowing down on warm churros

  • Fine dining: Elevate your usual dinner fare with this approachable take on flavorful duck confit

Mangu

At Hilton La Romana, an All-Inclusive Adult Only Resort in the Dominican Republic, you’ll likely fuel up for a day of exploring with one of the island’s most popular dishes: mangu. It's a traditional meal (and the Dominican Republic’s national breakfast) in which green plantains are boiled and then mashed with butter or oil before being topped with onions. Finish the meal off with the protein(s) of your choice: a fried egg, a few slices of salami or even fried cheese are just a few of the classic options. Here’s how to bring that sweet-salty flavor profile home:

Ingredients:

  • 3 green plantains with no signs of yellow, peeled and cut into ½-inch-long sections

  • ½ cup water, room temperature

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • Salt, to taste

  • ½ tablespoon olive oil

  • ½ cup onion, sliced

  • Optional: egg, salami or cheese

Method:

In a small saucepan over high heat, bring water to boil. Add plantains and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Test by poking plantains with a fork.

Drain water from saucepan. Mash plantains with a fork until smooth, adding butter and room temperature water in small increments to help break them down. Add salt to taste.

In a separate pan, add olive oil and sauté onions. Season with salt to taste. Once browned, add on top of the plantain puree.

Serve with fried cheese, slices of salami and a fried egg, if you choose, or a different topping.

Factory mule

When you think of Jamaica, golden beaches, warm sun and refreshing cocktails (preferably with a tiny paper umbrella) are what come to mind. And for good reason — after all, the island is one of the highest rum-producing regions in the world. So, the next time you find yourself dreaming of the perfect beach vacation, let the talented chefs at Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa help you channel that relaxation with a delicious factory mule:

Ingredients:

  • 1½ ounce Appleton Special Jamaica Rum

  • ½ ounce fresh lime juice

  • ½ ounce lemongrass syrup

  • 2 ounce ginger beer

  • 2 ounce fresh cane juice

For garnish:

  • Sugar cane stick

  • Lime slice

Method:

Combine Appleton Special Jamaica Rum, fresh lime juice, lemongrass syrup, ginger beer and fresh cane juice. Mix well and pour over ice in a copper mug (if you have one). Garnish with a sugar cane stick and a slice of lime.

Note: if you’re unable to find fresh cane juice, feel free to substitute with coconut sugar or agave nectar.

Duck confit

It’s easy to lose track of time when dreaming about the vibrant reefs and crystal-clear waters of Curacao. The Dutch Caribbean island is a favorite with vacation-goers and promises hours spent relaxing on golden sands, exploring historical architecture and feasting on delicious fusion cuisine. One such meal? Duck confit — a popular local dish with European roots. For those that are still planning their tropical getaway, the amazing team at Mangrove Beach Corendon Curacao All-Inclusive Resort, Curio Collection by Hilton has shared their duck confit recipe. Best of all, it calls for 24-48 hours of inactive cooking time — which means you can feel free to daydream of warmer days AND have your cake, er confit, and eat it, too.

Ingredients:

  • 4 duck legs (about 2¼ pounds total)

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use about half as much by volume or the same weight

  • 6 large shallots, quartered

  • 1 small onion, cut into 2-inch pieces

  • 6 medium garlic cloves

  • ½ bunch flat-leaf parsley leaves and tender stems, roughly chopped

  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns

  • 2 to 4 cups duck fat or olive oil

The day before cooking:

Season duck legs evenly on all sides with salt; set aside. Combine shallots, onion, garlic and parsley in a food processor bowl and pulse until finely chopped but not puréed, about 15 pulses.

Transfer half the vegetable mixture to a nonreactive container that can fit duck legs snuggly, such as a baking dish, and spread in an even layer. Scatter half the thyme sprigs and peppercorns over the vegetable mixture, then arrange duck legs skin-side up in an even layer on top, pressing them into the vegetable mixture.

Distribute remaining thyme sprigs and peppercorns over duck legs, followed by the remaining vegetable mixture, spreading it evenly so legs are well-coated. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24-48 hours.

(Alternatively, combine duck legs, vegetable mixture, thyme, and peppercorns in a 1-gallon zipper-lock bag. Seal bag, pressing out as much air as possible. Massage bag until duck legs are evenly coated on all sides. Lay bag flat on a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate for 24-48 hours.)

When ready to cook:

Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit (107 degrees Celsius).

Melt duck fat, either in a saucier over low heat or in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave. (If using olive oil, skip this step)

Remove duck legs from the baking dish (or bag), wiping away as much of the curing mixture as possible. Rinse legs gently under cold water to remove all seasonings; discard curing mixture.

Pat duck legs dry with paper towels, then arrange in a single layer in an oven-safe saucier with duck fat or olive oil, making sure they are completely submerged in fat. Alternatively, arrange duck legs snugly in a small baking dish and cover with melted duck fat (or olive oil), making sure legs are fully submerged in fat.

Cover saucier or baking dish with lid or aluminum foil, and transfer to oven. Cook for about 3.5 to 4 hours, or until duck is completely tender. The meat should be easily pierced with a paring knife and the skin should pull away from the bottom of the drumstick.

Remove from oven and cool to room temperature in cooking vessel, removing lid but keeping submerged in fat. Once cool, cover the container tightly and transfer to refrigerator, where confit can be stored for up to one month. The dish is traditionally served warm alongside a generous helping of pommes de terre à la Sarladaise, i.e., thick-cut potato coins fried in duck fat.

Churros

Nothing says “take me to Mexico” better than a heaping plate of warm churros. They’re crispy, delicately spiced and when balanced with creamy ice cream, call to mind deep dives into cenotes, warm nights on the beach and the carefree days of a trip to Cancun. Which is why the chefs at Hilton Cancun, an All-Inclusive Resort (home to La Churreria, an all-you-can-eat ice cream and churro shop) have shared their recipe for this family-favorite dessert. So, get ready to whip some up and enjoy while planning your next dream vacation.

Ingredients:

For dough:

  • 4 cups and scant 3 tablespoons water

  • 1 cup and 7 tablespoons butter or margarine

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ½ tablespoon sugar

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 8⅓ cups flour

  • 8 egg whites

  • Vegetable oil for frying

For coating:

  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

In a large pot, bring water, salt, butter, sugar and vanilla to a boil over medium-high heat until butter is completely melted. Stir to combine.

Add the flour (little by little, not all at once) until everything is incorporated. Stir constantly with a spatula until a smooth, firm dough ball forms.

Transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl and start adding the egg whites in pairs. Use an electric mixer on speed 1 to blend until smooth.

Once the dough is ready, transfer to a “churrera” to give the churros their proper form. If you don’t have one, use a pastry bag and a star-shaped nozzle.

Heat a frying pan with plenty of vegetable oil. When the oil is hot (about 383 degrees to 392 degrees Fahrenheit, or 195 degrees to 200 degrees Celsius), carefully pipe portions of dough to fry, about six inches long. Cut dough with scissors. Do not fry more than five at once.

Once fried to a golden brown (about two minutes per side), transfer to a platter lined with a paper towel to absorb excess oil. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon, and serve warm.

Joanna Tweedy is an award-winning travel writer and editor who lives in London.