With the introduction of Holland America Line’s “On Location” program, onboard classes and demonstrations by local artists and professionals allow guests to familiarize themselves with the cultures they’ll be visiting around the world. “On Location” means that Holland America Line guests can learn to tango on the way to Argentina, take a cooking class taught by a Australian chef or taste fresh mussels off Canada’s Prince Edward Island.
On cruises that explore the Caribbean, “On Location” will be in full swing. “On Location” guides present lectures like “Pirates of the Caribbean” that tells about the real-life adventures of the pirates, privateers and buccaneers that once plundered the Caribbean and “Rum Running” that talks about the history of this local libation.
The music sets the mood as special Caribbean CDs play around the ship representing the feel and culture of the islands. Guests can enjoy the genres of Calypso, Soca, Zouk and Merengue. If you like the music you hear, ask about it onboard and you can find out the artist whose songs are playing by the Lido pool, in the Atrium, before the local entertainment and more.
Guests who want to learn more about the culinary side of the islands can learn how to make Caribbean Salmon with Guava Barbecue Sauce & Mango Veggie Salsa as well as Caribbean Pepper Pot Soup at cooking demonstrations in the Culinary Arts Center.
Let’s head to the sea and learn how to make Caribbean Sole with Plantains & Papaya Salsa that also is featured onboard.
YIELD: Makes 4 servings
Plantains are simply a must in this dish, so choosing the right ones is important. At the market, look for those that are more brown than yellow, for these will be the sweetest and most tender. To peel, cut off both ends, then make three or four cuts down the length of the plantain peel, being careful not to cut into the flesh of the fruit. Then carefully remove the sections of the peel.
For the sole and plantains
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 plantains, halved horizontally, each half cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips
Salt to taste
4 four-ounce sole fillets
Pepper to taste
For the salsa
1 papaya, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
2 jalapeño chilies, seeded and finely chopped
Fresh lime juice (or orange juice) as needed
Salt and pepper to taste
Sprigs of fresh cilantro for garnish
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the plantains, sprinkle with salt and cook for 3 minutes per side or until lightly brown and tender. Transfer to a plate, cover and set aside.
To cook the sole, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Place the sole in the pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes per side or until it flakes easily when tested with a fork.
Meanwhile, stir together all the salsa ingredients in a medium bowl. Add enough lime juice to moisten the mixture and season with salt and pepper.
For each serving, place 4 to 5 plantain strips on a dinner plate. Place one sole fillet over the strips and top with a heaping 1/3 cup of the salsa. Garnish with a cilantro sprig.
Are you ready to go “On Location” to the Caribbean? What are you most excited to learn about or see in this program?