Sunday, July 31, 2011

Beach Vacation, Visitors, and Sausage and Vegetable Kebabs

View from the roof of my apartment at sunset.
Yes, that's the ocean you see in the background.
 I'm not sure what people think of when they hear the "Dominican Republic". I knew nothing about the DR before I landed here, with my only reference to the Dominican Republic being a documentary about gang violence in Haiti (the DR's island-sharing neighbor). It scared the shit out of me.

The DR and Haiti are completely different entities, with food, customs, and traditions that very rarely result in similarities, and Haiti is still somewhat of a mystery to me. However, I may or may not be becoming an expert on DR life and on what it has to offer in terms of internal tourism.This country is absolutely breathtaking. A new facet of this blog will be to show you what I see when I travel outside the city.

My mom was in town to visit, and while she was here we did a few different things. Wine on the roof of my apartment, laid back pool time at the hotel where we stayed a couple of days, dinner at the fiancé and I's favorite place, and then a weekend trip to Bávaro. Bávaro is located on the Eastern tip of the country, right next to Punta Cana.

We stayed in the Barceló Resort Dominican Beach. For about 50 dollars a night, you get the room, food, and drinks included. If you are looking for an easy trip, where you don't need to worry about Spanish or venture outside of the hotel area, Bávaro/Punta Cana should be your destination, due to its innumerable all-inclusive hotels and their beautiful beaches. There is even an airport in Punta Cana, so you can fly directly in without having to navigate through Santo Domingo.  

However, if you are adventuresome and want to see more of the DR, this probably isn't going to be your type of thing. For our purposes, it was exactly what we wanted. The resort offered everything we could need in the sense that we relaxed and shared each other's company without having to worry about food or drinks or "where to next?". To be clear, 12 of us went on this trip and we had a ball, but the all-inclusive hotels are not examples of Dominican culture in the slightest. On the other hand, the beaches. are. so. pretty.

My mom and the fiancé on the beach at the resort.

Our 7:00am walk on a Sunday morning meant an empty beach was guaranteed.

We made a friend and named him Gofyto.


Sausage and Vegetable Kebabs

When my mom came to visit, I wanted her to be able to feel at home in our apartment. With so many differences between North Carolina and the Dominican Republic, I think it's hard to imagine that the feeling of home is universal. One night we ate this dinner, Sausage and Vegetable Kebabs, and drank wine on the roof. It was a special night, and the food just made it that much better (it was awesome).

2 sausage links of your choice, cut into chunks
2 red onions, quartered
1 bell pepper, cut into 1 inch squares
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
Juice from 1 lemon or lime
salt and pepper

First, mix the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, garlic, basil, and lemon/lime juice in a small bowl. Toss the vegetables and this marinade together in a large bowl or tupperware and cover for at least an hour. Add other vegetables if you want - squash, eggplant, and mushrooms would all be great additions. 

Once the vegetables are done marinading, get your skewers ready and pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Season the sausage with salt and pepper, and then place your vegetables and sausage evenly on the skewers. Place each skewer on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes. Turn them and bake for another 10-15 minutes. The kebabs are done when the sausage is cooked all the way through and the vegetables are soft and starting to brown - but not burned!  Transfer your kebabs to plates and finish by spooning more of the marinade right on top to add to the flavor.

a buen tiempo!

1 comment:

  1. I can't figure out who took the picture of you two on your walk. Gofyto?

    I had a wonderful time! Thank you again!