Friday, March 3, 2017

Simple Recipes for the Sea Cook

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Galley Recipe of the Week
Potato Masher Banana Cake

    No electric mixer on board? No problem to make this moist and chunky banana cake. Just use a potato masher.  Then bake it in an 8 X 8-inch pan in the oven, convection oven, microwave or toaster oven.

3 soft, ripe bananas
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 stick butter, softened
2/3 cup liquid eggs or egg substitute OR
2 fresh eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
1 cup each sugar and flour

    Set the oven to 375 degrees and spray or grease an 8 X 8-inch cake pan. Mash bananas and baking soda in a large bowl and continue mashing while adding butter, eggs, vanilla, sugar and flour. Switch to a rubber spatula for final mixing but do not over-beat. 

    When batter is well incorporated and no dry spots remain, put it in the pan and bake about 35 minutes or until it’s springy to the touch. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or top with whipped cream, yogurt, syrup or icing. 

    Microwave method: put batter in a greased or sprayed microware dish and bake about 2 minutes, turning every 30 seconds,  until springy to the touch.
    Induction method: grease or spray or 10-inch iron skillet and add batter.  Cover tightly. Place over medium heat, or 350 degrees, and cook 3 minutes, then check every 2 minutes until it’s springy to the touch and pulls slightly away from edges of the pan. The top will not brown.
    Slow cooker method: grease or spray a 4-quart slow cooker and add batter. Place a double layer of paper toweling under the lid to absorb condensation. Cook on Low 1 ½ to 2  hours or until cake is firm and springy. Note that this is a small cake recipe. If made in a 6-quart slow cooker it will cook faster and be very thin. You can also double the recipe for a larger slow cooker and adjust cooking time accordingly. 

    Cook’s note: I prefer an old-fashioned wire potato masher rather than the type with a smaller grid. It’s easier to use for all the mashing and mixing I do with it.

Never be without a wholesome snack in your pocket. Make a big batch of trail mix and package in snack bags. New recipes every week at  Http://

Tips for the Galley Chef

    * Don’t buy long-life survival foods by the case lot until you try them. I just tossed out $20 worth of freeze-dried shrimp that nobody could eat. It re-hydrated to a spongy, sickly yellow color. And it tasted awful.  

    * Ever check into a resort marina where guests can charge resort services such as restaurant, bar and spa to their account? Like a hotel, the resort probably puts a “hold” authorization on your credit card to cover future expenses. You may not charge anything but that charge remains until you check out. Make sure it doesn’t push you over your credit limit. 

    * Add a can of cream style corn to your mac ‘n cheese for a creamier dish with sweeter taste. 

    * A belaying pin makes a good muddler. 

    * Do you have glass vases or  storage jars that have developed a crusty film? Fill with water and add one or two denture cleaning tablets. Let soak, then rinse and dry. 

    * Many cruising sailors have a simple, signature gift that they carry on board to give to marina neighbors or shoreside folks they meet along the way. In some places, canned Spam is highly valued. One single-hander leaves U.S. $2 bills. Another carries Sacajawea dollars. Here’s an idea. Put your favorite galley recipes on a thumb drive and use nautical knots to make a distinctive lanyard or necklace. 

See more of Janet Groene’s shortcut recipes at
Pantry Recipe of the Week
    Each week we present a recipe that requires no fresh food at all.  For a cookbook of emergency recipes see Janet Groene’s Survival Food Handbook. It’s a guide to provisioning at the supermarket with shelf-stable foods. No high-priced survival foods needed.
Tomato Lentil Ragout
    Tomato paste is the prepper’s best friend, especially if you have a small boat and a long voyage. Few foods have so many uses for so little money and space.
1 1/3 cups lentils, rinsed
1/3 cup each diced dried onions, dried celery
6 cups water
4 beef, chicken or vegetable bouillon cubes
½ cup small pasta shells
6-ounce can tomato paste
2 teaspoons mixed Italian seasoning
14.5-ounce can of peas and carrots
1/3 cup  red wine
1 tablespoon sugar
Instant potato flakes (optional)
Salt, pepper
Grated Parmesan for garnish

    Rinse and pick over lentils. Add water and bouillon and bring to a boil. Cover and cook 20-25  minutes. Add pasta and cook 10 minutes more.
    Keeping heat at medium-low, stir in tomato paste until well mixed.  Add peas and carrots, wine and sugar. To thicken, add potato flakes one tablespoon at a time over medium heat, allowing a minute between each addition.
    Adjust seasonings, ladle into bowls and garnish with Parmesan. Serves 4 to 6. 

See more of Janet Groene’s RV-ready recipes at
Bonus Recipe
Sugar ‘n Spice Breakfast Bars
    Wrap these wholesome bars in waxed paper to eat at the helm for an early morning departure. Or, put in a bowl and sauce with vanilla yogurt.
2 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup each raisins and broken nuts
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon each baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
½ cup white or brown sugar

    In a bowl whisk eggs, gradually whisking in oil, water and vanilla. Put dry ingredents in a bowl or bag, then dump into wet ingredients and mix until everything is evenly wet. Put in a buttered 9 X 13 pan and bake about 20 minutes, or until firm and springy, at 375 degrees. Mark  in squares, cool in the pan, then cut in squares. Serves 4 to 6.
    Stove-top method: Mix as directed and put in a cold, greased, heavy skillet. Cover tightly and cook over low-medium heat until it’s firm to the touch. Cool, turn out of the skillet and cut into portions.

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