Friday, June 22, 2018

Boating Recipes for Sea and Shore

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Galley Recipe 
of the Week

Sweet Patootie Chili

    Your crew won’t miss the meat in this flavorful, vegetarian/vegan chili. It’s a snap for the galley stove, solar cooker, pressure cooker, Dutch oven or even a kettle hung over a beach fire.  Salt is not listed because the canned beans and tomatoes may contain all you need. Add pepper if you like and/or pass the hot sauce. Serves 6. 

1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cocoa powder, unsweetened
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Large onion, peeled and diced
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
Large red sweet pepper, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 cans red beans, drained and rinsed
30-to 32-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice

1 cup white or brown rice
Optional garnish: minced cilantro or parsley

    Slow cooker method: Grease the upper sides of the cooker. Mix spices in the cooker, adding freshly ground pepper if using. Then toss in onion, sweet potatoes, peppers and garlic to coat well. Stir in everything but the rice and beans and cook on High one hour. Stir in rice, turn heat to Low and cook 5 to 8 hours more, adding water if needed. Stir in beans to heat through.
    Solar cooker method: Follow instructions above, adding rice after mixture becomes hot. Continue cooking until rice and vegetables are tender.
    Pressure Cooker method: Assemble ingredients as above and bring to a boil. Stir in rice and raise to full pressure. For white rice, cook 2 minutes and brown rice 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let pressure return to normal. Add beans, heat, stir and serve.
    Stove-top Method: In a roomy skillet or kettle over high heat, sizzle diced onion and pepper in 2 tablespoons hot vegetable oil, gradually stirring in spices, garlic and sweet potatoes to coat. Add tomatoes. Bring to a boil, stir in rice, cover and reduce heat. Cook 20 to 30 minutes without stirring until rice and vegetables are tender. Stir in beans to heat through.  Stir and serve.    

Pantry Recipe of the Week
    No fresh ingredients are needed for recipes in this weekly feature. Emergencies happen. A well-stocked pantry is good boating insurance.

Pantry Beef Curry
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 cans, 10-to-12 ounces each, roast beef in gravy
15-ounce can diced potatoes, drained (about 2 cups)*
8-ounce can diced or sliced carrots, drained, or more to taste
Heaping teaspoon cornstarch

    Drain beef and save juices. Stir curry powder into hot oil until fragrant, Stir in beef and  break it up. Drain potatoes and carrots and discard juice. Add water to reserved beef juices to make 1 cup. Stir cornstarch into cold liquid, then stir into hot beef mixture over high heat until it’s thick and bubbling. Serve as us or over rice with condiments from the pantry such as raisins, shredded coconut and/or  chutney.  

*If you will not be serving this over rice or other starch, you might add more potatoes and carrots. 

Bonus Recipe
    Some sauces are so versatile, it’s a plus to have them on board to enhance a wide variety of dishes. Frankfurter Green Sauce is so celebrated in Germany, there’s a special festival for itin Frankfurt.
    It’s traditionally served on boiled potatoes and hard-cooked eggs. Serve it on vegetables, omelette, burgers, pasta. Every chef his or her own version. Here’s mine. 

Frankfurt Green Sauce

2 hard-boiled egg yolks
1 tablespoon mild vegetable oil or nut oil
2 cups mixed sour cream, full milk yogurt and creme fraiche
12 ounces mixed, minced green fresh herbs such as parsley, cress, chives, chervil. The more variety, the better.
Salt, pepper, lemon juice to taste

    If you have a food processor, process to taste. If not, mash egg yolks and oil, then stir in sour cream mixture and fold in finely minced herbs. Add salt, pepper and fresh lemon juice to taste. Keep cold.

Skillet Recipe of the Week
Chops and Wedges
    It’s only meat and potatoes, but the flavor will knock your socks off. 

4 chicken thighs or pork chops
4 white or sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 oranges

    Scrub potatoes and cut in wedges. In a large skillet, brown potatoes and chops or thighs in hot oil. Trim ends from oranges and slice ½ inch thick. Remove seeds. Push meat and potatos aside and brown oranges.

2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup olive oil
2/3 cup lemon lime soda
1 teaspoon ground cumin

    Mix salt into garlic, then whisk in oil, juices and cumin. Spoon over ingredients in the pan. Cover and cook over low heat until potatoes and chops or thighs test done, adding more soda if needed. Remove meat and potatoes to serving plates. Stir pan juices. scraping up brown bits,  and pour over plates. 

Friday, June 15, 2018

Cruising and Sailing with Big Meals, Small Galley

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Galley Recipe of the Week
Heavenly Hazelnut Dessert

16-ounce box graham crackers (you won’t need them all)
Hazelnut spread (e.g. Nutella)

Large box (8 servings) instant vanilla pudding (regular or sugar free)
3 cups cold milk
8-ounce carton whipped topping, thawed
Chocolate fudge ice cream topping
1 cup chopped hazelnuts

    Spread graham crackers with Nutella and arrange them, spread side up, in the bottom of a 9 X 13-inch dish. Cut to fit if necessary to cover the whole bottom.

     Whisk together pudding, milk and topping. Put a third  of the pudding mixture over the crackers, add another layer of  spread graham crackers, another third of the pudding mixture and another layer of spread crackers, this time with the spread  side down. Spread the top with the remaining pudding mix.
    Cover with plastic wrap and chill several hours or overnight. Drizzle top with fudge topping and sprinkle with nuts. Cut in squares. Makes 12 to 15 portions. 

Variation:  (1) Hazelnuts are expensive. For a more economical version try peanut butter and peanuts, almonds or wanuts 
(2) For fewer servings and fewer calories, eliminate the middle layer of crackers.

Pantry Recipe of the Week

    Each week we offer an idea for an emergency dish that needs no fresh food. Of course fresh food is better, but stuff happens. No matter how fancy your boat or how big your freezer, shelf-stable foods are good insurance. Read Survival Food Handbook, a guide to using ordinary supermarket foods to stock your boat's pantry.

Berlin Bistro Beef ‘n Kraut
2 cans roast beef in gravy
4 portions sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
1 or 2 cans sliced potatoes, rinsed and drained
Small can sliced mushrooms, drained (optional)
12-ounce can vegetable juice cocktail such a V-8
2 tablespoons cornstarch

    Put roast beef and gravy in a pan and break it up. Add sauerkraut and potatoes.
Whisk cornstarch into juice and stir into beef mixture. Bring to a low boil, stirring, until thick. Serves 4.
Variation: Omit canned potatoes and serve over instant mashed potatoes or another starch such as rice, biscuits, rye toast or boiled noodles. 

Tips for the Galley Chef

* You control the wow factor when you make your own hot pepper oil.  Heat peanut oil to about 350 degrees F. (Peanut oil has a higher smoke point than many other oils.) Stir in 2 to 4 tablespoons dried pepper flakes per cup of oil. Cool 24 hours, strain.

*Make a more colorful succotash by combining a drained can of whole kernel corn with a can of drained and rinsed kidney beans. Heat, butter, season to taste.

* Use your coffee grinder or blender to pulverize dried mushrooms. Sprinkle this powder sparingly into soups and stews.

* If a rust stain develops on a Formica galley counter, try removing it with a rubber eraser.

Love to cook on your deck grill? This sturdy stainless steel rack makes for easy grilling, roasting and serving of chicken drumsticks. Also holds ice cream cones while you fill and serve.  See it at


Skillet Meal of the Week
Turkey Drumsticks and Macaroni

At right: pick up scallop shells on the beach and use them to serve butter pats and other small individual portions. 

4  turkey drumsticks
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Medium onion, sliced in crescents
Small can sliced mushrooms, drained
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
2 cans macaroni and cheese
1 cup thawed peas (optional)

    In a large skillet brown the drumsticks, gradually stirring in onion, mushrooms and mustard.  Cover and braise about 30 minutes until turkey is tender. Add macaroni and cheese and peas. Cover and heat through. Serves 4.
Suggested condiments: Sprinkle with sliced scallions or pass the pepper mill, hot sauce or soy sauce.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Boat Cooking Ashore and At Sea

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Galley Recipe 
of the Week

Pumpkin Spice Cake Your Way
Serve it as a snack, breakfast or dress it up with whipped cream for dessert.

2 eggs
15-ounce can of pureed pumpkin OR

1 cup mashed pumpkin or butternut squash PLUS ½ cup applesauce 

½ cup water
1/4 cup canola or corn oil
1 teaspoon rum extract or butter-rum extract
1 box spice cake mix
Cinnamon sugar for topping (optional)

Grease a heavy skillet (preferably cast aluminum)  or a 9 X 13-inch baking pan. In a bowl whisk wet ingredients. Add cake mix. Put batter in skillet or pan and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Sprinkle with more cinnamon sugar after cake is done if you wish. 
     Stove-top method: Cover skillet tightly and place over the stove burner, with a flame spreader if necessary. Bake without peeking for 20 minutes on low/medium, then check every 5 minutes until it’s springy to the touch and pulls slightly away from edges of the skillet. 
Oven or solar method: at 350 degrees or in a pre-heated solar oven, bake 30 minutes or until cake is springy to the touch and pulling slightly away from edges of the pan.

Tips for the Galley Cook

* When making  batter for crepes, tempura or deep-fried seafood, let it stand 30 minutes after mixing. 

* Spray a plastic food storage container with nonstick pan spray  before adding tomato-based food to avoid stains. 

* To serve chili or stew under a bread blanket, whisk one cup self-rising flour, two cups milk and two eggs.  Drizzle over hot food. Bake in the oven or cover the skillet and steam until batter is firm.

*See easy recipes for healthier, homemade trail mixes at Always have a meal in your pocket afloat and ashore.
* Make a batch of Rice Krispy bar cookies. (You know, the ones with melted marshmallows?) While it’s  warm use buttered hands  to form into small bowls to fill with cut-up fresh fruit.  

* Here’s a shortcut topping for any fruit cobbler. Whisk together a can of sweetened condensed milk, a stick of melted butter, 1 1/4 cups self-rising flour and ½ teaspoon lemon extract. Pour batter over a casserole filled with fruit of your choice. Bake until topping browns. 

* Make foolproof marshmallow fudge. Line the bottom of a 9-inch square pan with nonstick foil. Spray foil. Arrange 36 marshmallows in the pan. Melt 1 ½ cups chocolate chips with 2 tablespoons butter and ½ cup peanut butter. Pour hot goo evenly over marshmallows and chill. Cut in squares.

The best little appliance to add to your galley, dock box,  bridge, wet bar,  deck. Use this portable ice maker when and where it’s needed.  Just fill with water and plug it in.

Pantry Recipe of the Week
These recipes require no fresh ingredients.  Keep a good supply of shelf-stable foods  on board. Stuff happens. 

Mushroom Biscuits
Make these biscuits with a whiff of sage to serve under creamed chicken, caraway seeds to make salami sliders, crumbled thyme or dried dillweed to cover with creamed tuna. 

8-ounce can mushroom pieces, well drained
2 cups self-rising flour plus more for forming biscuits
½ teaspoon herb of choice 
½ cup butter, lard or shortening 
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan or other dry cheese (optional)
Milk or water

Cut fat into flour and herb until mealy. Add enough milk to make a thick dough.. Turn out dough on a floured paper towel. Knead  half a dozen times to mix and incorporate Parmesan mushrooms. Pat dough to ½ inch thick and cut six biscuits. .
Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 400 degrees 12 to 15 minutes until golden.
Stove-top method: Place individual biscuits a cold, creased, heavy skillet. Cover and place over medium heat until browned on the bottom. Flip and brown other side. Flip again and heat, covered, until no longer doughy in the middle. 

An entire cookbook of pantry recipes is Survival Food Handbook, a guide to buying and storing ordinary supermarket foods for cruising, passagemaking and emergencies. Chapters cover refrigeration failure, bilge flood, fire and much more.  See it at

Skillet Meal of the Week

Eggs Portofino
This easy skillet meal is good for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 

4  slices from large tomatoes
4 slices from a green bell pepper
8 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup chopped pepperoni
4 slices of shaved Parmesan
Salt, pepper

Cut slices from the center of the tomato and set them on  paper toweling to drain. Cut the top off the pepper, remove seeds and cut 4 rings of about 1/4 inch each from the pepper. Set aside.  Whisk eggs with milk. 
Heat butter and oil in a skillet and sizzle pepperoni. Stir in eggs until puffy and set. Divide scrambled eggs among four serving plates. Top each mound of hot eggs with  shaved Parmesan, then a slab of tomato. Top with a ring of green pepper.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serves 4. 

Friday, May 25, 2018

Smooth Sailing with Easy Recipes for Boating

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Galley Recipe of the Week

Applesauce Carrot Cake

14.5-ounce can carrots OR
1 cups shredded fresh carrots
1/4 cup sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Drain carrots and chop them on a cutting board. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Set aside. 
3 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 2/3 cups unsweetened applesauce

2 1/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup raisins
½ cup chopped nuts

Grease a cold,  deep, heavy skillet (cast aluminum is best for stovetop baking) for which you have a heavy, tight-fitting lid. 
In a large bowl whisk eggs and oil, gradually adding sugar, vanilla and applesauce.
Put dry ingredients in a bag and jostle to mix. Then gradually stir into wet ingredients until everything is evenly mixed. . Fold in nuts, carrots and raisins. Spread batter in cold skillet, cover tightly and place over medium-low burner for 30 minutes. Check for doneness now and every 5 minutes. . 
Don’t be tempted to turn heat higher or peek too often. 
When cake tests done, let it cool in the skillet, uncovered, at least 10 minutes before cutting.  Use a serrated knife to cut it into wedges. Serve plain or with whipped topping, cream, vanilla sauce or a sprinkling of powdered sugar. 

Quick and easy recipes and shortcuts galore are the hallmark of Janet Groene’s popular Cooking Aboard Your RV, 2nd Edition. It’s ideal for the boat galley too, for yourself or for a Father’s Day gift for Dad.

Pantry Recipe of the Week
Stock your lockers with ingredients needed for recipes that require no fresh food, no freezer, no refrigeration. While cruising by the day, the dollar or the decade,  be prepared for emergencies.

Succotash Pie
16-ounce canned ham, diced
15-ounce can lima beans with juice
15-ounce can cream style corn
2 tablespoons dried onion bits
1/4 package of process American cheese (e.g. Velveeta) 
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup biscuit mix
½ teaspoon dried thyme
3 tablespoons cornmeal
Small can evaporated milk (2/3 cup) 
In a large skillet mix ham, limas, corn, onion bits, diced cheese and Worcestershire sauce. 
In a bowl mix biscuit mix, thyme and cornmeal. Add evaporated milk to make a thick dough. Heat ham mixture to a steady simmer. Drop dough on hot mixture in six blobs. . Cover and cook over low heat 20 minutes or until dumplings are puffy and firm.  Serves 6.

Oven method: Heat ham mixture in an ovenproof skillet. Dot with dough and bake 20 minutes or until dumplings are golden. 
Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian version: Omit ham. Fold in 4 to 6 chopped, hardboiled eggs. 

Tips for the Boat Cook

* Provision with no- and low-sodium products where possible. Processed foods are usually over-salted. Combining them results in salt overload.

* Make your own pancake syrup. Boil a cup of water with one cup each brown and white sugar. Stir in a teaspoon of maple flavoring such as Mapleine. 

* Coleman makes a nonstick, lightweight aluminum waffle maker that can be used over any grill or  type stove  (except induction).  See it here. I keep two going at once to serve two or more people. 

* Make raisin bread in a slow cooker. Whisk 2 eggs with a cup of sour cream, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 cup milk and a teaspoon or vanilla or orange extract. Fold in  3 cups biscuit mix, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and ½ cup raisins.  Combine well but do not over-beat.  Put in greased slow cooker. Bake on High 2 hours. Bread will be firm and pulling slightly away from edges of the cooker. 

* Make shortcut stuffed “cabbage” by using large lettuce leaves. They don't have to be steamed first. Break up and mash a can of corned beef with 2 eggs. Mix well. Use wet hands to form  12  “meatballs” Separate leaves from a head of  iceberg lettuce. Wrap  lettuce leaves around a ball of corned beef. Roll up, place in skillet seam side down, cover with spaghetti sauce. Cover and bring to a gentle simmer 20 minutes until filling is firm. Serve on rice. Serves 4 to 6.   

* If a chocolate cake is moist and fudgey enough, press it firmly into balls and dip into melted chocolate to make truffles. 

Bonus Recipes
Avocado Seafood Sauce
Here’s an unusual sauce for any seafood. Take a break from the same ‘ol sauces from out of a bottle and wow the crew with this one. The guac can be homemade or store-bought.

½ cup finely chopped scallions
2 cups prepared guacamole
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 cup (8-ounced tub) sour cream
Whisk everything well and serve now or chill to serve later. It’s good on almost any seafood, prepared almost any way. It’s also good on hush puppies. Makes 3 cups. 

Chicken Corn Chowder Chop-Chop
Throw everything into a pot, slow cooker, pressure cooker or instant pot and a hearty supper is on the saloon table in minutes.

1 potato, scrubbed and diced
½ cup matchstick carrots
10-ounce can of chunk chicken, broken up
Medium onion, diced
2 cans, 15 ounces each, cream style corn
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes 
32-ounce carton of low sodium chicken broth
½ cup dried potato flakes
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Cook the potato, carrot,  chicken,  onion, corn, pepper, parsley and broth until the potato is tender. Gradually stir in potato flakes, stirring over medium heat, to thicken to taste. Ladle into soup bowls and pass the cheese. Serves 4. 

Friday, May 18, 2018

Sailing Meals for Cruising Cooks

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For 10 happily homeless years,  Gordon and Janet Groene lived on board their 29-foot sloop, cruising constantly. During hurricane season they stowed the boat and traveled ashore in their 21-foot diesel camper. Janet jokes that she can make a 5-course meal in a telephone booth and, if necessary, without an oven nor refrigeration. 

Galley Recipe of the Week

Casbah Chowder

Hot, fragrant and filling,  this exotic dish is thrown together in minutes in one pot. Mean can be ground, shredded or cut up. 

3 cups cooked beef, pork, veal, turkey, or  chicken
2 tablespoons olive oil
Medium onion, diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 cups water
2 chicken, beef or vegetable bouillon cubes
½ cup long grain white rice
1 can diced tomatoes 28 to 30 ounces
15-ounce can garbanzo beans (also called chickpeas or cici)
½ cup raisins

Put meat in a pot and sizzle it in hot oil, gradually stirring in onion, garlic, cinnamon and curry powder. When everything is well coated, add water, bouillon and tomatoes. Bring to a low boil. Cover, reduce heat and cook until onion and rice are is tender. Stir in garbanzos and raisins, cover, and simmer to heat through. Serve in shallow soup plates and sprinkle with croutons.  Serves 6. Freezes well. 

Tips for the Boat Chef

*Cut sides off burrito size tortilla. Spread bottom half of tortilla with peanut butter and top half with strawberry jam. Add whole or split banana. Roll up. It’s a meal. 

* Make a kicky salad sprinkle. Combine 2 cups small croutons with 1 cup wasabi peas, 1 cup cheddar Goldfish, 1 cup sunflower “nuts”. Mix, keep cool and dry. 

* Packets of unsweetened fruit drink mixes (e.g. KoolAid) are light as a feather and highly concentrated. Add a pinch to almost any recipe for color or flavor or make your own fruit drinks using the sweetener of your choice. 

* Heavy weather on the way? Crazy idea but it works. Make cornbread batter. Fold in a can of macaroni and cheese and some chopped hot dogs. Bake as muffins. It’s a meal. 

* Coated wire shelving is a boon to boaters. It’s airy, lightweight, strong and rust resistant. Turn it upside down and it's a divider in galley cupboards. It takes up no space yet stops  shifting and sliding underway. It’s also good for stowing stacks of trays or pot lids. 

Prepper’s Pantry Recipe of the Week

Each week we present a recipe that can be made with no fresh ingredients. Emergency foods are good boating insurance. Stuff happens. 

Creamy Ham and  Greens
Don’t add the croutons until you’re ready to serve. They should be crunchy, adding  texture contrast that is needed when you’re eating a lot of canned foods. 

1 or 2 cans chunk ham
3 tablespoons dried onion bits
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup sherry wine, water or juice from one of the canned vegetables. 
7-ounce can of heavy cream 
1 or 2 cans,  15-ounces each, French cut green beans, drained
Garlic croutons (watch use-by dates) 

Pour juice off ham into a small cup to soak onion bits 20 to 30 minutes. Heat oil in a large skillet and sizzle ham to brown it and break it up. Gradually stir in onion and add sherry or other liquid. Cover, reduce heat and cook 5 to 10 minutes to soften onion. Stir in cream over medium heat until a smooth sauce forms. Fold in green beans over low heat until heated through. Fold in croutons and serve at once. Serves 4 to 6. 

Bonus Recipe

Beer Gravy
Beer and beef have been going together in bistro dishes for centuries. Here’s a way to have the same gourmet taste to spoon on meat from the skillet, grill, pressure cooker or pot. It’s good on burgers, pork chops or stewed beef.

Medium onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon each minced garlic and caraway seeds
12-ounce can or bottle dark beer
1 cup water
3 beef bouillon cubes or 1 tablespoon beef base
2 tablespoons cornstarch

In a saucepan, sizzle onion until it wilts, gradually stirring in garlic and caraway seeds. Add beer, bouillon and half the water. Cover and simmer to blend flavors. Stir cornstarch into remaining half cup of water and stir in over medium heat until thick.
Makes about 2 ½ cups gravy. 
Serving idea: Thaw store-bought meatballs, heat in this gravy and serve over noodles.

Skillet Recipe of the Week
Quick ‘n Hot Potato Salad

2 slices thick-sliced bacon, cut up
2 or 3 cans, 15 ounces each, sliced potatoes, drained
Medium onion, diced
Half a green bell pepper, diced (optional)
2 ribs celery, finely diced (optional)
1 can condensed cream of potato, celery or mushroom soup
1/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Fry out bacon until pieces are crisp, then brown potatoes and vegetables in the fat. In a bowl whisk soup and milk, then whisk in vinegar. Stir into skillet and heat through. Serves 4 to 6. 
Cook’s note: To make this with fresh potatoes, Scrub and slice potatoes (peeling optional)  to make about 3 cups. Cook in bacon fat, cover skillet and cook until tender, then proceed as above. 

Friday, May 11, 2018

Book Cooks Make Easy Meals

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Galley Recipe of the Week
Cruising Cake

If you have nothing else to eat in heavy weather or other emergency, this nutrition-packed cake will keep you going. It’s as filling as a steak dinner. Make it on board or at home ahead of time.

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
2 cups applesauce
4 cups flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon each vanilla and apple pie spice
2 cups each raisins and candied fruit such as cherries and pineapple
2 cups broken nuts such as pecans or walnuts

Grease a tube pan or deep 9 X 14-inch baking pan. Set the oven for 325 degrees. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and applesauce. Put flour, baking powder,  baking soda and seasonings in a clean bag and jostle to mix. Add to butter mixture with vanilla.  
Fold in fruit and nuts. Bake about 90 minutes or until it tests done. Cool completely and wrap for the cruise. Keep cool. Freezes well. 

Food for thought. Food for emergencies. Survival Food Handbook is a guide to stocking your boat with supermarket foods that keep for weeks on the shelf. Use them for everyday or emergencies with my hundreds of mouthwatering recipes. See it here

Here's this week's recipe made entirely with pantry shelf foods. 

Pantry Recipe of the Week
Hoppin’ John

In the Deep South, this soul food is eaten on New Year’s for good luck, but it’s deliciously lucky any time of year for sailors who need an emergency meal. Preppers rely heavily on dried peas and beans but sailors may not always have time and water to prepare them nor fuel for long cooking times. Have at least some canned beans on hand. 

2 1/2 cups water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
2 tablespoons dried diced onions
1/4 teaspoon crushed dried red pepper
1 cup raw rice
1 or 2 cans chunk ham, broken up
1 or 2 cans blackeye peas
Salt, pepper to taste

Bring water, bouillon, onion and red pepper to a boil. Stir in rice and ham. Cover and cook over low heat 20 minutes or until rice is tender. 

Skillet Recipe of the Week
Breakfast Ole

12 miniature croissants
10 eggs
1 cup milk or light cream
1 pound deli baked ham, chopped
 Small jar diced pimentos, drained (optional)
Small can diced chilies, drained (optional)
2 cups shredded cheese such as Monterey Jack 

Optional Toppings:
Sour cream

Grease a large, deep skiller or two smaller skillets. Tear up croissants coarsely and use half to cover the bottom of the skillet(s).
Whisk eggs and cream. Fold in ham,  pimentos and chilies. Pour over croissant layer. Cover with remaining torn croissants and press them into the liquid. Top with cheese. Cover and cook over low heat until eggs set. Serves 5 to 6. 

Friday, May 4, 2018

Cooking Big Meals in a Small Boat Galley

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Galley Recipe of the Week

Lentils Burgundy
        Just add some diced ham if you prefer a meatier main dish.

Large onion, diced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
14.5-ounce can of sliced carrots, well drained *
2 cans condensed lentil soup
1 soup can water
1 cup dry red wine such as Burgundy
1 packet real or vegetarian bacon bits
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon each dried thyme and dried marjoram
1/4 cup raw rice
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 stick butter

Stir-fry the onion in hot oil. When it’s limp, stir in carrots to brown them. Stir in soup, water, wine, bacon bits and herbs. Bring to a boil, stir in rice, cover and cook over low heat 20 minutes or until rice is tender. In a small skillet, brown bread crumbs in butter and sprinkle over each portion. Serves 4. 
Pressure cooker method: Brown onion in hot oil in a pressure cooker, adding carrots to brown them. Add soup, water, wine, bacon bits, seasonings and rice. Bring to full pressure, then remove from the burner until pressure returns to normal. Sprinkle with buttered bread crumbs. 

See more of Janet Groene’s shortcut recipes at 

Tips for the Boat Cook

* Before grilling vegetables such as eggplant, summer squash or zucchini, score the surface shallowly with a sharp knife. Then brush on oil or melted butter and any seasonings you are using. Allow 10 minutes or more for flavors to blend, then grill cut side down. 

*Make a crunchy topping for soup or salad. Chop 2 slices pre-cooked bacon and 2 scallions. Cut corn from one fresh cob. Toss together. Sprinkle on. 

* Bubble wrap is inexpensive to buy by the roll. Cut it in small pieces and tuck tufts of it between glass jars in the galley for a quieter ride, less breakage. When it’s grotty, throw it out. 

* Do you use rubberized shelf lining? A similar material is sold in large pieces for anti-slip use under throw rugs. Get much more for the money and cut to fit. An 8-inch square of this material is also a good gripper for opening jars. PS. Line the bottom of the toolbox and tackle box with this material too. 

* Are you a beach comber? Scallop or tellin shells make attractive little single servers for soft butter or after-dinner mints. 

What is sofrito? It’s a blend of onions, garlic, green and red peppers and tomato that is the all-purpose foundation for many Spanish dishes. Cook by the shipload. Freeze in small batches to keep it always on hand.  

* When making  batter for crepes, tempura or deep-fried seafood, let it stand 30 minutes after mixing. 

* Before adding tomato-based food to a plastic storage container, spray it with nonstick pan spray to avoid stains. When stains occur, dissolve dishwasher detergent in very hot water and soak plastics. 

Pantry Recipe of the Week

Whether you are provisioning your boat for cruising or prepping at home for the next emergency, it’s wise to have a pantry filled with shelf-stable foods plus recipes to make the best of them. Come back each week for a new recipe that requires no fresh ingredients. 

Here’s a how-to guide to provisioning for emergencies with shelf-stowable foods from any ordinary supermarket. No pricey survival foods required. See it at

Brazil Nut Rice Pilaf
Can’t find Brazil nuts except during the holidays? To add variety to your boat’s  provisioning list, order Brazil nuts here  I also carry a supply of lemon-lime Emergen-C for use as flavoring in dishes liked this one. This flavor is hard to find locally but can be ordered here.

This dish can be served as a vegan/vegetarian main dish or a side dish with meat or fish. The rice can be brown or white, cooked from scratch or from a ready-serve pouch. 

1 packet lemon-lime Emergen-C 
½ cup water
2 tablespoons dried onion bits
½ cup golden raisins
1 cup ( more if this is to be a vegetarian main dish) chopped Brazil nuts
3 cups cooked rice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ teaspoon each celery salt and crumbled, dried rosemary
Dissolve Emergen-C in the half cup of water and soak the raisins and onion bits. 
In a large skillet, heat oil and frazzle nuts until they are fragrant. Stir in rice, celery salt and rosemary to heat through. Stir in soaked onion and raisins with any remaining water. Cover and cook over low heat until everything is heated through. Serves 6 as a side dish, 3 to 4 as a main dish.  

Bonus Recipe

Cheese Mousse
Make this ultra-rich, ultra-easy,  jellied gourmet garnish ahead of time and serve it in small blocks as a wow-factor garnish for salads,  hot or cold meats or as a spread for crackers or party rye bread.

2 cups whipping cream
1 packet (1 tablespoon)  unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cups grated dry cheese such as pecorino romano, grana padano, parmigiano reggiano, Castelmagno or Vella Dry Jack

Salt and pepper to taste

Put a half cup of the cream in a pan and sprinkle with gelatin. Let it soften for about 15 minutes. Add remaining cream and bring to an active simmer to  dissolve gelatin. remove from heat. Add cheese. Season to taste. (Most cheeses are very salty, so you may need only a little pepper.)
Pour into a glass pie or cake dish. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight until set. It’s very rich, so cut in small pieces.  
Cook’s note: this is also good made with crumbled blue cheese. Use one to 1 ½ 4-ounce tubs.