Friday, September 1, 2017

MASTerful Meals for Sailors and Powerboaters

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Galley Recipe of the Week
Cheesy Slow Cooker Potatoes

32-ounce bag of frozen hashbrowns, thawed
Half of a 16-ounce package of process cheese (such as Velveeta)
1 stick butter
1 can cream of celery soup
8-ounce carton (1 cup)  sour cream 

Grease a slow cooker and add thawed potatoes. Stir in diced cheese and bits of butter. Cover with dollops of soup and sour cream. Cook 1 hour on Low, stir and cook another 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Stir and serve. Serves 4 to 6 as a vegetarian main dish or 8 as a side dish. 
Stove-top method: in a large saucepan add ingredients. Cover and cook over very low heat, stirring occasionally, until cheese and butter melt. 
Oven or solar  method: Combine everything but the butter in a greased casserole. Drizzle with melted butter and bake at 350 degrees until top is golden. 
Cook’s note: to add texture, color and extra servings, stir in whole kernel corn and thawed peas for the last third of the cooking time. The recipe also works well with O’Brien potatoes, which are hashed browns with pepper and onion. 

Pantry Recipe of the Week
Each week we present a recipe that requires no fresh ingredients.  For a cookbook using supermarket staples, and a guide to provisioning with emergency shelf foods for the long haul, see Survival Food Handbook. No high-priced survival rations here. Stock your boat with affordable, familiar, everyday staples.

Scalloped Tomatoes and Corn
Vegetarians will thank you for making this hearty dish. It's also a tasty side dish with meat from the stern-mounted grill. If it’s to be a vegetarian main course, add  extra cheese for protein. 

2 cans, 15 ounces each, whole kernel corn
2 cans, 15 ounces each, diced tomatoes with onion and green pepper
Freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup each grated Parmesan cheese and dry bread crumbs
½ stick butter or 1/4 cup EVOO

Drain corn but not tomatoes. Combine everything in a saucepan and heat over medium fire until cheese melts. Adjust seasonings. Serves 8 as a side dish, 4 as a main dish.

Tips for the Galley Chef

* Paper-and-wire twist ties that come free with plastic bags have a wire insert that rusts in a New York minute. Don’t use them for long-term storage on a boat, especially a salt water boat. 

* Liquid eggs and egg whites are a huge time saver and they are also pasteurized for use in recipes that call for raw eggs. 

* Keep these  (USA) numbers handy. The Poison Control Hotline number is (800) 222-1222 and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center number is (888) 426-4436. 

* Make a show-off dessert using store-bought donut holes. Start plain, then enrobe some in chocolate, inject some with jelly or lemon curd, cloak some in melted butterscotch or peanut butter chips.  Set aside to dry, then mound on a plate and let everyone dig in. Bargain bonus: donut holes at a day-old bakery outlet are a good buy. 

* Some readers are touting the Instant Pot with fervor but, as a cruising sailor, I want backups for my backups. I prefer a conventional pressure cooker because it can be used over any stove. 

Skillet Recipe of the Week
Crusty “Crab” Cake
Economical imitation crabmeat looks and tastes great and stretches your food dollar.

1 ½ cups mlik
1 ½ cups soft bread crumbs
1 pound flaked imitation crabmeat
4 beaten eggs or equivalent in Egg Beaters
Heaping teaspoon Dijon style mustard
1/2 stick butter
Salt, pepper

Put milk and bread crumbs in a plastic bag and let soak. Add crab, mustard and eggs. “Work” bag by squeezing it to mix well. Melt butter in a skillet. Dump in crab mixture. Cover and cook withour stirring over medium heat until crusty on the bottom and eggs are set.  Season to taste. Serves 4 to 5. 

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