Of the Week
Arepas are Mexican pitas, a bread to make in a skillet or griddle. It's also a gluten-free bun for any filling from plain cheese to a thin burger. Look for the special flour known as pre-cooked cornmeal or arepas flour to make this, the easiest bread yet.
2 ½ cups pre-cooked cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
Vegetable oil for frying
Use a fork to stir water into cornmeal to make a very thick dough you can form into golf ball-size balls. Pat flat with your hands to a disc about 3/8 inch thick. . Heat a thin shimmer of vegetable oil and fry arepas on hoth sides until toasty brown and firm.
Eat as is with a spread. Or, when cool enough to handle, carefully cut a slit as for pita and fill with cheese, beans, meat, fish, what have you. Makes 8 arepas.
Arepas can also be made thin to serve as bread or to make sandwiches.
A sleeping bag liner slips in and out of your sleeping bag like silk, especially if it IS silk. Many travelers buy these sleep “sacks” when they are allergic to hotel sheets, or find them too rough or, frankly, are concerned about cleanliness. It's great for couch surfing, charterboating, cruising, travel.
It washes like silk too, which is a lot easier than muscling the whole sleeping bag into the washer and dryer. https://amzn.to/2oxFP2A
Skillet Meal of the Week
One-Pan Butternut Pasta
Peeled, diced squash is available in the produce section or with frozen foods. You can also use any of the native “pumpkin” varieties found around the world.
2 to 3 cups peeled, diced butternut squash
1 pound lean ground turkey, beef, chicken, pork or sausage
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
Medium onion, diced
3 chicken bouillon cubes
2 cups water
2 cups medium pasta such as penne or rotini
1 cup water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 handfuls of chopped baby greens such as spinach
Thaw squash if frozen. In a large skillet or dutch oven, fry out meat in hot oil, gradually adding garlic, onion and squash to brown and soften them. Add bouillon and 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Add pasta and stir if necessary to keep it covered with liquid. Cook pasta to taste. Stir cornstarch into 1 cup water and add. When it thickens, stir in spinach until it’s limp. Serve in shallow soup plates. Serves 4. Pass the Parmesan.
Pantry Recipe of the Week
No fresh food left on board? Emergency rations don’t have to taste like cardboard. A well-stocked pantry can be filled with familiar, affordable supermarket staples that can be put together for a balanced meal. For an entire book on provisioning foods and gear for voyaging and emergencies see Survival Food Handbook. http://amzn.to/1WdYqbe
Spaghettini with White Clam Sauce
2 cans, 10 ounces each, baby clams
1 tablespoon dried diced onions
2 cups water and 2 fish-flavor bouillon cubes OR
2 cups bottled clam juice
1 teaspoon celery seed
½ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper, cut up very fine
1 cup dry white wine
12-ounce package small spaghetti
Tinned heavy cream such as Nestlé
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes or more to taste
Drain and pick over clams and soak diced onion in drained juice. Bring water to a boil and stir in bouillon cubes to dissolve and add wine. Alternately, bring bottled clam juice and wine to a boil.
Cook spaghettini in this mixture, making sure it stays submerged, until it’s half done. Stir in rinsed clams and drained onions, celery seed and red pepper. Boil until spaghettini is al dente. Fold in cream to taste. Sprinkle with dried parsley flakes. Serves 4 to 6.
Tips for the Boat Chef
* Save a shipload of money and have exactly the size and shape placemats you need for your galley table. Instead of buying individual place mats, get this new, high-tech rug padding. It comes in sizes up to 5 x 8 feet to cut up for use as mats, cupboard and drawer liners, rug pads, and hush pads to put in the tool box, tackle box and cutlery drawer. https://amzn.to/2ozScLm
* To clean greasy vertical surfaces, such as a stove hood, rub in waterless hand cleaner with your hands. It won’t drip. Give it time to cut through the grease. Then rinse well with cloths wrung out in warm water.
* The Cruising Chef Cookbook is now out in its 2nd Edition. https://amzn.to/2nNbjli
* How cool is this? It’s a practical bamboo cutting board in the shape of a surfboard.Great gift idea for a yachtie or surfer. https://amzn.to/2n81BcQ