Mahina Expeditions offers offshore sail-training expeditions, offshore cruising seminars and boat purchase consultation.

Mahina Expeditions offers offshore sail-training expeditions, offshore cruising seminars and boat purchase consultation.

galley jan 2010


Eric, Christine, Finn, Sophie and Freya aboard Jenny P

Soon after arriving Samoa we were thrilled by the surprise arrival of Jenny P; a smart Hans Christian 33 sailed by Eric and Christine Larsen and their children, Sophie (10), Finn (7), and Freya (5). They'd departed Seattle at the beginning of summer stopping only in San Francisco then Hilo before arriving in Samoa. As Eric, then Christine had completed expeditions last year aboard Mahina Tiare I was eager to hear of their new adventures. In receiving the following galley advice from not only Eric and Christine but also the kids I realized that Eric and Christine might be in need of a quiet dinner ashore so I offered to baby sit for an evening.

Christine: Our goal is to sail to Australia. We've been on an accelerated trip so now that we've arrived in the South Pacific I'm looking forward to slowing down. It took a lot longer to get the boat upgraded than we'd planned and we only really started getting the boat together in January. Eric left work in April and we left Seattle May 9th for San Francisco. It was cold sailing down the coast. We'd stocked up with six grain breakfast biscuits; they come in a tube and keep a long time in the fridge. We'd bake them for breakfast and it was nice to have the boat warm. Precooked bacon was a hit as was hot eight grain cereal. I'd grate and apple into it serving it with a dollop of yogurt and nuts just like John does on MT.

Sophie: Upon reaching the equator it was too hot for cooked breakfasts, we've lately been having cold cereal. We like Special K and Cheerios and UHT milk is good. We made tortilla chips by toasting a flour tortilla then cutting it into squares. I then thought…. What if we put on marina red sauce and cheese before toasting them? We turned them into mini pizzas. Yumm.

Finn: I like Top Ramen but we don't get it very often. Mum and Dad are always saying they don't want to eat it all up so we only eat two packs at a time.

Sophie and Finn: Yeah, we caught four fish but a mahi escaped. It was resisting our rum. We kept spraying rum in its gills, but it still didn't work, and it somehow jumped off the gaff. It was fighting like this "poww, baang, crusssh” (Finn goes into full fish flapping action to match his sound effects) It was fleeing all around so Dad said "Let's knock it out.” He used the fish billy for the first time and that got messy.

Freya: I don't eat fish. Mum and dad had fish steaks and ceviche, they said it was good.

Sophie: Sadly, no, I don't get to cook. I help out though. I made lemonade. It was hot crossing the ITCZ it rained a few times, we really welcomed it. We didn't have a lot of fruit so we took lemons and limes and squeezed them into a juice. We'd bought dad a lemon squeezer for his birthday. You chill water then mix it with the juice and a little sugar. It's really good. We eat meals together, though at breakfast either Mum or Dad are sleeping because they do watches. They sleep pretty good, we can be noisy.

Christine: Leaving Hawaii we carried as much fresh fruit as we thought would last and used dried fruit when we started to run low on fresh. Dried mangos are everyone's favorite along with dried cherries and blueberries. For an extra boost we did instant breakfast mix with either UHT or powdered milk. For lunches and dinners we do a lot of quesadillas, pizzas, black beans, jarred red tomato sauce or make our own and serve it with spaghetti noodles.

Eric: We allocated spaces to different food types: a corner cabinet for snacks, a deep counter box for plastic food storage containers and under the main salon seats (four lockers with hatches) for long term provisions.

Unfortunately the salon seat back and cushions are each one large piece so it's awkward and frustrating the move the entire cushion to access to a locker. We try and keep things organized such as having the milk and juice on top in the fridge so it's just a quick opening of the lid. Once in a while we have to dig something out so then everything has to come out. Our spices are under a companionway step, when you lift the step up you can easily see all their lids.

Christine: We're still figuring things out. We're working on a snack box idea where the children can help themselves instead of waiting for us to get them a snack. When we're running the boat they often have to wait a while.

Eric: Christine gets seasick so I've been doing most to the cooking. Having two pressure cookers has been a life saver and the following recipes are enjoyed by all.

Chicken Chili Verde

This chili can be served with rice, beans and tortillas or as a filling in burritos, tacos, or enchiladas. As a short cut you can make with 2-3 cups of leftover or canned chicken or turkey.

2½ lbs chicken parts
2 cups chicken stock
1½ tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions - chopped
1 celery stalk - chopped
3 cloves garlic - chopped
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup canned tomatillos
1 bunch cilantro - chopped
1 7-ounce can diced green chilies - drained
juice of 1 lime

Bring chicken parts and stock to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. When cool remove chicken from bones. Skim fat from stock with spoon. Heat oil in a large pan, sauté onions, celery and garlic, 5 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, oregano and salt, cook 1 minute. Add tomatillos, chicken stock and green chilies, simmer 10 minutes. Add chicken, cilantro and lime juice, simmer 10 minutes. Serves 4.

Porcupine Meatballs

1½ lbs ground beef
¾ cup uncooked rice
1 onion - chopped
1 garlic clove - minced
¼ cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons capers
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup water
2 28-oz cans diced tomatoes
shaved Parmesan

Combine everything but water, tomatoes and Parmesan. Roll 18 balls 2-inch meatballs. Pour water into pressure cooker and set meatballs side by side, don't stack. Cover with tomatoes. Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes then let pressure drop for 7 minutes before releasing pressure. Serve with Parmesan.

Curried Potatoes and Tomatoes

You can make this into a Greek dish by omitting the ginger, cumin and chili and serving it garnished with crumbled feta.

½ tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves - minced
½ tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 onion - chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
3 tomatoes - chopped or 1 can
2 cups of peas or green beans
3 cups chopped potatoes
½ cup water
fresh cilantro - diced
fresh chilies to taste or ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes

Heat oil, add garlic, ginger, onion, sauté 3 minutes. Stir in cumin and tomatoes, add peas, potatoes and water. Cover and simmer until potatoes cook, about 20 minutes, or pressure cook 9 minutes. Serve garnished with cilantro and chili to taste for each person.

Potato Spinach & Leek Soup

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves - minced
3 cups chopped leeks
4 cups diced potatoes
4 cups vegetable stock
2 carrots - sliced
2 celery ribs - diced
¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
1lb spinach
1 red bell pepper - roasted and diced
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in pressure cooker, sauté garlic and leeks, 3 minutes. Add stock, potatoes, carrots celery and chili. Pressure cook 8 minutes. Release pressure, smash soup a little with potato masher. Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer 3 minutes. Serves 6.

    To view Jenny P's adventures sail to sailblogs.com/member/jennyp.

 

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Galley Essentials February 2011   

Westcott Bay CiderAs it's cyclone season in the South Pacific Mahina Tiare is tucked up in her off-season home in New Zealand and John and I get to spend time at our home base at Roche Harbor on San Juan Island. It's a pretty quiet place in winter though on my morning runs I enjoy noticing the subtle changes that have occurred during our seven months away. But wait...on a frosty sunny morning along Anderson Lane, a ten minute walk from Roche Harbor marina, the large normally dormant barn has its big side doors open. Look!  There's a sandwich board on the roadside saying "Cider Tasting Today”.

In my excitement to see activity I rush into the barn calling out "Morning morning!” It's full of people who quickly introduce themselves as the Friday Harbor Walkers then warmly invite me to join in the group. The barn houses the small cider works of Suzy and Hawk Pingree and Rich Anderson and I've lucked upon a tour and tasting of their award winning Westcott Bay Ciders.

In 2000 Suzy and Hawk moved to the island on a retirement plan and often enjoyed the walking loop from Roche Harbor around the shoreline of Westcott Bay. Suzy especially admired the apple orchard that stretches along the bay and that admiration seeded a dream of how wonderful it would be to make apple brandy in their retirement. After ten years of mulling over the idea last year they decided to invest in the existing cider works with owner Rich Anderson.

The two acre apple orchard is home to nearly 1,200 trees and in addition to having great names, the 16 apple varieties help produce a fine traditional-style English cider. Apples like Yarlington Mill, Brown Snout and Dabinett are "Bittersweets” low in acid but high in tannin. Kingston Black and Browns are "Bittersharps” having both acid and tannin. Some varieties like Sweet Coppin are "Sweets” just sweet with little acidity or tannin. Others like Porter's Perfection are "Sharps”; acidic with little or no tannin. A cider without a balance of acidity and tannin is like a wine made from a Thompson seedless grape — bland.

Crab apple trees at the end of each row are used as pollinators since most apples are diploids requiring pollination from another variety to bear fruit. All the trees are on dwarfing rootstocks, will not grow over 10 feet high and their slender limbs yield a high quantity of apples. This is a good thing as ladders are not required to prune or pick. The apple varieties fall from the tree between September and November and since the owners of Westcott Bay Cider are kind of retired apple picking is a leisurely activity. Hawk, being on the tall side picks the higher apples while Suzy picks the apples at mid-range and Rich sits on a bin picking lower apples and grounders. A 4x4 foot bin takes an hour and a half to fill.

The apples are washed, ground and mashed before being squashed in a hydraulic press skillfully operated by Suzy. The juice is piped into large stainless tanks where yeast is added to begin the fermenting process. Once the yeast has been eaten up by the sugar in the apple juice the cider is transferred into a larger tank to mature for a couple of months before being bottled.

westcott bay ciderThree varieties of cider are produced. Traditional Very Dry is a "bone dry" cider, crisp, with a bit of effervescence; an excellent addition to any meal where a dry white wine would be served. Traditional Dry is a dry, crisp, full-bodied bittersweet cider with hint of sweetness and light effervescence that complements any meal, as well as being an enjoyable drink to have with friends and appetizers. And Traditional Medium Sweet a full-bodied cider that has a clean "appley” taste with light effervescence; a pleasant drink and complement with fruit and cheese.

Making apple brandy is not a simple process and this month Suzy and Hawk's ten year dream will come to fruition with the purchase from Germany and installation of an impressive copper still for producing Eau de Vie; an intensive, fruity and fiery distillate that will then be put in oak barrels and aged to produce apple brandy.  But in the meantime, they will infuse the eau de vie with local berries and madrona bark to produce Spy Hop Gin.

If you find yourself on San Juan Island, Westcott Bay Cider welcomes visitors on Saturdays from 3 to 5 pm, starting on Memorial Day weekend. You can also to call ahead to arrange a visit. In the meantime you may purchase their ciders in many Seattle and Western Washington markets or order from their website www.westcottbaycider.com. Why not purchase all three varieties and have a cider tasting with friends! You may also try the following recipes using cider in the cooking as you would white wine.

San Juan Island Salad

mixed salad greens for four
1 apple - diced
½ cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
½ cup crumbled chevre (goat cheese)
1 cup dry cider
¼ cup cider vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 shallots - finely chopped

To make vinaigrette reduce cider to ¼ cup and combine with last 5 ingredients. Toss with greens, apple, hazelnuts and chevre.

Sweet Cider Squash Soup

1 medium onion - diced
1 stalk celery - chopped
2 apples (sweet variety is best) - peeled, cored and diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large butternut squash - cubed
1 cup vegetable stock
2 cups sweet cider
1 carrot - chopped
3 garlic cloves - minced
salt, pepper, parsley and oregano to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Rub a small amount of olive oil onto squash, sprinkle with salt, roast 30 minutes in a baking pan until soft. In a skillet sauté onion, apples, celery and carrots in olive oil until soft, season with salt and pepper. Add roasted squash and garlic; sauté five minutes. Deglaze pan with cider; add stock, parsley and oregano. Simmer 10 minutes. Purée small batches in blender, return to pan to reheat. Serve with a sprinkle of parsley.

Cider Cheese Fondue

1 pound Cougar Gold or sharp white cheddar - crumbled
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup apple cider
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

In a bowl toss together cheese and flour. In medium sauce pan bring cider to a boil. Reduce heat; add cheese, a handful at a time, stirring until melted before adding more. Stir in vinegar. Pour cheesy elixir into a fondue pot. Serve with assorted cheese delivery devices; crusty bread pieces, baked potato chunks, steamed broccoli, apple wedges, ham chunks, or toasted walnuts.

Cider-Braised Mussels with Leeks

3 bacon slices - diced
2 leeks - sliced
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
ground black pepper
2 lbs mussels - scrubbed and debearded
½ cups bottle cider
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

Sauté bacon until crisp, reserving 2 teaspoons of drippings in pan. Add leek, salt, and pepper, sauté 3 minutes. Crumble bacon, add to pan along with mussels and cider. Bring to a boil, cover and cook 5 minutes until mussels open. Divide mussels into 4 bowls, ladle with broth and sprinkle with parsley.

Cider Panna Cotta

2 cups sweet cider
¾ teaspoons unflavored gelatin
¾ cup sugar
1 apple - peeled and chopped
⅔ cup vanilla Greek yogurt
⅔ cup heavy whipping cream
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
dash apple bitters or 1 teaspoon vanilla

Pour 1 cup cider into medium saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over, let stand 15 minutes. Stir gelatin mixture over low heat until gelatin dissolves, 2 minutes. Add ½ cup sugar, stir until sugar dissolves. Cool 10 minutes. Whisk in yogurt, cream and lemon juice. Divide among six ramekins, chill until set, at least 4 hours ahead. In medium saucepan over low heat add 1 cup cider, ½ cup sugar, diced apple and apple bitters, stir until sugar dissolves. Remove diced apple to a small bowl, increase heat and boil until reduced to 6 tablespoons, 16 minutes. Strain some syrup onto apples spooning remaining syrup over each panna cotta before serving with the apples.

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Galley Essentials March 2011

1

One dazzling tropical morning, whilst anchored at the island of Malololailai, Fiji, I was in the middle of doing yoga when I heard a dinghy approach. Soon John was chatting away, to what sounded like a Scandinavian couple, and after a few minutes he popped his head below asking if I had any keifer grains. I had no idea what he was talking about but my interest was certainly sparked. I jumped up on deck and was introduce to Annika and Bjorn Koch from the Swedish yacht Lindisfarne.

Annika explained to me that she'd recently been researching yogurt cultures and wondered if I had any keifer grains used to make the fermented milk drink kefir. I explained to Annika that although I made my own yogurt and had often had keifer at Middle Eastern restaurants I unfortunately had never heard of kefir grains. After comparing our yogurt making methods Annika suggested that I visit her aboard Lindisfarne to taste test her yogurt. I quickly discovered that Annika is extremely passionate about making yogurt and not only has she enjoyed sharing yogurt making and cultures with cruisers but also with locals in many of the countries she has sailed to.To view Annika's extraordinary sailing adventures visit www.sailaround.info

How to Make Yogurt

Bring to the boil 1 quart of milk then let simmer for a minute. Allow it to cool to a temperature that stings your little finger when you dip it in. Whip 2 tablespoons of plain live yogurt and stir it into the warm milk. Place mixture in a wide-necked thermos or a container wrapped it in a towel away from drafts. Leave for a maximum of 12 hours; no longer as the yogurt becomes acidic. Save 2 tablespoon from the top of the cultured yogurt to start the next batch. For the milk you may use reconstituted powered milk, long-life milk or fresh milk. Whole milk powdered makes a thicker yogurt than non-fat.

Yogurt Cheese

Place the yogurt in a damp fine cloth stretched over the top of a wide mouth jar or in a sieve over a bowl to catch the whey. Yogurt will turn to Middle Eastern style cheese in 8 hours. Cheese can be rolled into walnut-sized balls and stored covered in olive oil.

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Making Dried Yogurt Culture

Stretch a fine cloth over the top of a wide container and hold in place with rubber bands. Spread a thin layer of yogurt over the cloth and leave in a warm non-humid place to dry. The yogurt will dry and crack. Store a tablespoon of the dried yogurt flakes with 2 tablespoons of milk powder in small zip lock bag. Use dried yogurt culture as you would fresh yogurt. Annika has had success with her dried yogurt culture from as long ago as her voyage to Antarctica in 2007.

I've since discovered that kefir grains are a combination of bacteria and yeasts in a matrix of proteins, lipids, and sugars. This symbiotic creation forms rice to walnut sized "grains" that resemble cauliflower. Kefir grains cannot be produced from scratch, although grains grow during fermentation and additional grains are produced so they are therefore either donated by other growers or bought. Upon researching the internet for kefir sellers I found myself on insightful journey into what appears to be an intriguing earth muffin kefir grain society. I certainly look forward to the day when I can experiment with kefir grains and in the meantime will share with you some of my favorite yogurt recipes.

Honey Yogurt Waffles

3 tablespoons butter - melted
1 cup flour
cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1¼ cups milk
¾ cup yogurt
1/3 cup honey
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
maple syrup or honey

In a large bowl combine dry ingredients. In another bowl combine milk, yogurt, honey, eggs and vanilla. Gently stir liquid ingredients into dry ingredients. Gently fold in butter. Cook waffles as per waffle iron instructions. Serve with maple syrup or a drizzle of honey.

Cold Cucumber Yogurt Soup

This Middle Eastern soup has it all: a perfect combination of bright, clean, tangy, sweet and nutty flavors. I've often paired this soup with pita pocket, cheese and herbs.
2 cups thick yogurt
2 cups water
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup raisins
2 Persian cucumbers - finely diced or ½ English cucumber
½ cup dill – minced
2 green onions – minced
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

In a large bowl combine yogurt and water. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow flavors to marry and the soup to chill. Serve with additional garnishes of dill, walnuts and raisins.

Chickpea and Spinach Salad with Orange Yogurt Dressing

1/3 cup yogurt
1 orange – juice and zest
½ teaspoon honey
1 (19-ounce) can chickpeas - drained
1/8 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/8 cup chopped fresh mint
¼ cup chopped red onion
1/8 cup olive oil
1 lemon - juice and zest
¾ teaspoons ground cumin
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
2 cups baby spinach

In a bowl combine yogurt, orange zest, orange juice and honey. In another bowl combine chickpeas, parsley, mint and onion. In a small bowl combine oil, lemon juice, zest, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Toss oil dressing with chickpeas. Serve chickpeas over spinach and top with yogurt dressing.

Yogurt Cheese Ball Platter

Roll yogurt cheese balls in chopped Italian parsley, toasted sesame seeds or smoked paprika then drizzle with olive oil. Flavor other amounts of yogurt cheese with Thai red curry and/or wasabi before rolling into balls. Serve with crackers or toasted pita chips.

Lamb Fateh

1lb ground lamb
1 cup hummus
1 cup chickpeas - cooked
2 onions - diced
1 teaspoon allspice
a dash cinnamon,
2 cloves garlic - minced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cups pita breads - cut into small triangles
a splash of hot water
3 cups yogurt
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
3 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley - minced
salt
olive oil

Sauté lamb some olive oil, onions, allspice and salt - 15 minutes. If you're using canned chickpeas, rinse and boil them for 5 minutes to remove the canned taste they sometimes have. Toast pita bread with some olive oil and salt in a 400 degree oven 5 minutes then with garlic, lemon juice and water until well-coated and soft. Gently mix in hot chickpeas. In a warm casserole dish make a layer hummus followed with bread mixture, lamb and yogurt. Garnish with toasted pine nuts and minced parsley. Serves 6

Yogurt Loaf with Pear and Dark Chocolate

1½ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup yogurt
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup canola oil
1 pear - skin on and diced
½ cup dark chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8-inch loaf pan. In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl whisk together yogurt, sugar, eggs and vanilla then add to flour. Using a rubber scraper fold oil into batter. Pour one-third of the batter into pan, sprinkle with 2/3's of the pear pieces and chocolate Then repeat pressing the pieces into the batter to partially submerge them. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the loaf comes out clean, 55-60 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream.

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Galley Essentials March 2011

Galley Essentials

Sorting through our books the other day I came across two cookbooks by Darina Allen that John had purchased in Ireland. We'd rented a car and had been visiting a friend in the distant Connemara peninsula. In order not to be in a rush we'd driven back to Mahina Tiare, berthed at the Royal Cork Yacht Club, for a restful evening with plans for a morning exportation closer to home before returning the car.

That evening while thumbing through a travel brochure a description of a cookery school with garden situated in the rolling East Cork countryside sparked my interest. Here we might get to combine our love of gardens with that of food. I mapped out our route and decided on a pre-dawn start. After about 30 minutes meandering along foggy lanes we found signs to Ballymaloe though upon arriving at the garden's gate we discovered it was not open until later. Never mind, we zoomed off to the nearby seaside and explore the quaint fishing village of Ballycotton.

On our return to the garden we bought tickets at the café and were given a leaflet depicting a detailed aerial sketch of the gardens layout. Still a little puzzled as to what we were visiting it was then explained to us by the bubbly lady at the counter.

"Located in a 100 acre organic farm Ballymaloe Cookery School was established in 1983 by Darina Allen; Ireland's award winning food ambassador and television personality. The school operates year round and offers an extensive array of culinary courses with accommodation available onsite. The ingredients used at our school come straight from the gardens. You're welcome to visit with our happy free-range cattle and pigs, along with the cows that produce our milk and cheese. Oh, and don't be alarmed by the roaming flocks of ducks and chickens. Further down the lane the Allen family enterprises continue with Ballymaole House; restaurant and country house accommodation.”

As we entered the grassy courtyard of the pink facade cookery school it quickly became apparent we'd arrived into a rather mystical world. Through long open white-paned windows we glimpsed an active sea of crisp white chef uniforms and black aprons. A steady clatter of pans drifted across to us as colorful chooks clucked around our feet. It felt as if we were spying on a world were the emphasis was clearly food and John and I hurried on so not to disturb the students.

We wandered through a series of gardens, each with enticing names before coming upon a flower-shaped herb garden. Laid out in a formal parterre, edged with box wood and set in gravel the idea apparently sprang from a visit to Vilandry in France. Traditionally herb plots were one of the earliest forms of gardens. Herbs were used in large households for remedies, cooking and to sweeten the air by scattering them about the floor. The surrounding tall beech hedges, once part of the neglected nineteenth-century garden, lead us through an arched entrance to the vegetable garden.

Galley Essentials

Raised diamonds with herringbone brick paths displayed veggies interspaced with colorful flowers and further on I especially liked the formal ornamental fruit garden with its resident wicker scarecrows that appeared to be dancing in the dappled light. Beyond the orchard an exceeding long herbaceous border lead to eye an enchanting tiny shell house where one could wile the time if they chose not to tackle the yew planted Celtic maze.

Galley Essentials

With our garden tour complete we stopped by the impressive demonstration stage that was in full prep for a class. We were invited to stay but our time was up. Instead we loaded up with cookbooks and foodie goodies promising ourselves that one day we'd return to take a course. Perhaps pig butchery? On our way out we stopped by Ballymaloe House and were given an entertaining tour by a very gracious family member, Jim Whelan. Yes, we're coming back and in the mean time John plans to hone his skills with these Darina-inspired recipes.

Cauliflower Cheese Soup

4oz butter
4oz flour
1 cauliflower with leaves
1½ pints chicken stock
1 pint milk
1 slice onion
4 slices carrot
6 peppercorns
sprig of thyme or parsley
5oz cheddar cheese - grated
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
salt & freshly ground pepper

To make roux melt butter in small saucepan, add flour and cook 2 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove leaves from cauliflower, wash and chop. Break cauliflower into florets. Add 1-inch of water to saucepan, add leaves then cauliflower, simmer 12 minutes. While cauliflower is cooking in a large saucepan combine milk, onion, carrot, peppercorns and herbs. Bring to a boil and simmer 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let infuse 10 minutes. Strain out vegetables, bring back to boil and thicken with roux. Add cheese, mustard, cauliflower and its cooking water plus stock. Liquidize soup in batches. Season to taste. Serve with cheddar-walnut crisps. Serves 6.

Cheddar-Walnut Crisps

2¾ oz sharp mature cheddar cheese - grated
2¾ oz Parmesan cheese - grated
2 oz walnuts - chopped
1 tablespoon thyme leaves

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix cheese with walnuts and thyme. Onto 2 baking sheets lined with baking paper drop spoonfuls of mixture and flatten each with the back of a spoon. Bake 5 minutes or until bubbling and golden around the edge. Allow to cool a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack. Makes 50.

Chili Shrimp

11b fresh shrimps - cooked and peeled
½ fresh red chili - seeds removed and finely chopped
½ stem lemon grass - finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro - chopped
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons soft brown sugar
2½ tablespoons dry white wine

Combine all ingredients, cover and leave to marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Garnish with sprigs of coriander and serve with tossed salad and crusty bread. Serves 6.

Spiced Chicken and Red Peppers

1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
good pinch cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 onion - diced
1-inch piece ginger - peeled and sliced
3 garlic cloves - crushed
¼ cup blanched almonds
3 red peppers - diced
4 tablespoons sunflower oil
2 lb chicken breast - cut into strips
¼ pint water
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Toast coriander and cumin seeds in a dry pan. Grind using a pestle and mortar. In a food blender combine ground seeds, turmeric, cayenne, salt, onions, ginger, garlic, almonds and peppers. Whizz to a smooth paste. In sauté pan heat oil, add spice paste and cook 10 minutes. Stir in chicken, water and lemon juice. Cover and cook on low 25 minutes. Serve with orzo or rice. Serves 6.

Swedish Crisp Bread

2 teaspoons caraway seeds
1¾ oz fresh yeast
17 fl oz tepid milk
1lb 5 oz plain rye flour
1lb 5 oz white flour
2 teaspoons salt
8oz coarse rye flour - for dusting

Crumble yeast and add milk. Grind caraway seeds finely in a pestle and mortar. Combine ground seeds with flours and salt, sieve into liquid and mix. Shape dough into a thick rope and divide into 20 pieces. Knead pieces into balls, cover and let rise 20 minutes. Sprinkle coarse rye onto a board and roll each ball into an 8-inch circle with a spiky rolling pin. Alternatively roll out and prick the surface with a fork. Bake in a preheated oven at 350° for 8 minutes. Serve with favorite stinky cheeses.

To discover more of what Ballymaloe offers visit www.CookingIsFun.ie and www.ballymaloe.ie.

 

rule

Galley Essentials March 2011

Galley Essentials

 I recently chatted with Chris Wallace who sails aboard the schooner Zodiac as first mate, along with her husband Jeff the ship's carpenter and their kids who are deck hands. Chris has also lent a hand as cook and gave the following insight to life aboard.

The schooner Zodiac is a 127' passenger-charter vessel that cruises the waters of Puget Sound, San Juan's and the Gulf islands. From her home port of Bellingham she cruises continuously from mid April until early November offering day sails, evening dinner sails and host to weddings, ceremonies, corporate team-building cruises and location sites for film and advertising sets, with a portion of her season devoted to youth education at-sea programs. Passengers come from all over North America, especially for the unique cruises such as the "PNW Seafood and Wine Excursion”, the "San Juan Island Micro-brewery Cruise” and the springtime "Lighthouse Tour Cruise”.

Zodiac's history dates back to 1924, when she was built in E. Boothesbay, Maine. Designed by William Hand Jr and commissioned as a birthday gift from one of the Johnson & Johnson heirs to the brother, she spent her first decade as a private yacht. In 1928 she was entered the King's Cup trans-Atlantic race finishing in fourth place. After the Depression she was purchased by the California Bar Pilot's Association, re-named "The California” and put into hard service. For almost forty years she worked as a bar pilot riding at anchor with a crew of pilots; transferring them aboard ships inbound to San Francisco. In the 1970's she was purchased by The Vessel Zodiac Corporation who began her restoration.

Today Zodiac looks as she did on her original launch. Her deck and hull above the waterline have been rebuilt and hundreds of square feet gleam with bright-work along with the brass. Below decks mahogany paneling lends an elegant touch to salon and galley and the wood floors shine. During her restoration authenticity was the key and one would never realize that only the side-buffet adjacent to the galley table is the only original piece of Johnson-era furnishing. In keeping with her vintage two ornate leaded glass cabinets adorn the galley; purchased from a local bank that went out of business. The galley table's hanging lamps look very period but were actually in a Denny's restaurant! The main salon fir flooring was laid last season and came out of a century-old Seattle apartment.

Besides the Captain, the only other paid position is the cook. Typical days begin at 5am for breakfast preparation and end past 9pm after the dishes are stowed. Often guests are invited to help set the buffet, peel vegetables or wash dishes but the cook generally works alone. The buffet meals are hearty with an emphasis on fresh NW cuisine; crab caught on-deck and oysters from local farms. The cook also gets to lend a culinary hand during the winery cruises working with the on-board vintner-host to concoct a Winemakers dinner, and during the brewery tours the spent brewing grain is incorporated into sumptuous bread.

Schooner Zodiac

The galley is spacious containing two half-sized refers and a large pantry refer for the cook's access. The freezer, built in the pantry wall, has the capacity for several weeks whilst the walk-in pantry holds the canned and dry goods. Underneath the galley table bench seats six storage bins contain cans and paper goods. The 10 feet x 12 feet of lazarette stowage is for cases of food, drinks and vegetables. Perhaps the most decadent galley item would be the dishwasher although there's also the custom-fabricated deck grill that cooks twenty burgers at once.

Shopping is done the evening before boarding or the morning of departure. The deck crew help bring food on board as with a passenger count of up to 26 with captain/crew count of 11; there is a massive amount of shopping. It can sometimes take until 1am to load and store all the galley supplies for a four-six day cruise.

The best part of being the cook is that you're the "hub” of activity; a gathering spot for coffee klatches with passengers and crew congregating around the galley counter to swap stories, recipes and gossip. When the ship returns to Bellingham it never fails that it's the cook who gets the longest hugs and warmest handshakes from leaving passengers, they always form a great fondness and connection with the most comforting and stabilizing force of the Zodiac... the ship's cook!

Here's some recipes from Zodiac's brewery and wine cruises.

Black Stout Ice Cream Floats

Black Stout Ice Cream Floats with Raspberries and Framboise

1 gallon of Tillamook vanilla ice cream
1 bottle of Framboise beer
2 22 ounce bottles of Rogue Shakespeare Stout ale
4 sprigs of fresh mint
1 punnet fresh raspberries

Place two spoonfuls of ice cream into a pint glass. Drop in five raspberries, pour in a splash of the Framboise' and top with the stout ale. Garnish with two mint leaves.

Chili made with Porter Ale

1 lb. ground beef
1 large green pepper - chopped
1 large onion - chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder
¼ teaspoon cracked pepper
3 cups tomato sauce
¼ cup tomato paste
1 16 ounce bottle of Black Butte Porter
1 can each kidney beans, great northern beans, pinto beans - rinsed
sour cream
sliced green onion
shredded cheddar cheese
2 tomatoes - diced

Cook beef, green pepper, onion, chili and pepper in a 10-inch skillet until beef is browned. Pour off any fat. Stir in ale, tomato sauce and paste along with beans, cook until bubbling. Before serving top with sour cream, green onions, cheese and tomato.

Captain Tim's Potato Salad

6 large potatoes - cooked, peeled & diced
6 hard-boiled eggs - diced
3 large dill pickles - diced (reserve 2 tablespoons pickle juice)
1 onion - diced
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish,
2 tablespoons dill relish
2 teaspoons minced garlic
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons horseradish
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon celery salt
cracked pepper and salt
½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
pinch of paprika

Combine all the ingredients adding eggs last. Serve chilled.

Grilled Salmon with Tequila and Lime

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large fillets of bone-less Pacific wild salmon
4 cloves of garlic - minced
½ onion - thinly sliced
2 cups diced fresh tomatoes
1 lemon- thinly sliced
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon tequila
cracked pepper and salt
1 avocado - diced
½ cup mild salsa
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro

Lay salmon on sheets of aluminum foil. Arrange onion and lemon evenly down the fillets. Drizzle with lime and tequila and sprinkle with garlic, tomatoes, pepper and salt. Wrap salmon in foil folding edges tightly to hold the juices. Place on hot grill for 8-10 minutes. Unwrap foil, slice salmon and garnish with avocado, cilantro and salsa. Serve with wild rice and asparagus.

To learn more of Zodiac adventures visit www.schoonerzodiac.com

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Galley Essentials March 2011

galley essentials

Heather first introduced herself to me via email. Although we've not met we've become good friends and over the past year I've  enjoyed Heathers take on cruising including the following feature of her life in the galley.

This is our fourth year of cruising aboard Wild Hair our 1994 Hylas 45.5. We're newly arrived to the Virgin Islands and plan to cruise the Caribbean for the next several years.

In my galley I have a Force 10 stove, engine-driven refrigeration and freezer, and deep centerline double sinks. There's lots of counter space and a convenient in-cabinet trash receptacle. Several priorities include; ample storage as I like to provision for up to ten weeks, everything within easy reach as I stand planted in rolling seas, and the radio for music and news.

As to modifications I've found ways to consolidate my kitchen tools into the galley for improved access. I moved pots, previously stored in the salon, into a galley cupboard that once held the microwave. My spices were buried in an inconvenient corner, so my father made racks that are mounted on the galley cupboard doors, now they're alphabetized and in view. To utilize an unused galley nook dad also engineered a teak utensil holder. I strung shock chord across the front of cupboard openings to prevent goods from tumbling out as they often shift in bouncing seas. To improve freezer performance Dave, my husband, filled it's depth with insulation and added a new floor. This cut the space in half but left a reliable adequate freezer. Finally, when the thermocouples went kaput on our twoburner Seward I upgraded to a three burner Force 10.

galley essentials

If I were to change one thing without a doubt I would have 12-volt refrigeration as our engine-driven compressor puts too much time on our Yanmar. Before leaving I worried about running out of food. Or - to be more precise - I was concerned I'd run out of a choice of foods. I thought "sailors” might be forced to eat cold, dried, or tired things that only bachelors seem to thrive upon. I found it challenging to locate quality canned meats so I taught myself how to can. I also make pickles, applesauce, blueberries, and raspberry jam.

I do the food planning though we both shop and haul provisions. I'm inspired by two things: a plate of food that is an aesthetically pleasing combination of color, taste, and texture, and Dave's appetite. By definition, if I need comfort, a can of Campbell's Tomato Soup and a toasted gooey cheese sandwich indulges my inner child, hydrates, and renews. As individuals we take care of our food needs during the day though I prepare dinner. I am prone to seasickness so when in port I double the dinner recipes then vacuum-seal and freeze leftovers. This even works for side dishes like rice and pasta. On passage, I simply heat and eat. My husband does all the clean up at day's end its a division of labor that works well for us.

Our diet changed when I shifted from a home kitchen to a galley. I now pressure-cook meats to conserve propane and reduce heat. When cruising the east coast it was easy to find favorite foods at familiar prices. When we sailed to the Caribbean I struggled at first to maintain quality while avoiding the gourmet stores higher prices. Today, I buy food from local markets, learn how to prepare what's unfamiliar and look for recipes that combine and spice up canned foods when fresh goods are limited.

My worst galley event happened at the end of a multi-day cruise from Beaufort, North Carolina to Jacksonville, Florida. As the sun set the wind died and we found ourselves tired, seasick, and hungry. With the engine running I went below, flipped on the inverter, and microwaved a commercial Chinese dinner. Unfortunately it was uneatable so I threw it overboard and we ate crackers. Meanwhile the antique microwave had sucked an inordinate amount of energy, popped a breaker, and blown the regulator. An unregulated amount of power was sent to the batteries exploding 6 new AGM's. Hence I pitched the microwave.

My advice is to consider what is unique to the place from which you hail and find a way to take it with you so you can share it with others. My canned foods make unexpected gifts and when I return to Wild Hair after a home visit to Wisconsin I carry a chilled bag loaded with artisan cheese. I enjoy the surprise and appreciation of visitors as I open a wedge of extraordinary cheese. Gifts of food provide an intimate bridge to other places and histories.

Curried Shrimp

½ cup cream
1½ cups chicken stock
4 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons flour
1¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
lemon juice
½ cup grated coconut
¼ cup minced onion
½ teaspoon mashed garlic
1½ teaspoons mild curry
8 oz fresh mushrooms - quartered
2 cups frozen peas - thawed
1½ lbs raw large shrimp, - peeled and deveined

Combine liquid and coconut in a saucepan, bring to a simmer. Meanwhile sauté onion and garlic in butter, 10 minutes. Stir in curry, salt and pepper, cook 2 minutes. Add flour and cook briefly. Add liquid, simmer 10 minutes. Add mushrooms, peas, and shrimp. Cook at barest simmer, stirring frequently, until shrimp turn pink, 3 minutes. Brighten flavors with a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve with rice.

Spaghetti a la Wild Hair

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced onion
8oz mushrooms
1 tablespoon garlic - minced
1 lbs Italian sausage - fresh or canned
14oz can diced tomatoes with juice
1½ tablespoons oregano
1 tablespoon brown sugar
24oz jar of spaghetti sauce
1 cup black olives
½ cup dry red wine
1 lbs spaghetti noodles - boiled al dente
fresh grated parmesan cheese

Heat oil, add onions, mushrooms and garlic and sauté until onion is translucent. Add sausage and cook until brown (canned sausage needs no cooking). Drain fat. Add tomatoes oregano, sugar, olives, and spaghetti sauce. Rinse sauce jar with red wine and add to mixture, simmer 20 minutes. Serve over noodles, top with cheese, and accompany with salad, crusty bread and red wine.

Wild Hair French Fries

2 baking potatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1½ tablespoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon minced garlic
salt & pepper
sour cream

Preheat oven to 350. Slice unpeeled baking potatoes lengthwise into French fry shapes. In a large Ziploc bag combine oil, cumin, garlic and potatoes. Seal and toss. Pour potatoes onto baking sheet lined with foil. Top with salt and pepper. Roast 30 minutes, turning midway through. Serve with sour cream. Accompany with grilled steak or fish and steamed veggies.

Sweet and Sour Pork

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 pork chops - diced or 1 lbs canned
1 cup diced onion
1 green pepper - diced
1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons white vinegar
6 tablespoons sugar (or to taste)

Brown pork in oil (heat canned pork). Add onion and pepper, sauté until onion is translucent. Add ketchup, vinegar, and sugar, simmer until pork is cooked. Serve with rice, sliced oranges, and a dry white wine.

To view more of Heathers sailing life visit www.AdventuresOfWildHair.blogspot.com

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July

1

A few months back enroute to Mahina Tiare we flew into my old stomping ground of Sydney, Australia on a visit with good sailing friends and past expedition members Gary and Anne who recently moved there. Upon meeting us at the airport they suggested we swing by the Sydney Fish Market in the upper harbour to grab some fresh catch. This place is impressive; it's a working market that auctions over 100 species daily making it the world's second largest seafood market in terms of variety outside of Japan. Along with hosting six seafood retailers and a variety of stores the SFM is also home to Australia's leading cooking school; The Sydney Seafood School. Once Gary and Anne settle into Sydney life they plan to be two of the 12,000 guests that attend classes yearly there and in true Aussie fashion it's not surprising that the most popular class, scheduled over six times a month to keep up with demand, is seafood BBQ. In short order we loaded up with sumptuous seafood and a pile of recipes that included this refreshing crab salad.

Crab Salad

5 cups cooked crab
1 avocado - sliced
1 green mango, papaya or jicama - shredded
bunch snow peas sprouts
1 punnet cherry tomatoes – halved
1 bunch asparagus - cut on the diagonal
⅔ cup coconut milk
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 small red chili - seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons shredded mint leaves
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon fish sauce
½ teaspoon grated palm sugar
salt to taste

Blanch asparagus in boiling water for 45 seconds. Combine coconut milk with following 7 ingredients. Gently toss remaining ingredients, arrange on a platter and pour over dressing. Serves 6.

We spent the evening catching up and after a restful sleep we were keen to explore the sights of Australia's oldest, largest and most diverse city. Like an infamous uber model the city wraps itself around the glamorous Sydney Harbour with its alluring maze of sandstone headlands, sleepy bays and world-renowned beaches. Anne, an avid hiker, claims that the Sydney experience is essentially physical and that there's no better way to explore than by foot and ferry. She'd planned numerous expeditious treks but when the normally fabulous Sydney weather changed tacks to heavy thunderstorms we chose a more sedate ferry ride to Manly beach and a hike out to North Head. It was a terrific day though, even for wet one and we owe our thanks to a spicy Thai chili at the Manly Pier on our way home.

Thai Fish on Broccolini

1 tablespoon peanut oil
4 fish fillets - diced
2 garlic cloves - sliced
½ cup palm sugar - grated
2 tablespoons fish sauce
4 kefir lime leaves - shredded
2 spring onion - diced
½ cup toasted peanuts - chopped
2 bunches broccolini - halved lengthwise
1¼ cups coriander leaves
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 long red chili - deseeded and thinly sliced

Heat oil, sauté fish 3 minutes, add garlic and cook a further minute. Remove fish and drain on absorbent paper. Add sugar, fish sauce and lime leaves, simmer 3 minutes. Return fish with half the spring onions and peanuts. Cook 2 minutes until mixture is sticky. Meanwhile steam broccolini until just tender. Stir 1 cup coriander leaves into fish with lime juice, remaining spring onion and peanuts. Place broccolini on a platter, top with fish, nuts, remaining coriander and chili. Serves 4.

Finally, the next day we were treated with sunshine as John and I set off to explore the heart of Sydney. We caught the train into the center city and leapt off at the Queen Victorian Building; an elaborate 1898 Romanesque architectural mall with 5 levels of exquisite shopping and dinning that fills a city block. As stunning as QVB is we were a little overwhelmed with the vast number of shoppers and quickly scuttled off to Maritime Museum in Darling Harbour. I'd worked on the construction of Darling Harbour as a rigger and was thrilled to finally see the finished results. We thoroughly enjoyed the Museum exhibits that vividly capture Australia's rich maritime history from ancient Aboriginal times through to surfing.

A ferry from the Endeavour replica deposited us at the cosmopolitan downtown Circular Quay. From here it's only a hop to The Rocks where Australia's European settlement began in 1778 as an open-air jail. Today the renovated village of warehouses, sailors' homes, and dens of iniquity house a unique blend of restaurants, boutiques and galleries centered around paved courtyards. On the prowl for sustenance we snatched tasty pita's at the divine Baker's Oven and I pocketed an apricot slice for snacking on the ferry home after a dazzling dash around the iconic Sydney Opera House.

Apricot Oat Slice

1½ cups whole meal flour
¾ cup quick cooking oats
¼ cup desiccated coconut
½ teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons honey
1 egg
1 cup dried apricots - diced
extra desiccated coconut

Soak apricots in water for an hour, drain reserving liquid. Sift flour, add baking powder, sugar, coconut and oats. Mix in egg, honey and apricots. If mixture is dry add reserved apricot liquid. Press mixture into a lined pan then sprinkle with coconut. Bake at 325°F for 20 minutes. Cut into slices while warm.

Garry and Anne kindly offered to host a BBQ to which they suggested we invite our Sydney acquaintances. That was easy for as John as Brian Calvert from Furthur (formerly the Seattle Selene dealer) had just motored into town. For me it was a dive into my past. I'd lived in Sydney for numerous years and it was my sailing buddies that I wanted to reunite with. I was thrilled when Vanessa, whom I raced with on numerous Sydney-Hobart's and Tiare, my inshore racing mate, both come to dinner. A lavish dinner party and an engaging night was had by all. As to the foodie highlights a five-star award goes to Anne's soufflés along with delightful snowmen and penguin chocolates that hopped onto the table. However, the Passtilla Nash prune and walnut log that graced the cheese board was of such decadence I've set about trying to crack its secret.


Tiare, Amanda, Brain, Vanessa, John and Anne - Gary who is taking the picture is reflected in the mirror.

Anne's Passionfruit Soufflès

¾ cup milk
¼ vanilla pod
2 egg yolks
4 tablespoon granulated sugar
⅓ cup plain flour
pulp of 4 passionfruit
2 tablespoons whipped cream
6 egg whites
pinch of cream of tatar
confectioners sugar from shaker

In a saucepan bring milk and vanilla to a boil. Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk egg yolks and 3 tablespoons sugar for 4 minutes. Mix in flour. Pour milk slowly into egg mixture, whisking well. Return mixture to pan on medium heat and whisk constantly until a thick custard forms, only a few minutes. Transfer custard to a bowl, whisk to make smooth. Allow to cool.

Whisk in passionfruit and cream. In a bowl beat egg whites and cream of tatar until stiff. Beat in remaining sugar. Gently fold egg into cream. Fill 6x3-inch soufflè moulds; buttered and dusted with granulated sugar. Place on a baking sheet and cook in preheated oven at 300°F. After 5 minutes increase temperature to 400°F. When soufflés are cooked, 12-18 minutes, remove, shake with confectioner's sugar and serve immediately.

Prune and Walnut Log

12oz pitted prunes
12oz walnuts
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup honey
⅓ cup lemon juice and zested rind
In a saucepan combine sugar, honey and lemon juice. Simmer until the temperature reaches a high hard ball stage, 250°F, then cool. In a food processor, chop prunes slightly, add syrup and chop a little. Transfer mixture to a bowl, mix in walnuts then form into a log shape. Bake 260°F for 30 minutes.

A site for inspiring recipes is www.SydneyFishMarket.com.au and www.WalkingCoastal.com.au makes sightseeing by foot a breeze.

                                 

rule

July

At the delightful topical NE reef anchorage of OpunohuBay on the island of Moorea, French Polynesia I had fun chat with Philip DiNuovo & Leslie Linkkila about life in their galley. Their boat is Carina, a 1986 Al Mason cutter and their homeport is Kingston. It was on a sailing trip to the San Juan's over 18 years ago that they first became hooked on cruising and their current plans are an open ended Pacific cruise.

2

Our galley priorities might be described as...we want to cook good food but with as few pans and dishes as possible. Also, we're not planners in the sense of "menu planning”; we buy raw materials and create what our spirits inspire us to create. A menu plan doesn't take into account what you are craving or how difficult it might be to prepare given current sea conditions.

The galley is on the starboard side of the companionway. It contains fiddles all around and counter under companionway; refrigerator (converted ice box) to starboard with twin lift-off covers; gimbaled two burner plus oven propane stove hull side; small counter to hull side of two deep sinks on counter towards centerline - forming a small U-shape. For stowage we have four deep cabinets around the galley plus one behind the stove with sliding doors. We also keep food above and behind the salon settees.

Both of us cook. Leslie is the bread baker and tends to cook underway as I get queasy, although I do have some great specialties.

Pasta Putanesca Carina

1 onion - sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 garlic cloves - minced
4 anchovies filets
hot pepper flakes
1 cup chopped fresh basil
1 12-oz can of plum tomatoes - diced
1 4-oz can of tomato sauce
1 2-oz can of tomato paste
2 teaspoons of capers
2 teaspoons Kalamata olives - diced
1lb linguini
Parmesan - freshly grated
chopped basil for garnish

Sauté onions, hot pepper and anchovies in olive oil until onions are translucent. Add garlic, cook two minutes. Add basil, tomatoes, tomato sauce and paste, simmer 10 minutes. Add capers and olives, cook two minutes. Meanwhile cook pasta al dente. Serve pasta topped with sauce, garnish with fresh basil and grated Parmesan. Serves four.

Pan de Carina

2 cups water at room temp
1 tablespoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon dried bread yeast
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons rye flour
1¼ lb all purpose flour
1 tablespoons light vegetable oil or margarine
1 tablespoon coarse ground corn

In a large bowl add water, salt, yeast and honey. Beat with a fork, 1 minute, to aerate. Add wheat and rye flours, beat until foamy, 1 minute. In small batches beat in all purpose flour until mixture is thick, lump free, begins to pull away from the sides "round up", and looks dull. Cover and let rise 2 hours until the dome begins to flatten. Prepare a 9x5” bread pan with a thin layer of light vegetable oil then a coating of corn. Pour 2 cups of flour onto a pastry board.

With a spatula slowly coax dough onto floured surface. Cover dough with a handful of flour. Gently fold dough in half, covering the flour. Repeat with flour and folding. Fold dough in half again then knead twice. Turn dough 90°, sprinkle with flour and fold like a letter (in thirds), knead once. Repeat. The dough should feel rounded and springy; starting to resist your pushing. Place in pan to proof (second rising), until dough is rounded and just begins to NOT spring back when lightly touched. Proofing time will depend on ambient temperature.

Bake in pre-heated oven, 400 F 20 minutes, turn pan 180 , lower temperature to 350 F and bake 30 minutes more. Turn off oven but DO NOT open oven door for 10-15 minutes. Tilt bread out onto a rack to cool. Yields one substantial loaf.

Clams Chez Penne

"Chez Penne" is a lovely motor yacht owned by Linda-Kay and Lyle who live aboard and cruise in the Sea of Cortez. One evening, while I was away picking up a repaired alternator, they hosted Leslie and the crew from "Sparta" for dinner of which the highlight was this imaginative dish.

1 dozen fresh clams in shell - approximately 3" in diameter, e.g., "chocolates"
1 onion
1 clove garlic
2 stalks celery
2 tablespoons olive oil
⅛ cup celery leaves
1 tomato
pinch basil
1 cup grated sharp cheese such as Romano
optional - 2 thin slices ham or smoked turkey

From aluminum foil cut a dozen wrappings 6 x 6 inches. Finely chop onion, garlic and celery stalk, add to sauté pan with olive oil and basil. Cook over low heat until translucent but not browned. Meanwhile finely chop celery leaves and tomato (and ham or turkey), add to onions and cook a few minutes. Turn off burner, add cheese and cover. Shuck clams and pour off liquid, retaining clam meat and shells with hinge intact. Finely chop clams, add to onion mix and cover. Fill clam shells with mixture, close halves and wrap tightly in foil. Place shells onto BBQ, cook on high for approximately 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

A pressure cooker is a must have galley item. Our pressure cooker leftovers don't get refrigerated, just brought back up to pressure to sterilize then left snugly covered and sterile on the stovetop for consumption later (one to two days has worked fine). We have a Duromatic Risotto maker. It was expensive but worth every penny.

New England Style Chowder

1 onion - chopped
1 tablespoon light cooking oil
2 potatoes - washed and cubed
1 12-oz. can of clams - drained
1 12-oz. can sweet corn - drained
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups milk
2 cups water
salt and pepper to taste

In a pressure cooker sauté onion in oil until is translucent. Add potatoes, cook 4 minutes. Add butter, clams, sweet corn and water. Seal lid, bring to pressure and cook 5 minutes. Turn off heat and allow pressure to return to normal naturally. Open lid, add milk and heat over low heat until just boiling. Serve immediately. Fresh bread is an excellent accompaniment.

A recent addition to our galley is a gorgeous non-stick omelet pan which we use also for Quick Personal Pan Pizzas when it's too windy to do pizzas on the BBQ.

Our advice for potential cruisers – Outfit with quality nesting pots with interchangeable lids. Don't pack your boat full of canned things though the exotics you should bring are the unusual spices like a favorite Vindaloo or Thai curry paste. You can get most ingredients you are used to in larger markets everywhere ...everyone in the world eats and as we say on our website www.sv-carina.org "eating is part of the adventure”.

rule

 

September 2011

Galley Essentials August 2011
Amanda and Maria   

Upon arriving in Vava'u, Tonga our crew read of a protected anchorage about ten miles away at tiny Tapana Island. It boasts sandy beaches, no villages but two unusual businesses, both run by ex-cruisers. Our first stop in dinghy exploration was the tiny bright blue houseboat of the Ark Gallery and when John stepped onto the veranda the artist, who introduced herself as Sheri, said, "I know you – Tahiti, 1982 – you were doing sail repairs. Larry and I were on Moli, a 1918 33-foot wooden cutter. We left the US in 1981 for Australia but discovered that yacht deliveries better defined or lifestyle. Since 1995, we've made Tonga home and the Ark allows me to pursue my painting while Larry does deliveries”.

After catching up on the years John inquired about the restaurant, across the bay to which Sheri replied "It's eccentric and the food is great! Maria Megias and her husband Edwardo Echevaria sailed here in the 90's from Spain on Rockin' Blues their engineless Cal 26.”

La Paella Restaurant and Beach Bungalows is perched on a hillside with sweeping views and caters to vacationers, cruisers, Moorings charterers and kayak expeditions. Upon landing on the beach we hiked up the sandy path to a rustic building with a Tonga-meets-Spain theme. Twenty years of visitors souvenirs adorn the rafters and mix with local wood carvings, bamboo and tapa paneling. Maria and Edwardo, along with their Tongan worker Williami, were hard at work preparing dinner for 15. To join our party of eight we invited Annette and Gerard from a 39' Swedish yacht and Lindi, a lawyer and endurance horsewoman from Tasmania. That left a kayaking family of dairy farmers from Melbourne at the remaining table.

Maria handed out leaflets with explanations of the menu and soon plate after plate of tapas graced our tables; each more tasty and exotic than the last. Apparently the word "tapas" is derived from the Spanish verb tapar, "to cover". Legend has it slices of bread or meat were used in taverns to cover the glasses of wine between sips to prevent the fruit flies from hovering over them. The tapa was born when, due to an illness, King Alfonso X of Spain had to take small bites of food with wine between meals. Upon recovery the king decreeded that taverns were only to serve wine if it was accompanied by a snack or "tapa”. Our tapas included a variation of the following items.

Gazpacho

This best-known dish of the southern Spanish region of Andalusia probably originated during the arrival of the Moors or via the Romans with the addition of vinegar. It was traditionally eaten by workers in the field.

10 plum tomatoes
1 cucumber - diced
half a green pepper - diced
½ red onion - diced
1 garlic clove - peeled
2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
cilantro for garnish
salt and pepper to taste

In a pot bring enough water to the boil to hold the tomatoes. Reduce heat and dunk in tomatoes, peel and dice. Working in batches blend all the ingredients together. Season to taste. Chill for an hour to let flavors develop. Serves 6.

Croquettes

These small rolls usually contain the classic French béchamel created in the 1600's. In this recipe the Serrano ham could be replaced with chopped hard-boiled eggs, shredded salt cod, minced shrimp, chopped chorizo or cheese.

2 tablespoons olive oil - plus extra for deep-frying
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1½ cups milk - heated
3oz dry-cured ham - finely chopped
salt
2 eggs
2 tablespoons fine dried bread crumbs

In a saucepan heat 2 tablespoons olive oil with butter. Mix in flour and stir 2 minutes. Add ½ cup milk, bring to a boil, add remaining milk. Cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes, decrease heat and cook 10 minutes whilst stirring. Stir in ham and season. Pour mixture into a lightly oiled 8-inch square dish, let cool, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Break eggs in a bowl and beat until blended. Spread bread crumbs on a plate, shape béchamel-ham mixture with 2 spoons, into walnut-sized croquettes. Roll croquette in bread crumbs, dip in egg, then roll again in bread crumbs. Lay croquettes on a platter and refrigerate 30 minutes before frying. Pour olive oil to a depth of about 2 inches into a heavy pot and heat over high heat. When oil is almost smoking, slip in 5 croquettes, gently submerge then before turning. Cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon, transfer to an oven platter lined with paper towels and keep warm in a low oven while cooking remaining croquettes. Serves 6

Tortilla Espanola

As one of Spain national dishes the tortilla espanola is their ubiquitous comfort food.

½ cup olive oil
3 large waxy potatoes, sliced extremely fine
1 onion - finely sliced
4 eggs
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a skillet, cook onions and potatoes until tender, 12 minutes. Drain potatos in colander, reserving the olive oil. Beat the eggs in a bowl, add potatoes and let sit 10 minutes. Heat 2 tablespoons reserved oil in a large skillet until very hot, add mixture, lower heat to medium and shake the pan to prevent sticking. Run a thin spatula along the sides allowing egg to run under and cook evenly, about 6 minutes. When mixture begins to brown flip the tortilla, adding 2 tablespoons oil to pan then cooking 5 minutes. Slice into wedges for serving. Serves 6.

Paella was the final piece de la resistance and ten paella pans were delivered together straight from the open log fire.

Paella

6 tablespoons olive oil
8oz pork or chicken- cut into 1-inch cubes
2 onions - diced
8 garlic cloves - sliced
1 green pepper - diced
1 red pepper - diced
1 chicken - jointed and diced
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 chorizo sausage - sliced
1 teaspoon saffron strands
6 cups chicken stock - warm
2¼ lbs paella rice
1 lb frozen peas
1 lb mussels in shell
12 prawns - in shells
4 tomatoes - chopped
sprigs of flat parsley - chopped
chives - chopped
lemon wedges

Soak saffron in a cup of warm stock. Warm olive oil in paella pan, add pork and cook 2 minutes. Add onions, garlic, and peppers cook 4 minutes. Add chicken and season to taste, add chorizo. Cook stirring regularly for 15 minutes. Stir in peas and saffron stock. Add remaining stock almost to cover then don't stir again unless absolutely necessary. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer gently uncovered for about 20 minutes. About 5 minutes from the end of cooking tuck in the mussels and prawns. Continue to cook until mussels open. Garnish with tomatoes, parsley, chives and lemon wedges. Serve directly from pan. Serves 10.

After dinner a large hand painted canvas curtain was pulled back to reveal a stage with a gold shimmering curtain backdrop and sound system. Edwardo played guitar and harmonica whilst singing a few Spanish ballads and was then joined by Maria with various percussion instruments along with singing whilst Williami played the drums. The ensemble produced a lively mix of flamenco, Cuban and Brazilian music inviting us up to either play or dance. In the midst of a salsa a few of us were grooving about when a goat named Chiquita wandered in and started (I am not joking here!) dancing with us. But when Chiquita dropped a load of pellets in the middle of the dance floor Williami chased her out with a broom!

Edwardo finished the evening with some blues numbers in English. We were a little flummoxed as to the words until Lindi explained that Edwardo only speaks Spanglish; he'd learnt the songs from listening to a record years ago. As we made our way back to MT we eagerly recounted the evenings intriguing details and how bizarre it seemed in relation to local Tongan scene.

 

rule

September 2011

october   

Upon arriving at the South Pacific island nation of Niue and picking a mooring we noticed a handsome Baba 40 named Yohelah with the homeport of Seattle. That evening at a barbecue hoisted by the Niue Yacht Club I had the opportunity to meet Yohelah's owners Teresa and Rob Sicade. Having been keen readers of 48 North for many years Teresa was delighted to contribute the following.

We've been sailing since 1993 generally racing OPB (other people's boats) in Seattle for years with Corinthian Yacht Club and any chance we got. We learned to sail with the University of Washington Yacht Club while in college and realized that we both love to travel and love to sail. Hence we named our boat Yohelah which means Eagle in the language of the Salish. It seemed appropriate as Rob is a Puyallup Indian.

Our cruising plans are open ended, with occasional work stops as needed. Cruising relaxes me! When we're home working I am totally a Type A while Rob is more mellow and laid back.

I do nearly all of the cooking and one my biggest priority in the galley is keeping it clean and bug free. The galley has deep double sinks, lots of counter space, a three burner propane stove with oven, a 7.5 cf fridge and 2.5 cf freezer, and lots of food stowage for a 40' boat.

My favorite galley gadget is my little steel toaster I found at Sure Marine in Ballard. It works perfect on the propane stove. Recent additions include an apple corer and olive pitter. Both seemed frivolous when I bought them but they take up little space and are very handy.

Occasionally we each get seasick on our first day out after a long break for which we take Stugeron. Banana bread is always a favorite comfort food and a great breakfast for us. After about day four, when we've gotten over our seasickness and are into a pattern, there's a pile of ripe bananas which I've now discovered can be frozen for later batches. This recipe is a good one because it only contains ingredients easy to find in remote places. OK, I didn't say it was low-cal, but it's easy and yummy. On passage we rarely need to worry about consuming too many calories.

Banana Bread

1 cup packed brown sugar
7 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 1/3 cup mashed bananas (2 large)
1 cup oatmeal
½ cup milk
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine first three ingredients and beat well. Add bananas, oats, milk and mix well. Combine dry ingredients and add to wet. Beat just until moist. Spoon into loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake 1 hour 10 minutes.

Our favorite food at sea is most definitely fresh caught fish. Rob's fish cake recipe is a winner; it's a terrific way to use up leftover fish. They're both yummy and filling, which is great because we generally only have one meal a day (with nibbles between) while we're on passage.

Rob's Fish Cakes

1 lb. fresh fish - cooked and flaked
2 eggs - beaten
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon mustard
¾ cup bread crumbs
½ teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ cup scallions - diced
¼ cup green pepper - diced
1 tablespoon butter

Combine all ingredients. Pan fry in oil until brown on each side, about 3 minutes. Serve with a hot and sweet Thai dipping sauce.

Our favorite in-port recipe is BBQ pizza with a group of friends. It's a perfect party meal; yummy, filling, and lots of fun. Along with the pizza dough I make a pizza sauce using tomato paste, Italian seasoning, garlic and onion. Everyone brings toppings to share including cheese which gets grated into a big bowl. We create a pizza bar potluck and everyone makes their own combination of toppings.

Pizza on the BBQ

2 cups bread flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
1 pkg. quick rise yeast
¾ cup warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil

Combine first four ingredients in a large bowl; make a well in the center. Combine water and oil; add to flour. Stir until mixture forms a ball. Turn dough onto floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in warm place (85°) free from drafts - 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Punch down, cover and let rest 10 minutes. Divide into three and roll out on lightly floured surface to form pizza bases. Grill on low heat until bottom browns. Remove to a plate sprinkled with cornmeal - uncooked side down. Cover with toppings and return to grill until cheese melts. Makes three crusts.

After our first year in Mexico it quickly became apparent that I was going to have to learn how to make food we call "ethnic" at home. My friend Nicole's grandma is Greek and taught her how to make real Greek food. Nik was kind enough to spend an entire Sunday sharing secrets and recipes with me; the following recipes make a great trio of appetizers. My galley/cooking advice to cruisers is to stock up on potluck and happy hour recipes, you can't have too many. There are more tasty recipes on our website www.svyohelah.com.

Pita Bread

1 pkg yeast
2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
5-6 cups flour

Proof yeast by combining yeast, water and 1/8 teaspoon of sugar. If mixture is bubbly after 10 minutes the yeast is good. Beat in salt, oil and 2 cups flour. Let stand 5-10 minutes. Add 3 more cups of flour, knead just until not sticky. Put in oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. When dough is doubled flip over and let rest. Roll into 6 balls, stretch and roll into ¼" thick rounds. Cover and let sit ½ hour. Bake at 450°F about 5 minutes on each side. Makes enough for 8 people.

Feta-Mezes

This is a sinfully delicious spread for Pita's that's also tasty on grilled chicken.

8 oz. cream cheese
8 oz. feta
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried thyme
black pepper
1 tablespoon milk

Tzatziki

1 cucumber - peeled and seeded
2 cups plain yogurt
½ red onion - finely chopped
salt & pepper
1 teaspoon dried or 1 tablespoon fresh dill
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cloves garlic

Grate cucumber and squeeze to remove water. Combine with remaining ingredients. The longer it sits the better it gets.

 

rule

November 2011

october
Bink, Will, Bill, John, JP, John C and Mary-Ann share Thanksgiving mid Atlantic   

November 27, 2008, 2300 hrs, 18.13 N, 052.30 W, Log: 122,630 miles
Close hauled at 6.5 kts in 9.5 kt shifty winds, a brilliant starry night!
Baro: 1020.2, Cabin Temp: 75F, cockpit 70F

It's now only 542 miles until Antigua as we've sailed 2,071 miles since leaving Lanzarote in the Canary Island. But no one mentions that or seems in a hurry for the passage to end. In my mind, that certainly shows a crew that's tune with the moment and enjoying the passage. After nearly a week of light winds, that saw us frequently under cruising spinnaker or motorsailing more often than we ever wish to, we passed the southern tip of a weak cold front and the winds swung around to the north. Away we're going, occasionally touching 8 kts in winds ranging 8-14 kts. Before the front we'd only experienced a couple of minor squalls with drizzle, no tropical downpours or erratic winds and not seen any tropical hurricane activity in the Atlantic basin.

We have an extremely helpful, keen and happy crew this passage. When I dug out some old epoxy plugs in the teak decks (the teak plugs John had epoxied into place years earlier had worn down, leaving brown epoxy showing) Will offered to help drilling out the holes and setting new plugs in with polyurethane glue. As he and his wife Lara recently bought a 1983 Hallberg-Rassy 38, he was particularly interested in learning the techniques of replacing deck plugs. And when it was time to transfer fuel from jerry jugs to the main tank, Bill and Bink were ready to lend a patient and steady hand in the filtering process. During dinner last night JP asked, "Do all crews always get along as well as this?”

Mary-Ann, who it turns out grew up sport fishing with her family, constantly checks the fishing lines. She reeled in two very small mahi mahi which we've released along with a large marlin but as we're now seeing and landing a few more flying fish each day it's just a matter of time until we'll be grilling the serious stuff. Bink, who is a true seasoned Canadian hunter Ah!, is increasing telling more grueling hunting stories. He started out with turkey, then deer, moose, caribou, and now its bears. We're thinking he's in need of some serious red meat. John C's not too sure about all of Bink's killing talk and offered me this recipe for his killer entertaining dish.

John C's Spicy Black Bean and Shrimp Soup

1 jalapeno pepper
1 med onion - diced
3 cloves garlic - chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin - ground
1 1/3 lb peeled deveined shrimp - large
3 limes – juice and zest
1 sprig cilantro - chopped
40 oz chicken stock
3 cans black bean
1 container medium salsa
2 cans chopped tomatoes – ideally roasted
salt and pepper
extra virgin olive oil

Cut shrimp into 2 or 3 pieces, place in large dish and cover with 3 tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle shrimp with lime, cilantro and 1/3 of the garlic. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in large skillet add onion and sauté 3 minutes. Add remaining garlic and jalapeno, sauté 1 minute before adding chili powder and cumin. Add beans and crush a little. Transfer mixture to large pot adding tomatoes, salsa, and stock. Bring to a boil then reduce to medium. Reheat skillet add 1 tablespoon olive oil and sauté shrimp mix 5 minutes. Add shrimp to soup and cook 5 minutes. Serve and Enjoy!

We've not seen a single vessel since we left the Canaries, not even a distant AIS signature of one until yesterday when suddenly a steady stream of mega yachts in the 150'-200' range passed us within AIS range. We chatted to several; they're all headed to the Antigua Charter Boat Show. Today when an AIS signal identified the Super Servant 4 coming up astern of us, enroute to Martinique, with a CPA (closest point of approach) of less than one mile we recognized the name. It was one of Dockwise Yacht Transport's semi-submersible ships that deliver yachts worldwide. We gave them a call asking if they could maintain their course, which would have them passing close by, so we could take photos for our seminars. They agreed and as they passed the crews of many of the yachts aboard stopped their polishing and cleaning to wave. The captain gave a super long toot and after they noticed our battle flags flying someone run up their company flags on the main mast. I was intrigued to note that one of the mega yachts stationed at the stern was trailing a fishing line. We waved goodbye……or so we thought!

As the huge Super Servant 4 passed they proceeded to start a sharp turn across our bow. I called the skipper back and thanked him for cruising by close enough for pictures.
"We're just going to take a turn around you so we can check you out again!” he replied
Would you like to stop and join us for Thanksgiving? I asked
"What's on the menu?” responded the radio operator with a laugh
"The usual fresh caught fish” I replied
We watched in awe as the 480' ship made a huge circle around us and came up on our other side. This time we noticed the crew of one of the yachts holding up their large Cook Island flag! I quickly grabbed ours and waved it around, streaking up to the bow for a "Titanic Moment”. What's the chance of having another Rarotonga-registered vessel pass us in the middle of the Atlantic!

I wasn't joking about the fish. As soon as Super Servant cleared the horizon we got a strike. Mary-Ann and I quickly hauled a beauty of a mahi aboard and set to work to create fillets. Phew I didn't really have any special Thanksgiving menu plan or provisions set aside but the mahi seared in Cajun spice worked wonders, especially with the following salads, to create a memorable dinner. We certainly had plenty to be thankful for.

Wardolf Salad

1 big apple - chopped
3 med celery stalks - diced
a generous handful walnuts - toasted
1 heaped teaspoon mayo (don't need much) or possibly yogurt?
*squeeze of lemon

Combine all ingredients and chill before serving. Serves 6.

Mahina's Bean Sprout and Craisin Salad

Since it's traditional to have cranberries at Thanksgiving I was set about creating a refreshing salad that contained craisins. This combination did the trick.
2 cups sprouted mung beans
2 cups diced cabbage
1 carrot – shaved with peeler
½ leek - sliced
½ can pieced pineapple and juice
1 cup craisins
squeeze of lemon
* diced red pepper for color – optional

Combine all ingredients and serve in a large Pyrex pan so it looks like a super large amount.

Lemon Yogurt Dressing for Cajun Fish

1 small pot of plain yogurt
zest and juice of 1 lemon
½ teaspoon of honey

Mix together above ingredients. Serve on Cajun-spiced fish

Garlicky Mashed Potatoes

8 medium potatoes – washed
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
¼ small onion – diced small
2 garlic clove – crushed
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
½ cup milk
fresh ground pepper and salt

Place potatoes in a pressure cooker adding enough water to cover half way up the potatoes. Sprinkle with rosemary. Bring to pressure and cook 9 minutes under pressure. Remove pressure cooker from stove top, placing fish grill pan on high heat. Drain potatoes, add remaining ingredients and mash while the fish is cooking.

 

rule

December 2011

october

For the last few years we've been conducting expeditions in the South Pacific using Auckland, New Zealand as our base. The South Pacific cyclone season dictates that we arrive in New Zealand by late November. Then starts the whirlwind of visiting family and friends plus preparing Mahina Tiare for 4.5 months of dry storage along with making repairs. To ensure that John and I are ready for the January Seattle Boat Show we generally fly back home in the San Juan's by mid-December.

Although I'd rather have a "down under” Christmas with family my years of living overseas has always been encouraged and supported by my parents, Robert and Lesley Swan, so much so that any time we get together is always a cause for celebration including an early Christmas mid-December. Coming from a sailing family our summer Christmas holidays were always spent on the water and so it is that when we arrive in New Zealand a sailing holiday away with mum and dad's on their vintage 32' sloop Reality is a must. The great thing about this is that both mum and dad excel in the galley and scrumptious meals are always devoured with gusto during fun days of sailing and exploring.

The following recipes are winners from a past few sailing pre-Christmas escapades.

Pasta with Summer Sauce

1 lb large spiral pasta
2 large avocados - diced
8 ripe tomatoes - diced
1 red onion - finely diced
4 cloves garlic - crushed
16 large basil leaves - chopped
1 tablespoon capers
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon sugar
several finely chopped anchovies
½ teaspoon minced red chili
fresh ground black pepper
¼ cup grated Parmesan
½ cup toasted pine nuts
*optional extras: Kalamata olives, diced sun-dried tomatoes, cubed feta cheese, chopped parsley.


While pasta is cooking combine avocado, tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil and capers. Mix remaining ingredients together and toss through vegetable mix. To serve place hot drained pasta into a shallow dish and toss half the sauce through it, then spoon the rest over the top. Serves 6.

Potato-Spinach Fish

After landing a fiesty snapper Mum and I concocted this tasty all-in-one recipe.

4 fish fillets
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 leeks
4 cloves garlic - sliced
1 cup white wine
3 cups fish stock
4 small potatoes - thinly sliced
4 tomatoes - diced
1 teaspoon paprika
4oz baby spinach

Sauté leek in olive oil until soft; 2 minutes. Add wine and cook until reduced by half. Add stock, potato, tomato and paprika, bring to a simmer. Cook until potato is nearly tender, 5 minutes, adding more stock if necessary. Place spinach and fish on top. Cover and cook until potato and fish are cooked; 5 minutes.

Mum's Vegetable Square

This useful recipe can be made with canned, leftover cooked vegetables, and/or ‘purpose cooked' vegetables. The pesto and parmesan cheese ensure a good, interesting flavor, even when mild-flavored vegetables are used.

3 cups cooked drained vegetables – eg. asparagus, cauliflower, green beans, broccoli, corn, spinach, pumpkin, or mushrooms
4 large eggs
¾ cup low-fat or regular sour cream
6 tablespoons Parmesan
3 tablespoons basil pesto
3 tablespoons couscous or dry breadcrumbs
2 tomatoes, optional
about ½ cup grated cheddar cheese
salt as needed

Cook raw vegetables in a small amount of salted water until just tender, then drain thoroughly, in a sieve. If vegetables are cooked without salt, add ½ teaspoon salt to egg mixture. Cut cooked vegetables into ½-inch cubes. In a bowl whisk together eggs, sour cream, Parmesan and pesto. Lightly butter a 8x8 inch baking pan. Sprinkle base with couscous, add vegetables then pour in egg mixture shaking pan gently so liquid surrounds vegetables. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake in preheated oven 350°F for 30 minutes or until golden brown and the centre feels firm. Leave for a few minutes before cutting into serving sized pieces. Makes 4 large servings.

Chili-Mint Roast Lamb Rack

The lamb and sauce can both be prepared ahead of time although add the mint and spring onions to the sauce just before serving. Cut the lamb racks into sections of 2-3 ribs per serve. Although this recipe calls for a roast, Dad also cooks it on the barbeque.

2 lamb racks 10-12 bones each - trimmed
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 cloves garlic - peeled and crushed
2 tablespoons Thai sweet chili sauce
1 tablespoons flavorless oil (eg. canola)
2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine fish sauce, garlic, Thai sauce, oil and mint and mix through lamb. Chill for at least 30 minutes or up to 12 hours. Preheat oven 425°F. Season lamb with salt and pepper and place in a shallow roasting dish. Bake 15-20 minutes until done to your liking. Stand lamb for 5 minutes before carving into double cutlets. Serve with the following Chili Mint Sauce. Serves 6-8.

Chili-Mint Sauce

3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon flavorless oil
2 teaspoons fish sauce
juice and finely grated rind of 1 small lime
2 minced red chilies
20 fresh mint leaves
1 spring onion - finely chopped

In a clean screw-top jar shake first 6 ingredients together. Stand for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours in the fridge. At serving time, pour boiling water over mint leaves, drain and chill under cold water. Drain and chop finely. Mix into sauce with spring onion.

Panforte

It was fun to bake this dense, rich Italian cake to take sailing. It keeps for weeks in a sealed container and is generally served in very thin slices with cups of tea in the afternoon of with a wee dram after dinner.

1 cup almonds – toasted and very roughly chopped
1 cup hazelnuts – toasted, skinned and halved
2½ cups of combined dried fruit, eg mixed peel, raisins, and chopped figs
2/3 cup plain flour
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 oz dark chocolate - chopped
½ cup honey
½ cup sugar

Preheat oven to 300°F. Thoroughly grease an 8-inch round cake pan, preferably shallow and with a removable bottom or line it with baking paper. Combine nuts and fruit and mix with flour, cocoa and cinnamon. Boil honey and sugar in a saucepan until it reaches ‘soft ball stage' (a small amount of hot syrup dropped into a glass of cold water should then mould into a soft ball between your fingers). Add chocolate and stir until melted and mixture is smooth. Pour into dry ingredients and quickly stir until combined. Press into pan and bake 35 minutes or until set. When cool dust liberally with icing sugar.

 

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