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

galley essentials

My husband Norm & I decided to sail for two years through the South Pacific. Sarah Jean is our SAGA 43, designed by Bob Perry and built in 2001. She's named after my mother who was a cruiser with my Dad. He has passed away but Mom lives on Mayne Island, one of the Gulf Islands near Vancouver, with a view of the sea. She is 84 years old and still sailing.

I've been sailing since I was six when Mom & Dad taught me in our small Sabot at our cottage on the lake in Northern Ontario. Sailing was ok then but waterskiing was my passion although I later took up windsurfing. Our home base in Vancouver is only ten minutes from the ocean so we've had a variety of boats over the years. I've always been attracted to cruising because of Mom & Dad; they cruised the Caribbean 25 years ago and Mom always said it was the best time of her life.

We're currently in New Zealand and you are welcome to read of our adventures on In September 2010 we left Vancouver, sailed to San Francisco and joined the Baja HaHa rally. After exploring Mexico we joined the Puddlejump Rally to the Marquesas and have since cruised the South Pacific.

galley essentials

When we set out on a passage I sometimes feel queasy if it's rolly, especially when I'm spending time down below. I usually take ½ a Stugeron (30mg). This works really well. I may need one more dose and then I'm good for the whole passage. I try to stay hydrated and keep away from caffeine and alcohol while at sea. I always make meals before a passage; they're so much easier to heat than cutting up food in rolling seas. If we have a five day passage, I make five one-pot meals. I'll also cut up fruit and have it handy in containers in the fridge. Our favorite food at sea is cookies although chocolate and cheese is pretty important too! I bake cookies, brownies and/or muffins for treats. The following recipe is a favorite at sea.

Chicken Curry with Mango

4 boneless chicken breasts
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion - chopped
2 cloves garlic - minced
1 tablespoon curry paste
1 12oz can coconut milk
1 tomato - diced
1 mango - peeled and diced
¼ cup raisins
2 tablespoons fresh coriander
salt and pepper

Cut chicken into chunks and season with salt & pepper. In large deep skillet heat oil and brown the chicken. Transfer to plate. Add onion and garlic, cook 3 min. Add curry paste and stir another minute. Stir in coconut milk. Return chicken and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or less. Add tomato, mango and raisins and cook until thickened. Add coriander. Serve with rice and a salad. Serves 6.

Our galley is on the starboard side below the companionway. It's C— shaped. Fridge & freezer face the stern, stove/oven in the middle of the C against the hull with a window above, and the sink faces the main saloon. I like to be able to look out the window when cooking and feel secure at sea when working in the galley. A gimbaled stove is a must along with a high fiddle and lots of counter space. I find I currently have too much room to move around so we may change it. I'd like a galley that is more of a U-shape so I'd be more contained; I use a galley strap at the stove which helps.

galley essentials

I do most of the cooking. Norm does about 25 percent as he does most of the boat repairs. We share the cleaning up. I love cooking special meals for others so entertaining inspires me try new recipes. When we eat out at a restaurant and have a good meal, I make a mental note to try this meal on the boat. We tend to eat more healthfully than on land — more fish, salads, fruit and less fast food. At home I'd grab a chocolate bar when I was driving around for work, but of course I can't just drop into 7-Eleven now although I bake cookies, brownies and muffins for treats.

Super Chocolate Brownies

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
⅔ cup vegetable oil
4 squares unsweetened chocolate - melted & cooled
2 teaspoon vanilla
1 ⅓ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ salt

Beat eggs until thick and pale in color. Gradually add sugar and beat until well blended. Stir in oil, chocolate and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder and salt — add to chocolate mixture, blending well. Spread in greased 13x9 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees 25-30 min. Cool in pan on cake rack. Cut in 2” squares. Makes 24 rich, moist and chewy brownies.

I keep track of our provisions on a spreadsheet and make the menus and shopping lists. We will often shop together. I'm always concerned about running out of an essential food item so when I'm in a store and see items I need I buy them then & there. New to my galley is a yogurt maker (Easiyo) that I bought in French Polynesia. We love eating yogurt for breakfast so I'm excited about being able to make it myself when we're at sea.

New Light Cooking by Ann Lindsay is my favorite cookbook and our must have galley items are a sharp knife and non-skid dinner bowls from Galleyware. My advice if you like to entertain and love your good kitchen ware from home: take some of it with you. Use bubble wrap and non slip matting to protect it. I also have special provisions from home like — fig spread from Granville Island that is great on Brie cheese, and red pepper jelly — good with cream cheese. When in port we'll make sure we have nice wine for special dinners like the following.

Mustard-Herb Grilled Lamb

12 small lamb chops or a leg of lamb
1½ teaspoons chopped fresh thyme (or dried)
1½ teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary (or dried)
2 garlic cloves - crushed
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Mix ingredients altogether and pour over lamb to marinade or you can spread on lamb while barbecuing.

Peanut Butter Chicken (or Pork)

3 chicken breasts
2 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
fresh chopped coriander to taste

Mix ingredients together and pour on chicken or pork tenderloin. Marinate, then stir fry or barbeque. Serves 4.

galley essentials rule

Galley Essentials 2 2012

Galley Essentials


A few months back upon arriving in Brisbane, Australia we quietly berthed at the swanky Royal Queensland Yacht Club. We'd three weeks off and life was looking grand as I settled myself into yacht club and village life, even catching a session of traditional music and stepping at Manly's Irish pub.

Suddenly my swanning about came to an abrupt end when John declared we were off to explore Queensland. He'd been online checking out camper rentals and had clicked on what he felt was a sweet deal; the small campers were sold out so the enlarged camper with head and shower looked a treat. But when I stood in the rental yard eyeing the assigned camper I freaked requesting something smaller. No such luck, they were all rented. I quickly dubbed our camper "Big Beastie” and we hit the road under a dark cloud of gloom.

Our first assigned visit was south, beyond the mayhem of the Surfer's Paradise, to Coolangatta for a visit with Stewie, the "Vegemite Kid” who'd recently joined us on an expedition. A keen surfer, Stewie resides in a rustic cottage perched on a hillside where he can check the morning surf from his bed. Beastie didn't even come close to hiding away in Stewie's cul-de-sac so in case we broke the law by camping in a residential area we indulged in the comforts of his guest room. Stewie was the perfect host and threw an entertaining family dinner that included his dad who'd grown up in colonial Fiji in addition to also being a great cook plays a mean ukulele.

Stewie's Quick Red Curry Prawns

olive oil
3 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
8 large unpeeled raw tiger prawns
2 cups snow peas
8 oz small cooked prawns
114oz can coconut milk
2 limes - cut into wedges
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Drizzle some olive oil into hot skillet and sauté tiger prawns 1 minute. Stir in 1 tablespoon of curry, transfer prawns to an ovenproof dish and place in warm oven. In same skillet sauté peas, then small prawns in olive oil, sir in coconut milk and remaining curry, leave to simmer 5 minutes. Serve on jasmine rice with large prawns, coriander and limes. Serves 4.

Aside from getting over colds we'd have gladly accepted Stewie's morning offer of a surfing lesson though instead joined him and a mate for a zany Zen beach workout followed by their ritual cuppa at a café. The lads keenly offered advice for our travels suggesting we skip the local hinterland in favor of heading north, by-passing Brisbane, to explore the Glasshouse Mountains. Named in 1770 by the then Lieutenant James Cook the 15 majestic mountains, eroded remnants of 25 million year old volcanoes, bore similarity to the glass kilns from his homeland. Beyond Mt Tibrogargan, Aboriginal for biting flying squirrel, a panoramic site provided an awesome soul restoring run. Following a scrummy pancake brunch and leisurely hot shower Big Beastie and I started to bond and as we continued inland through the Blackall Range I was soon affectionately calling her BB thus making John's life less glum. The quaint hilltop villages of Maleny and Montville offer endless exploration and an hour whiled away in a captivating bookstore made us devour the following salad before travelling north.

Mexican Corn Pancakes

2 teaspoons brown sugar
1¼ cups masa flour (corn flour)
2½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon salsa verde
1 egg
¼ teaspoon vanilla
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter - melted

In a large bowl combine first four ingredients. In a small bowl whisk together remaining ingredients, slowly adding the butter last. Gently stir liquid mixture into dry mixture. Heat a nonstick skillet and pour ¼ cup of batter for each pancake. When bubbles appear, carefully flip pancake (they have less structure than wheat pancakes) and cook until golden.

Chicken Salad

½ cup olive oil
½ cup rice vinegar
juice of 2 limes
3 chili's - seeded and finely chopped
2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 garlic cloves - crushed
4 cups cubed cooked chicken
1¼ cups fresh corn kernels
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ red bell pepper - diced
4 green onions - diced
salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together first six ingredients and combine with remaining ingredients. Serves 4.

Studying the road map I wondered if the long winding Mary River that paralleled the Old Gympie Rd and railway line might prove interesting. As we crossed the rickety 1886 Dickabram rail and vehicle bridge we spotted a mix campervans on the far high bank. The campers all waved shouting for us to stop which we did. We'd stumbled upon friendly Australian country music aficionados - retired and travelling about the countryside attending music festivals including one in the nearby village hall although they were camping here to avoid the 500 plus campervan attendees. They'd mastered cooking on the free electric bbq's that grace many Australian campsite and in between flipping items they all promptly played guitars and sang whilst welcoming additional passer bys.

Egg rings and a Teflon mat prove essential for an Aussie breakfast on an electric BBQ.
As to the beer..."Good on ya mate!"

We'd planned to visit as far as Bundaberg but when time ran out we delighted in an impromptu stop at Maryborough at the mouth of the Mary River. Settled in 1847 Maryborough quickly became a thriving port with the arrival of many of Australia's free settlers along with Melanesian slave labor for the sugar plantations. Today it's a treat to wander about the historical buildings that are also home to Mary Poppins of ‘Supercalifragilistic' fame.

A final highlight was reuniting with Neisha Collins (December Galley 2010) and her family at Peregian Beach south of Noosa. They've sold their cruising yacht Grace and are enjoying shore life although they're so close to awesome surf they catch the waves every morning before school. To honor our visit Neisha sweetly surprised us with this scrumptious lemon slice which kept us in good spirits all the way home.

Niesha's No-Bake Lemon Slice

⅓ cup butter
¾ cup sweetened condensed milk
8oz vanilla wafers
1 cup desiccated coconut - plus extra
3 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1¾ cups confectioners sugar
Grease a 9x9 pan and line with baking paper. Finely crush wafers using blender and combine with coconut.

In a saucepan over medium heat combine butter and condensed milk until smooth. Stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice and combine with dry ingredients. Firmly press mixture into pan then refrigerate. In a saucepan over low heat combine sugar and remaining lemon juice until warm to touch and completely smooth. Spread icing over base and sprinkle with extra coconut. Refrigerate until cold then cut into pieces. Store in refrigerator or freezer.

Gelley Essentials

Barista Rolin Wala, factory manage Nuvi Iata, and Amanda gather around the coffee roaster.

While in Vanuatu on a break between sail training expeditions, John and I decided to escape busy Port Vila and sail 9 miles north to Mele Bay where a wonderful black sand beach surrounds Hideaway Island Resort, a marine sanctuary and the friendly Mele Village. On our morning runs along the beach and adjourning roads we enjoyed warm greetings from the locals as they travelled to their gardens and work and school. As Vanuatu was previously jointly governed by France and England schools are either English, French or mixed so based on the various colors of the children's smart school uniforms we'd call out their appropriate greeting.

When a road exploration lead us pass the gates of the Tanna Coffee Development Co. we noticed they offered tours of which we couldn't resist. Although not open until later in the morning Nuvi, the factory manager, was delighted to show us around and eagerly began explaining the journey of their coffee from 'plantation to the cup'.

Arabica coffee has been grown on the island of Tanna since 1852 with the original variety from Jamaica being replaced by newer "Catimor” semi-dwarf varieties. Grown under the shadows of the very active Yasur volcano this coffee takes on a special uniqueness due to the deep, rich volcanic soils along with the island abundant sunshine and rainfall. Optimum ripe cherries are hand-picked and processed at over 35 decentralized pulperies where they are pulped, naturally fermented, washed, screened and sun-dried. Following delivery to a processing plant a machine removes the dry skins, grades the 'green beans' according to size and then 'bags' them into 60kg sacks which are shipped to Mele. The beans are then roasted, gently releasing their oils and wonderful aromatics which is quite an art as much of a science to combine raw beans, moisture content, controlled temperatures and aroma to produce Tanna's Coffee unique medium, dark and espresso roasts for the overall pursuit of the 'perfect brew'.

Nuvi went on to explain that the objective of Tanna Coffee is to not only produce coffee that is guaranteed to be 100% free of any sprays or chemical fertilizers, but to also ensure that the smallholder local farmers receive the maximum benefit for their efforts, yet still grow their product in a sustainable manner. A recent successful five-year Coffee Development Program was responsible for increasing the quantity and quality of production from 500 farmers and allowed opportunity to greatly increase their earnings through high value-addition and the provision of ready market access. Another five year CDP is currently being planned and it is anticipated that a further 500,000 trees will be planted. The farmers' objective is to develop their coffee industry, primarily catering to international demands, and future expansion will definitely be of a sustainable nature, ensuring that the current bio-diversity on Tanna remains untouched.

I wish all the farmers and those at Tanna Coffee a healthy future and look forward to returning this year to taste their efforts.

The following recipes all utilize coffee resulting in very unique flavors:

Grilled Shrimp with Coffee Mole Sauce

2 lb large shrimp - peeled and deveined
¼ cup chopped fresh coriander
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon hot pepper flakes
¾ cup hot strong coffee
2 ancho chilies - seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion - diced
3 cloves garlic - crushed
⅓ cup toasted blanched almonds
¼ cup golden raisins
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1 19 oz can tomatoes
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon dried coriander
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 pinch ground cloves
1 pinch aniseed
1 oz semisweet chocolate - chopped

In large bowl, combine shrimp, coriander, oil and pepper flakes. Let stand 30 minutes. In another bowl, combine coffee and chilies, soak 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in large skillet, heat oil, sauté onion and garlic, 3 minutes. In a food processor pulse almonds, until coarsely ground. Add raisins and sesame seeds; process until coarsely ground. Add tomatoes, vinegar, oregano, cinnamon, coriander, pepper, cloves, aniseed, onions, chilies and liquid; pulse until coarsely puréed. Return mixture to skillet; simmer 20 minutes until thickened. Stir in chocolate until melted. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring often. Meanwhile, grill shrimp. Serve shrimp with mole sauce, tossed salad and toasted tortillas.

Black Bean Coffee Chili

This hearty chili is a meal by itself; the coffee accentuates the meat adding a smoky taste.

4 cups strongly brewed coffee
4 chopped sundried tomatoes
2 cloves garlic minced
1 New Mexico or California dried chili pepper (with or without seeds)
4 tablespoons chopped onion
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
dash of salt and pepper

1½ lbs of sirloin tip - diced
½ cup flour
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 onions - diced
2 garlic cloves - crushed
2 chopped Serrano (hot) chili peppers (reserve seeds)
1 medium chopped Anaheim (mild) chili pepper (reserve seeds)
1 red pepper - diced
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 15 ounce cans black beans - drained
chopped cilantro and grated cheese

Marinate sirloin in marinade for two hours, stirring occasionally. Drain sirloin reserving liquid. In a large pot, heat oil, add sirloin and stir to brown. Add onions, garlic and Anaheim chili. Sauté until onions wilt. Add marinade and remaining ingredients except beans. Adjust the spiciness; if you like spicy add the seeds. Simmer 50 minutes or until meat is tender. Add beans and simmer 10 minutes. Serve garnished with cheese and cilantro. Serves 6

Walnut Cake with Coffee icing

5fl oz cooled strong coffee
8oz softened unsalted butter
8oz icing sugar
5 eggs - separated
5 tablespoons caster sugar
3 tablespoon freshly brewed coffee
1 lemon - zest and 2 teaspoons juice
2 teaspoons lemon juice
6oz finely ground walnuts
12 freshly shelled walnuts - to serve

Beat the cooled coffee with the butter until smooth. Add icing sugar a tablespoon at a time. Place in fridge for 10 minutes to firm slightly. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Butter 8-inch round cake tin and line base with baking paper or butter six individual dariole moulds. Beat egg yolks and sugar together until pale and thick. Add coffee, lemon and ground walnuts. Whisk egg whites to soft peaks and fold into cake mixture. Spoon into cake tin or moulds and bake on the middle shelf for 20 minutes or until springy to the touch. Remove and cool slightly before turning out. When cool, ice and decorate with the walnuts.

Coffee Brittle

butter for greasing pan
7 ounces sugar
seeds from one vanilla bean
½ cup molasses, corn syrup, or honey
¼ cup water
⅛ teaspoon salt
6 ounces coffee beans (a heaping cup)

Lightly grease a sheet pan with butter. Combine sugar, vanilla seeds, molasses, water and salt in a medium pot. Turn heat to medium and stir gently to dissolve the sugar. When mixture starts to boil, stop stirring and let it carry on, undisturbed. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pot and cook until the mixture reaches 375°. Shut off heat, add coffee beans and stir to combine. Pour mixture onto pan and spread it out with a spatula. As it cools, with your hands, pull the pieces into thin shards. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

For a unique coffee that will enliven your senses and satisfy your soul check out Tanna Coffee.

galley essentials rule

Amanda samples Maria's arepas at the
Miami Boat Show

….When Craig and Wendy, boat purchase consultation clients of John's, mentioned they were undergoing a purchase survey of a Manta catamaran in Ft Lauderdale John instantly saw it the perfect opportunity to upskill our knowledge of cats, cruise the Miami International Boat Show and check out the local yachting scene.

The impressive Miami show presents both sail and power in three venues. Our focus was to view the new cats and we stated at the South African Boat Builders Export Council pavilion with their two sailing cats: the St Francis 50 and Knysna 480. Although both cats are designed by Angleo Lavraonos I discovered that each were unique in design and layout. I had an informative time chatting with the boat builders and industry representatives from South Africa and when I mentioned that I often make the South African dish babootie they insisted that I try tamatie bredie (tomato stew in Afrikaans).

South African Tomato Lamb Stew

3-inch ginger chunk - grated
2 teaspoons all spice powder
1½ lbs lamb shoulder - diced into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoon olive oil
5 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
5 whole black peppercorns
2 onions - diced
4 tomatoes - diced
2 green chilies - finely diced
3 potatoes - cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup chicken/beef stock
3 cardamom pods
2 teaspoons sugar
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour

The previous night, massage ginger and allspice into lamb. Refrigerate overnight. In a small pan sauté cloves, cinnamon and peppercorns in oil, 3 minutes. Add onions and sauté until browned. In a pressure cooker combine onions, lamb and cardamom, brown all sides of lamb. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, chili, stock, sugar, salt and pepper, cook 5 minutes. Add potatoes and pressure cook 8 minutes. In a small pan melt butter, add flour and cook 1 minute to make roux. Add roux to stew to thicken. Serve stew over nutty rice along with diced tomatoes, sliced bananas, cucumber raita, and desiccated coconut moistened with some milk. Serves 6

Talk of food makes me peckish and I happened up a food vender offering arepas, of which I was not familiar with. I soon introduced myself to Maria who informed me that arepas are popular in her home country of Colombia and also in Venezuela. These hot corn griddle cakes are often served for breakfast or an accompaniment to any meal and proved to be very tasty snack.


1¾ cups milk
1½ cups fresh corn kernels - finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups masarepa (precooked corn flour)
½ cup crumbled queso fresco (firm salted white cheese)
Salt to taste
extra cheese for serving

In a saucepan heat milk, corn and butter until milk just boils. In a large heat resistant bowl whisk together masarepa and cheese. Slowly stir in milk. When mixture cools season with salt and knead into a smooth dough Using a ¼ cup of dough shape apreas into pancakes 1/3 inch thick and 4 inches diameter. On a hot griddle sauté arepas in butter until golden, about 4 minutes a side. Serve hot with sliced cheese on top or between two arepas.

A highlight of the show was a visit with acquaintances Laurie and Craig aboard their Argentine built Antares 44i named Alberta Crewed. New to the sailing life, they are thoroughly pleased with their cat and have had a wonderful first year of cruising. John and I were duly impressed with the Antares finish work and spaces, especially liking the shaft drive engines positioned in the center of each hull.

On the completion of our boat show visit we headed north on a 45 minute drive to Ft Lauderdale to join the Manta at the trendy New River city mooring area. The haul out survey was booked at Lauderdale Marine Center and the 40 minute cruise there took us along busy canals, under numerous lifting bridges and past the many swanky homes with yachts moored out front. While waiting for our allocated haul out time slot we all had a chance to wander the massive yard and view the many mega yachts undergoing refits. LMC even includes an air-conditioned captain's lounge although a Cuban food cabana situated among manicured lawns dotted with palms proved the most popular hot spot. Our hot plate lunches were all served with black beans that made a hearty change from the usual French fries.

Easy Cuban Black Beans

3 cans plain, unseasoned black beans
¼ cup olive oil
1 large onion - diced
1 green bell pepper - diced
4 cloves garlic - chopped
3 tablespoons vinegar
2 bay leaves
3 teaspoons ground cumin
salt and pepper
crumbled cotija or queso fresco

Drain beans, reserving liquid. Mash one can of beans into a chunky paste. Sauté onions and green pepper in oil until onions are translucent. Add garlic and sauté 2 minutes. In a sauce pan combine beans, onions, vinegar and bay leaves, simmer 20 minutes. Add an amount of liquid from the canned beans to a consistency of your liking. Add cumin, salt, and pepper to taste. Serve sprinkled with cheese and warm fresh tortillas. Serves 8.

With the haulout survey duly completed we swung by the more cruiser friendly Riverbend Yard before heading out to the Intracoastal waterway for sea trails. You certainly have pay attention here, there's never a dull moment. Crafts of all shapes and sizes passed by from glistening mega yachts under tow fore and aft so they can negotiate the narrow canals to dudes on stand up paddle boards. We only had a brief moment of sailing to check out the systems before canal space ran out but once the sails were down I let out a sigh of relief as I felt that sailing in such a congested waterway should be illegal.

Dockside 15th Street Fisheries was suggested by the surveyor for our survey celebration dinner. We weren't disappointed, this place is a riot and although I was tempted by Florida gator served with horseradish I opted instead for local clams. For a night life fix we took a stroll along fashionable Las Olas Boulevard where gourmet gelato and biscotti from Pan'e Dolci satisfied our sweet tooth's.

Spicy Citrus Clams

2lbs clams
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion - diced
2 tablespoons chopped pancetta
3 garlic cloves - sliced
2 stalks lemongrass - finely sliced
1 Thai chili - finely diced
¾ cup vermouth
1 orange - juice and zest
1 lime - juice and zest
1 cup clam juice
salt and pepper
fresh tarragon - chopped

In a large deep skillet sauté onion in olive oil for 3 minutes. Add pancetta and garlic, brown 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, except tarragon and clams, bring to a boil. Decrease heat to low and reduce liquid by one third, about 5 minutes. Add clams, simmer covered until clams open, about 5 minutes. Garnish with tarragon. Serves 4

Hazelnut Cranberry Biscotti

3oz brown sugar
1 egg
5oz flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/3 cup dried cranberries
½ cup hazelnuts - roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 350°, line baking tray with baking paper. Beat together sugar and eggs until pale and thick enough to form a trail. Sift in flour, baking powder and allspice. Stir in cranberries and hazelnuts. Lightly flour hands and shape mixture into a 12-inch roll, flatten slightly. Bake 25 minutes or until golden. Remove, cool 5 minutes then slice log into 1¼-inch thick biscuits. Bake another ten minutes, or until golden.

This month Amanda and John present Mahina's Offshore Cruising Seminar during Strictly Sail Pacific Oakland April 14 along with 5 free one hour seminars. Details on


galley essentials rule

Laurie & Craig

I was recently introduced to Laurie and Craig Bowers through Portland friends who'd buddy cruised with them in the Bahamas. Upon hearing that Alberta Crewed was in the Miami Boat Show I was excited to meet with Laurie and hear of her sailing and cooking adventures. - Amanda

My husband Craig and I have been sailing for 4 years. Coming from Alberta the idea of living outside, wildlife, new cultures and sailing in general seemed very attractive. I like change and need to be learning. Sailing certainly does that. We took numerous sailing lessons and graduated to crewing on deliveries then to our Antares 44i Catamaran "Alberta Crewed”. She was built in 2010 and we've sailed her from Brazil, through the Caribbean to Florida.

We love our new lifestyle and our time in the galley. Located in the middle of the port hull the galley is open above to the main saloon with cathedral ceilings to the saloon windows, allowing light and space to dominate. It's comfortable and well equipped but we spend time in it on our terms. It's a place to learn about and experiment with new flavors, foods, and customs. A place to share time with friends and family. The busier our galley is the more we like it. It's a short walk to the helm which is easily visible from the galley.

Food is a portal into the communities we sail to and facilitates a way to communicate when we don't speak the local language. It tells stories of history, culture, geography, and politics. Markets are our best resource for learning about local foods and vendors are generous with their cooking secrets, stories, and traditional recipes. I've learned to take my time shopping, and carry pad, pen, plus camera to capture the magic of the flavors. In addition to markets, we seek out roadside food stands, visit restaurants and try new foods along with collecting samples of local spices, herbs, and sauces.

We frequented the roti stands in Trinidad at Chaguaramas and could eat rotis everyday.  We came to know the brilliant cooks very well.  They would often throw in extra rice and vegetables and give us cooking tips.  To prepare at home, take the curry recipe below, (use beef if preferred), cut down the water to make a thicker mixture, and roll it into a pre-made roti wrap purchased from the grocery store, market, or road-side stand.  Dip in hot sauce.

Curry Coconut Chicken Stew

1-2 lbs chicken
1 tablespoon oil
2 onions - diced
2 cloves garlic - crushed
3-4 cups diced raw local vegetables (ie: sweet potatoes, yams, christophene, peppers, squash)
1 can or powdered coconut milk
1½ cups stock or water (2 cups if using powdered coconut milk)
Thicker: 1½ tablespoon chick pea flour, cornstarch or flour, mixed with ¼ cup water
1½ tablespoon curry powder
dash of hot sauce
fresh or dried herbs - thyme, cilantro or basil

Brown onions and garlic in oil. Add chicken and brown. Add vegetables, coconut, stock and thickener. Pressure cooker: cover and bring to a boil, lower heat and cook 15 minutes. Stove top: add 1 more cup stock and simmer 25 minutes. Add curry, hot sauce and herbs to taste. Serve alone or with rice or bread.

Our galley priorities are simplicity, nutrition, and utilizing local and fresh foods as much as possible. For safety, simplicity, and bug avoidance we work hard not to clutter up the galley, over provision or waste food. For meals, we buy only what we need until the next provisioning stop (2-3 weeks maximum) carrying an extra sealed bag of rice, lentils, and pasta as backups. The exception is if there is a particular local food (ie: pigeon peas, tamarind sauce, nutmeg) we want to enjoy longer we'll pick up extra.

I do the baking and dinners, with Craig joining me if he's not working on something else. We both share the other galley duties. Guests are also involved in all aspects of the galley. For passages I plan the meals, keeping a provisions inventory on my iphone. I cook ahead and have healthy snacks, drinks, and a thermos of hot water ready for watches. We've discovered that frequent, light eating and hydration helps us stay alert.

Stovetop Granola Fudgies

I use granola packed with dried fruits and nuts and take advantage of local cocoa, nuts, vanilla, and coconut for this recipe.

3 cups granola cereal or quick oats
½ cup coconut, raisins, and/or nuts
½ cup chocolate chips
4 tablespoons unsweetened powdered cocoa - preferably Grenada cocoa
1½ cups sugar or less if preferred
½ cup butter
½ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine first 4 ingredients. In a saucepan, bring sugar, butter, and milk to a rolling boil. Pour over the granola mixture and stir quickly. Add vanilla. Put in a lightly greased pan and cool in fridge or freezer. Cut like fudge. Alternately, drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper.
Variations: Add ½ cup peanut butter to boiling chocolate mixture. Add ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg or cinnamon to cocoa.

Granola Muffins

This recipe is a base for fruit muffins; add pineapple, berries, mashed bananas or apple to cereal mixture. If fruit is juicy reduce milk by 1-2 tablespoons.

1 cup granola cereal or quick oats
1 cup regular, sour or butter milk (sour regular milk with 1 teaspoon vinegar)
1 cup self rising or regular flour
1 teaspoon baking powder if using regular flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
⅓ cup oil
⅓ cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon and/or ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg if desired

Heat oven to 400ºF. Soak cereal/oats in milk for 10 minutes. Stir in oil, sugar, egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add to cereal mixture and stir gently until ingredients are just mixed. Pour into greased muffin tins and bake 20-25 minutes. Makes 6 large or 8 regular muffins.

Lime Posset

Serve alone, mix with fresh fruit, or use as a topping. You can also substitute lemons for limes.

2 cups 35% (heavy) cream
¾ cup sugar
zest of 1 lime
5 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

In saucepan bring cream, sugar, and zest to a boil; stir to dissolve sugar. Simmer 3 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent boiling over. Remove from heat, add juice and let cool until warm to touch. Divide posset amongst wine glasses or small bowls. Cover with cling film and chill several hours.

Since cruising we now eat spicier foods and more fruits and vegetables. I attended a cooking seminar in Grenada and will continue to look for more. At Christmas I loved brewing up batches of Sorrel drink using fresh sorrel flowers and spices from the Trinidad market. As the season ended, I bought a huge bag of the flowers for our next passage. When I dumped them into a bowl dozens of maroon-colored multi-legged bugs scattered all over the galley. They were fast and I was frantic to get every one. I quickly resorted to the dried, packaged version.

The top items on my galley outfitting are quality, sharp knives. A second indulgence is my coffee milk foamer and stove-top Italian coffee espresso maker. We use a hand pump with plastic bags for airtight seals; it keeps food fresh and bug free. I've recently added a nutmeg grinder and a muddler for pounding limes (for caipirinha cocktails) and grinding spices.

My word of advice is to use local and fresh produce whenever possible relying on local knowledge. I've experimented with breadfruit (love its flavor and versatility), curries and vegetables like christophene, carailli, plaintain, and bluggoe. You are welcome to check out more provisioning adventures on

galley essentials rule


Pelindaba Field

I enjoy viewing my home island of San Juan by bicycle and certainly appreciate the mix of sweeping coastal views, wooded lanes and pastoral valleys. If you're touring the island, Wold Road offers a pleasant route from San Juan Valley Road to the island's South West side. There's a rather steep hill to climb but once you reach the crest and navigate the corner you're rewarded with an expansive vista of lavender. You've arrived at the Pelindaba Lavender Farm. The charming Gatehouse Farm Store and Visitor Center with cupola and spire are most welcoming.

Founded by Stephen Robins, Pelindaba Lavender started in 1998 as simple plan to preserve the quiet valley as open space and share it with the community and visitors. It was also the plan to make the land self sustaining by planting a crop that would further enhance its natural beauty. After an extensive search for a crop that would fulfill several criteria, Stephen settled on lavender. Thus was born "Pelindaba”, a Zulu word that hearkened back to his South African roots and which can be translated as "place of great gatherings;” a name that incorporates the two key elements of the original concept - great gatherings of crops and great gatherings of people.

Pelindaba has continually evolved and is now a 25-acre sustainable, organic agriculture and economic development prototype with over 25,000 plants. In conjunction with the cultivation of lavender, Pelindaba has built an on-site distillery and production center for the processing of raw materials, development of recipes and handcrafting of over 250 lavender-based products available through their stores at the Farm, in Friday Harbor, La Conner and the website:

Lavender Products

As a herb, Lavender has been in use for over 2,500 years, originally among the Egyptians, Phoenicians who used it in perfume and mummification. By 600 BC it had spread from Greece to France, with the 'English' lavender being introduced to England in the 1600s.

In Medieval Europe, washer women were known as ‘lavenderers” as they dried the laundry on lavender bushes and used lavender to scent drawers. Lavender's reputation as a protective plant increased during the Great Plague in London when it was thought that attaching lavender to the wrists would protect the wearer against the deadly disease. From monasteries to royal palaces, lavender has since become an established standard in many areas, ranging from seductive perfumes to herbal medicine to cooking.

The surprising feature of culinary lavender is that it can be used across the entire food spectrum, from savory to sweet. Some recipes call for fresh lavender but Pelindaba has found that freshly ground dried flower buds fully retain the lavender flavor and are more readily available year round. Culinary lavender should be harvested from appropriate varieties in the early flowering season when just a handful of flowers have opened on the flower head and before the bitter essential oils build in the bud.

In concert with Stephen's original purpose, Pelindaba Lavender Farm offers spectacularly lush fields with rows of fragrant purple lavender blossoms. Visitors are welcome to wander the fields and enjoy the vistas without charge. Why not plan a visit to the upcoming 11th Annual San Juan Island Lavender Festival occurring the weekend of July 21-22. It's the perfect opportunity to survey the entire lavender process, harvest your own bouquets of lavender, attend numerous demonstrations, get creative with lavender in the craft tent and taste lavender culinary delights.

Once you've done so, you'll most certainly be tempted to try these following recipes, courtesy of the Pelindaba Kitchen. For a larger selection, check out their "Cooking Adventures with Lavender”™cookbook.

Lavender Peach Chutney and Chevre Canapés

1 cup of goat cheese
1 baguette - sliced
1 cup Pelindaba Lavender Peach Chutney
edible blooms such as chive blossoms, violets, pansies, nasturtiums

Spread goat cheese on sliced baguette, add 1 teaspoon of chutney on slice then top with an edible bloom. The canapés can be held in the refrigerator on trays covered with wax paper for a few hours. Allow them to come to cool room temperature before serving.
Also try with other Pelindaba Lavender Chutneys - Mixed Berry and Hot Peach (has an extra spicy zing)! Makes 24-30 canapés

Lavender Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 teaspoon Pelindaba Lavender Honey
1½ cups balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons dried lavender
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Pelindaba Lavender Salt and Pepper to taste.

In a medium saucepan, heat honey slowly until bubbling. Add vinegar and lavender, simmer over low heat until reduced to ¾ cup, 8-10 minutes. Strain and allow to cool slightly. Whisk in oil and season with lavender salt and pepper.

Walnut Crusted Lavender Chicken

3lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
3 teaspoon cardamom pods
2 teaspoon toasted cumin seed
3 tablespoons Pelindaba's Organic Culinary Lavender 
2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
pinch of cayenne
1 cup breadcrumbs
½ cup ground walnuts
4 tablespoons flour
Pelindaba Lavender Salt and Pepper to taste
oil and butter for cooking

Cut chicken breasts into 3 pieces. Pound them lightly with a meat mallet to form even cutlets 2-inches in diameter. Pulse cardamom and cumin in a coffee grinder until finely ground and uniform. Add lavender and pulse briefly. Combine spice mix with yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, and cayenne. Add chicken and coat. Combine bread crumbs, walnuts, and flour. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and dredge through walnut mix. Sauté in a mixture of oil and butter over medium heat until golden brown. Serves 4

Grilled Salmon with Lavender and Basil

4 fresh salmon fillets
5 large basil leaves - chopped
2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
⅓ cup olive oil
Pelindaba Lavender Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine all marinade ingredients, add salmon, cover and let rest in the refrigerator for an hour. Place salmon on a hot, lightly oiled grill or barbeque, skin side down. Baste frequently with marinade. When salmon is done, remove from grill, baste again and serve. Serves 4

Lavender Shortbread Cookies

1½ cups butter, room temperature
⅔ cup sugar
2 tablespoons Pelindaba's Organic Culinary Lavender
2 ⅓ cups flour
½ cup cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
Pelindaba Lavender Sugar for garnish

Preheat oven to 325 °F. Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream together butter, sugar, and lavender. Mix until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add flour, cornstarch, and salt, beat until combined. Divide dough in half. Flatten into squares and wrap in plastic. Chill until firm. On a floured board, roll or pat out dough to a thickness of 3/8-inch. Cut dough into 1½-inch squares or rounds. Transfer to baking sheets, spacing cookies 1 inch apart. Prick each cookie several times with a fork. Bake 20-25 minutes until pale golden (do not brown). Sprinkle with lavender sugar. Makes about 4 dozen

galley essentials rule



One of our most memorable passages of last season was Leg 8; a dash across the Tasman Sea from Brisbane, Australia to New Zealand. For months we'd been watching the weather for this challenging 1,200 mile passage and everything lined up perfectly the evening our hardy crew of 6 arrived. Winds were 35kts with gusts to 50 offshore; we'd be leaving on the tail of a powerful cold front with a maximum good weather window.

By 11 am we'd completed our clearance and flat seas with a terrific following wind allowed us to round the north of Moreton Island by 1800. We set sail directly for New Zealand although large confused seas and light winds were reminisce of the frontal passage forcing us to alternate between light air sailing with motorsailing for a day. Thankfully conditions soon improved and we were off charging on a broad reach. Life was looking perfect until around 1400 when I was called on deck. Crew had been monitoring a monstrous black squall line to the west and noticed it was approaching.

The barometer rapidly started plummeting and soon the black wall was upon us bringing crashes of thunder and bolts of lightning that struck the ocean on either side. Garth and John kept surveying the lightning while Robert kept a steady hand on the helm. We quickly reduced sail whilst studying the clouds and radar trying to find a path of least convection to pass through. Then came torrential rains, continuous thunder and surface lighting strikes that zapped close by. We repeatedly changed course trying to penetrate the system but it became impossible to avoid. The width of the slow moving front took us by surprise and it wasn't until 2300 that the rain ceased and skies began to clear.

Needless to say that dinner in these conditions is a rather anxious affair. I'm kept on call and require a dish that can handle course changes and the possibility that I required on deck. After serving the following dinner amidst squalls Garth remarked the following his charming Columbian accent "La comida entrap por los ojos”. Food goes in through your eyes.

Mexican Chicken Chili

2 tablespoons olive oil
2lbs chicken – cut into small cubes
5 cloves garlic – crushed
3 onions – chopped
1 red capsicum – chopped
1 green capsicum – chopped
1 long red chili or 2 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce – diced small
3 teaspoons ground cumin
3 teaspoons smoked paprika
1–2 teaspoons caster sugar
2 cans four bean mix
1 can chopped tomatoes
½ cup chicken stock
1½ cups frozen corn kernels
1 cup coriander leaves
green chili and sour cream

Heat oil in a large heavy pot. Add onion, chicken, capsicum, chili and garlic, cook 5 minutes. Add cumin, paprika and sugar. Cook stirring 1 minute. Add tomatoes, stock, salt and pepper, simmer 10 minutes. Stir in sweet corn and simmer 5 minutes more. Stir in most of the coriander. Serve garnished with coriander, green chili and sour cream along with tortilla chips. Serves 8 (just).

Thankfully after the front we experienced remarkably fine conditions and although we had to motor some it was less than expected. With amazingly calm seas, clear starry nights and sunny blue days crew became extremely competent at reefing, helming and sail trim. The further south we sailed the more bracing our deck showers became and much to the crews disappointment I'd advised waiting another day until we were further off Australia's notorious big sharky coast for mid-ocean swims. It was then that Peter spotted the remains of a large whale with dozens of seabirds feasting on it and needless to say...tons of sharks!

When a moderate 1021 high stalled near New Zealand it coincided with relatively smooth seas and perfect sailing conditions although a 10–foot southerly swell kept helming interesting. As a bonus we caught plenty of tubby tuna to which I enjoyed creating interesting salads thus utilizing our fresh provisions which would otherwise be confiscated by New Zealand quarantine.

Orange Parsley and Date Salad

2 cups flat–leaf parsley – chopped
2 oranges – segments and juice
1 cup pitted Ligurian olives
1 red onion – quartered and sliced
1 cup dates – sliced
⅓ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients. Serves 6.

As we approached the Three Kings Islands, 34 miles northwest of the North Island, our swell lessened giving us an excellent but bracing opportunity for a final swim to clean the antifouling and prop. The Three Kings were named on 6 January 1643 by Dutch explorer Abel Tasman as it was the Twelfth Night feast of the Epiphany; the day the biblical three kings visited the Christ child. Three weeks earlier he'd become the first known European known to have seen New Zealand, after sailing across from Tasmania and mistaking it for Argentina. He'd sighted the South Island and in search of water he made a stop but was attacked by Maori so continued on to the Three Kings

The forecast predicted 20+ kt headwinds for the last 80 miles after rounding North Cape but instead we received SW offshore winds with absolutely flat seas. We'd reefed down all of the final day so as not to arrive at Opua's quarantine dock before dawn but MT doesn't like going slow and neither did our keen crew other than we got to consume the following tasty dinner.

Greek Lamb with Tomato Rice

2lbs diced lamb
1 bottle red wine
2 onions - diced
1¼ cups tomato juice
2 tablespoon fresh coriander – chopped
2 bay leaves
¼ cup pitted black olives
1½ cups red cherry tomatoes
1½ cups rice
1½ cups tomato juice
1½ cups water
pinch of salt
parsley and lime to garnish

Marinate lamb overnight with next 6 ingredients. Place lamb and marinade in a covered casserole dish and cook 350°F for 2 hours in oven or pressure cook on high for 10 minutes in pressure cooker. Add tomatoes and cook 30 minutes more in oven, or 5 minutes at pressure. Meanwhile cook rice in tomato juice and water until soft and liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Add salt to taste. Serve lamb on rice garnished with parsley and lime. Serves 4.

Our landfall in Opua was delightful and we arrived at the quarantine dock at 0500. The officials were friendly and efficient and we were soon cleared in with crew keenly off exploring. They returned later in the evening raving about long hot showers, laundry, coffee, beers (not sure of the order!) and jaffa's.

Jaffa's are as iconic to Kiwi movie theatres as popcorn is to Americans. Made since the 1930's these small round sweets, with a hard covering of orange flavored candy and soft chocolate center, are a cultural folklore mainly due to the rattling noise they make when dropped or rolled down the slopping wooden floors of old theaters. The following recipe, courtesy of my sister in law Karen, helps out when I'm in need of a jaffa fix.

JaffaNut Brownies

2 eggs
⅓ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
zest of 1 orange
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup butter – soften
2½ oz dark chocolate – broken into pieces
½ cup flour

In a large bowl combine first 5 ingredients. In a saucepan melt butter and chocolate, stirring until smooth. Add to egg mix, sift in flour and fold together; don't over mix. Spread into a 8-inch square pan lined with baking paper. Bake 350°F for 15 minutes or until center feels firm.

galley essentials rule



Vanilla tahitensis orchid

We'd entered Hurepiti Bay, a deep cut into the west side of the island of Taha'a which shares an outer reef with the island of Raiatea; a larger metropolitan island while Taha'a is the quiet, sparsely inhabited, little sister. It's a challenge to anchor here as the bay is over 100 feet deep with a fringing reef and frequent gusts that sweep down the valley. Thankfully we could use a mooring labeled Vanilla Tours. Twenty years ago Alain Plantier, an avid French sailor and botanist, set down anchor on the hillside and he now enthusiastically shares his love of the island leading vanilla tours. ( or VHF 9). From the moment we met Alain at his dock to begin our tour with a visit through his lush exotic tropical garden until we finished our Land Rover journey around Taha'a Alain captivated us with his encyclopedic knowledge that included how Taha'a came to know as the "Vanilla Island”.

Vanilla first left Mexico in the 1500's on ships bound for Spain after the Spanish conqueror Herman Cortez noted an Emperor enjoying a royal beverage of vanilla-scented chocolate. Spanish factories were soon preparing vanilla-chocolate but the French grew tired of getting their vanilla from Spain so took plants to the Bourbon Islands. Although the vines grew well the orchid did not produce fruit. The mystery was solved in 1836 when Charles Morren, a Belgian botanist, observed that a tiny bee uniquely equipped to pollinate the orchids was found only in the vanilla regions of Mexico. The bee didn't survive outside Mexico so Morren began hand pollinating the blossoms.

Missionaries in the 1900's encouraged Tahitians to grow vanilla for resale and upon cross breeding with imported plants the Tahitian vanilla adapted perfectly to the Leeward Islands of French Polynesia, especially to Taha'a where the vanilla plantations have became small family affairs. After saffron, vanilla is the second-most-expensive spice in the world. Up to a thousand flowers can be produced on a single vine with each flower being hand-pollinated in the early morning as later in the afternoon the sun causes the fragile orchid to whither. In the short season as many as 10,000 orchids need to be "married” in a morning. Long thin pods then develop and are picked when green, plunged into hot water, then dried and sweated for up to six months until they turn dark brown and develop vanillin, the crystalline white "frost" on the beans outside.

In addition to its vanillin Tahitian vanilla contains anis aldehydes, which gives it a more cherry-like, licorice, or raisin taste and although the bean contains fewer seeds inside than Bourbon and Mexican vanilla it's fatter, sweeter, moister, fruitier with a very intense floral fragrance making it a delight to cook with.

preparing vanilla beans for our morning tropical fruit salad

Vanilla Extract

1 cup vodka, brandy or rum
3 vanilla beans

Slice vanilla beans down their length except the last inch, thus keeping the bean intact. Into a glass jar add vodka and vanilla beans pushing them down until they are covered. Cover jar and let sit out of the light. You will start to taste some vanilla flavor after a few days. After 8 weeks the vanilla extract has a nice amber color. Decant the extract into smaller bottles (makes nice gifts) adding a vanilla bean.

Savory Pork Tenderloin

1 3lb pork tenderloin
⅓ cup soy sauce
¼ cup rice vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 garlic cloves - minced
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar

Marinate tenderloin with ingredients in refrigerator 4 hours, occasionally turn tenderloin. Grill tenderloin over direct heat for 4 minutes each side or until nicely seared. Grill over indirect medium heat for 35 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing. Serves 4

Roasted Veracruz Pasta

This sauce is also delicious served meats, poultry, or seafood.

4 large cloves garlic - unpeeled
2 onions
2 carrots
4-6 fresh New Mexican green chilies
2 red peppers
2 lbs tomatoes
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil - diced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram or oregano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 teaspoon cumin seeds - toasted and ground
2 teaspoons coriander seeds - toasted and ground
2 tablespoons small capers
¼ cup tequila
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1lb zucchini - thinly sliced
salt and fresh-ground pepper
12 ounces pasta - cooked to el dente
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup toasted pine nuts or walnuts
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 450°F. Leave vegetables whole, do not peel or cut, rub them with olive oil placing them on an oiled baking sheet. Bake until skins are browned and insides softened. Remove vegetables as soon as they're done, letting the rest cook as long as needed; onions and garlic approximately 30 minutes. When cool, squeeze out garlic, remove skin from onions and peppers, and seeds from peppers. Chop vegetables and add to a hot skillet coated with olive oil. Add sun-dried tomatoes, herbs, spices, capers, and tequila, simmer 15 minutes. Add vanilla and zucchini, cook until just brightly colored. Season to taste. Toss with pasta, garnish with cilantro, nuts, and cheese. Serves 8.

Fish with Vanilla Cream Sauce

4 fillets of mahi, halibut or cod
2 teaspoon olive oil
1 shallot - sliced thin
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup white wine
¼ cup chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
salt and fresh-ground pepper

Sauté fish in oil until golden on each side, 3-4 minutes. Remove fish and cover with foil. In the same pan sauté shallots 1 minute, stir in vanilla, stock and wine. Slowly add cream, salt and pepper, cook until sauce is reduced by half. Return fish to pan, coat with sauce and cook 2 minutes until everything is combined. Serve with jasmine rice.

Vanilla Créme Brulee

1 cup half-and-half
1 vanilla bean
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 egg plus 8 egg yolks
⅔ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ cups heavy cream, cold4 tablespoons superfine sugar

Preheat oven to 325°F. In a small saucepan combine half-and-half vanilla bean, and extract. Heat until just scalded, do not boil. Fill a large bowl with water and add ice. In a medium bowl whisk together egg, egg yolks, and granulated sugar. Gradually stir in scalded mixture and place the smaller bowl in the iced water to cool completely. Remove vanilla bean, stir in heavy cream and divide among eight 4-ounce ramekins. Place in a baking dish and add enough hot water to come halfway up the ramekins sides, cover tightly with foil and bake 35 minutes. Refrigerate custard until completely cool. Preheat broiler, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar on top of custard. Broil until sugar is melted and caramelized, about 30 seconds. If using a torch replace the superfine sugar with raw sugar and pass flame about 2 inches over surface until sugar caramelizes. Serve warm. Serves 8.

galley essentials rule


I met Wendy in Fiji a few years ago and more recently at the Seattle Boat Show where she was promoting her book; Tightwads on the Loose: A Seven Year Pacific Odyssey. Wendy and her husband Garth Wilcox sailed 34,000 aboard their boat Vellela, she's still married and still happens to like Gareth. Upon cruising Wendy's impressive website I happened to glean many provisioning insights so I asked Wendy if she would share some with you.

Cooking on a small boat poses some unusual challenges. As someone who sailed 34,000 miles for seven years aboard what most would describe as a "tender” 31-foot boat, cooking sometimes required the acrobatic prowess of an Olympian. Even when I seamlessly blended the skills of Martha Stewart and Wonder Woman, the motion could transform the simplest meals into complex undertakings.

There were accidents. Spectacular ones. Like the time I overfilled the pressure cooker and it blew split pea soup throughout the cabin, leaving a green dribbling, oozing goo that looked more like something else. Such a debacle is never a pleasure under most circumstances, but less so when your "kitchen” is also your living room, office, engine room and bedroom. Then there was the time in the boisterous South China Sea when spaghetti marinara slithered behind the seat cushions into our chart locker, which I described in my book, Tightwads on the Loose: A Seven Year Pacific Odyssey. I've found the most essential galley ingredient is a sense of humor.

Being organized also helps. One trick is to cook in stages by chopping and preparing ingredients beforehand, something I never used to do. I place ingredients in bowls to sequester items that want to roll around when the boat is leaping off waves. Imagine chasing a wayward cucumber or tomato under those conditions. As I work I tuck ingredients against the rails of our gimballed stove or against the fiddles on the low side, into the sink or even place them on a towel or soft cushions to dampen their lively motion. I often made meals before going on passage, like oatmeal cookies that could double as snacks or breakfast. I placed ingredients in easy access locations and made a list of quick passage meals.

Simple Salmon with Sweet and Spicy Homemade Chutney

One of my favorite recipes, this is quite simple but comes out tasting like a gourmet treat. I vary this recipe by using a variety of sauces over canned chicken, shrimp, crab or cooked fresh fish we could catch.

1½ cups of cooked white rice
12 oz. can of salmon (or chicken, shrimp, clams or crab)

Bring 3 cups water to a boil, add rice and turn to low for fifteen minutes. Add meat to rice, and cook just long enough to heat it through. Serve into bowls and set aside before making chutney. If the motion is too intense, just add the following ingredients into the same pot and stir well to mix the flavors. Serves 2

Easy Homemade Chutney

2 tablespoons butter
¼ cup jam/jelly/preserves (peach, mango, pineapple work well.)
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste. I like spicy food.)
Onion/green onion (optional, to add crunch)

Melt the butter and stir in the rest. When the mixture is heated through, pour it over the salmon and rice.

Chili Lime Sauce

Drizzle over canned chicken, shrimp, crab or cooked fish. Serve hot or cold.
2 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
2 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoon lime juice
1 green onion/shallot - chopped finely
2 tablespoon sesame oil
2 cloves garlic

In remote areas where I found few stores or western goods, I learned to make substitutions. When I couldn't find instant hot chocolate mix—perfect for concocting a warm and tasty treat during night watches—I made my own. Our ancient copy of the Joy of Cooking was invaluable. It covered the basics, plus offered metric conversions and substitution tips, as well as essential advice when ingredients didn't arrive on styrofoam trays all prepared and ready to fold into a recipe. When a Japanese fisherman gave us a live squid, I scoured the Joy of Cooking for tips on how to clean it without puncturing the ink sac.

We lived without refrigeration, so we didn't carry a freezer full of our favorite foods. The upside is that we didn't have to spend 1-4 hours a day charging our batteries to keep up with its power requirements, leaving us more time for exploring. We quickly realized that food preservation techniques used before the age of electricity remain valid today. Cheese and salami were invented to extend the life of milk and meat. Canning, pickling, brining, salting and storing foods under pressure still work when ice or refrigeration is unavailable. (Or isn't working properly as the case may be. We've enjoyed the bounty of cruisers' freezers on several occasions following a refrigeration system failure.) Buying items in small packages and adapting our diet to finish them quickly help us work around food preservation issues, and we have never felt particularly deprived.

To avoid heating up the galley in the tropics, I use several simple techniques. One idea is to cut an avocado in half and fill it with canned shrimp, crab meat or chicken and then drizzle balsamic vinegar and oil over it all. Another is to make couscous (just add hot water) and fold in sun-dried tomatoes and nuts.

One of the joys of cruising is having more time to cook. Before we left for our voyage, our frantic lives left us little time for elaborate cooking. I almost left my best recipe books at home, thinking I'd only be doing survival cooking. But Garth, who'd already sailed around the world, convinced me otherwise. In port, I had the time and energy to be more creative and cooking became one of my favorite pastimes. If I craved a particular dish, I had to make it myself. So I learned how to make delicious treats from scratch, such as cakes along with pita bread, focaccia, calzone, grilled flatbread, tortillas and pizza, which formed the base for many fine one-dish meals.

Delicious and Easy Chocolate Cake

1½ cups flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cooking oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup cold water
chocolate chips

Grease a cake pan. Combine dry ingredients into cake pan. Fold wet ingredients into the pan and mix well. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top, they'll sink while baking. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.

Cruising offers the opportunity to enjoy the simple pleasures of finding and preparing fresh ingredients along with the challenge of making the most of limited supplies and less-than-fresh ingredients. We live differently afloat than we do on shore. By choice. It's all part of the adventure.

galley essentials rule


I'm currently planning my Halloween costume with the anticipation of again being able to attend the Manly Harbour Village Halloween Street Party. For the first time last year's sailing expeditions took us to Brisbane, Australia and we lucked out with berthage at the Royal Queensland Yacht Club just down the road from the quaint and stylish seaside village of Manly. It so happened that our visit also coincided with Manly's Halloween Party so I'm hoping this year's return visit will do the same.

As it approached dusk on Halloween John and I donned our costumes and headed for Cambridge Parade. I was transformed into Grace Black Pearl the Viking pirate queen of the South Seas. I was missing both a front tooth and eyeball but alas the eyeball had only but fallen out. Wee Laddy McJohnny was a tropical throwback of a former Scottish ancestor. We were soon joining the thousands of equally hauntingly clad party goers ranging from angels, to ghouls, gremlins, pirates, witches and vampires. One of the grisliest characters was a woman being eaten by a shark and needless to say there was loads of blood and gore, but then again this was Australia.

It was as if a spell had been cast over the village as the familiar store fronts, restaurants, pavements and parks had turned into haunting rendezvous sites for frightful feigns. The waterfront park held and assortment of wild rides and haunted houses designed to awaken your inner spook. A pumpkin carving competition had been held with impressive results that were now lit and displayed in the village windows while spooky street stalls and ferociously freaky food promised to tantalize and terrify.

Little did we know that more and more dark and grisly creatures had gathered in force from all over Brisbane for what has steadily become the biggest Halloween event in Queensland. These creatures of the night were soon traipsing down Cambridge Parade in a blur of red, white and black, creating a mirage of magic and mysticism. In the boiling cauldron mix of the parade vintage cars, ghostly hearses, fire trucks, unicycles and rumbling Harley Davidson bikes mingled with marching bands, Spanish, Irish and belly dancers, Scottish pipe bands, gymnastics teams and a host of other of street performers but certainly the highlight was two Goth girls on stilts breathing fire.

Following the parade a chilling fire-twirling act lit up the main stage casting an eerie glow across a captivated audience after which prizes were awarded for best costumes. An outdoor screening of Casper kept children entertained and lots of people laid out blankets and enjoyed dinner. From a market stall John selected tasty sate skewers with salad while I warmed my soul with hot Bloody Mary soup. As a treat we could not resist notorious redback spider tarts. The evening climaxed with an impressive firework display after which the smaller spooks were taken home to bed leaving the streets free for us larger spooks to party on at local venues til late.

Grilled Pork Chops with Sate Sauce

4 pork chops - bone-in
salt and pepper - to taste
½ cup unsalted peanuts
⅓ cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons Thai red-curry paste
1 ½ tablespoons Asian fish sauce
1 tablespoon chopped shallot
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar

Pat pork dry then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Puree remaining ingredients in a blender. Transfer to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer while stirring. Grill chops until done, 5-7 minutes. Serve with sate sauce.

Bloody Mary Soup

2 ¼lbs tomatoes
4 red onions - peeled, cut into wedges
4 cloves garlic - peeled
2 rosemary sprigs
2 red peppers - cut into wedges
2 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup hot vegetable stock
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
dash of Tabasco
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
5 tablespoons vodka - optional
⅔ cup sour cream

Place tomatoes, onions, garlic, most of the rosemary and peppers in a roasting pan. Drizzle with oil and roast for 40 minutes 425°F, until vegetables are tender and slightly charred. In batches blend vegetables and stock in a processor until smooth. Add vinegar, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce and vodka. Warm through and serve with a dollop of sour cream and top with rosemary.

Bloodshot Eye Balls - Chocolate Truffles

¼ cup butter
4oz cooking chocolate
1 cup icing sugar
1 tablespoon rum
1 teaspoon cocoa
for decoration - white chocolate, red food coloring, melted dark chocolate

In a saucepan gently heat butter and chocolate, stirring until melted. Stir in ½ cup icing sugar. Stir in rum and cocoa. Add enough of the remaining icing sugar to make a stiff mixture. Measure large tablespoonful of mixture and shape into balls. Chill then place on a skewer and dip into melted white chocolate. Drizzle with red food coloring to make the eyeball bloodshot, then dot with dark chocolate for the pupil. Makes 10.

Redback Spider Lemon Tartlets

Redback spiders are considered one of the most dangerous spiders in Australia. They have a neurotoxic venom which is toxic to humans and bites causing severe pain, often for over 24 hours. Redbacks are also one of the few arachnids which display sexual cannibalism while mating.

Sugar Cookie Tartlet Crust
⅓ cup sugar
½ cup butter, room temperature
1¼ cups all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400°F. In a stand mixer, cream together sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in flour, salt, cream and vanilla, until mixture is moist and crumbly. Press dough into four 4-inch tart pans and press it up the sides. Bake 15-20 minutes, until crust is set and firm at the edges.

Lemon Curd Filling

1 cup sugar
⅔ cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
3 eggs
2 egg yolks
6 tablespoons unsalted butter-softened and cut into half inch pieces

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and lemon juice, bring to a boil stirring occasionally. In a large bowl whisk together zest, eggs and egg yolks. When sugar mixture boils, pour very small amounts down the side of the bowl into the egg mixture while whisking continuously to temper the mixture. Continue adding only a few tablespoons at a time until all has been incorporated. Transfer mixture back to sauce pan and cook on medium heat until thickened, about 8 minutes, whisking frequently. Remove custard from stove and whisk in butter, one piece at a time. Cool curd for 15 minutes before pouring into prepared tart crusts. Refrigerate at least 8 hours before serving.

Create redbacks on each tartlet using chocolate covered nuts or dried fruit for the body adding the red stripe with piped icing and legs with piped melted chocolate.

galley essentials rule


november 2012 galleyMarie, Marta, Felipe and James enjoy an evening meal aboard Mahina Tiare on the island of Rurutu

We have a tradition aboard Mahina Tiare at dinner of giving thanks. The idea was originally suggested to us by Liz, an expedition member on our Cape Horn voyage. Liz had once been a nun and although she was not religious in the realm of saying grace she made us aware that we have plenty to be thankful for. Liz's evening thanksgiving began with us all joining hands before starting our meal and then anyone who is thankful expressed what they are thankful for. Most often we're thankful for the excellent company aboard and the delicious meal we're about to eat. Sometimes it's the weather conditions or a recovery from seasickness and if were in an exotic bay it's thanks to the beauty that surrounds us. Needless to say we often include thanks for the adventures of the day and always thank the wonderful people ashore who so eagerly share their lives, homes, food and cultures with us.

The image above is a favorite of mine as it portrays a thankful happy meal though not all of my making. Upon making landfall on the island of Rurutu, 300 miles south of Tahiti, Marta, our sole female expedition member, became an instant hit with the local ladies. Not only did she speak French but they admired the fact that as a Columbian she'd sailed from New Zealand. Late Sunday afternoon a young woman named Tiare arrived at the boat asking for Marta and we explained that she was out touring. Tiare had brought Marta and us her families entire traditional Sunday feast of pork, taro, and taro leaves all cooked in the underground earth oven along with fresh grated coconut fermented with a special crab. When Marta returned she was rather baffled by Tiare's gift as they'd never met. Tiare, who was extremely shy, had also brought along her friend Marie, a vivacious young French-Italian who teaches at the high school, to act as translator and they eagerly accepted our invitation to join us for dinner. Like nearly all of the locals, Tiare had never been on a yacht before but after watching our arrival she was very intrigued as to Marta's role aboard and how everything worked.

Along with food I'm also always appreciative of recipes that people pass our way and as a way of saying thanks and acknowledging their time and consideration I've chosen to include as many as possible in this month galley.

Linda's Pressure Cooker Rice

1 cup rice
1½ cups water

Combine rice and water and bring to pressure for 3 minutes. Remove from hear and let rest 7 minutes before releasing pressure. Add a tiny can coconut milk, brown sugar, raisins, cinnamon and nutmeg to taste.

Sue's Butternut Squash Bisque

2 medium butternut squashes - halved and seeds removed
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 leeks - chopped
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
6 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
sour cream
candied ginger - minced

Roast squash; flesh side down on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, 45 minutes at 400°F. Scoop out flesh. In a stock pot sauté leeks in butter 3 minutes. Add ginger and cook 8 minutes. Add squash and 4 cups of stock, cook 15 minutes. Blend soup in batches until smooth. Return to stockpot, add remaining stock and salt, cook 5 minutes. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of candied ginger.

Smoked Pork Loin

Leg 5, 2011 expedition member Dave gave us this recipe. He lives in Little Rock, Arkansas and in between expanding his passion for sailing, flying world wide as a FedEx pilot plus leading hot air balloon trips he loves firing up the BBQ.

3 lbs boneless pork top loin roast (double loin, tied)
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
3 cups applewood or hickory chips

Soak wood chips in enough water to cover. Place meat in a shallow dish. For rub, combine sugar, orange peel, coriander, paprika, ginger, salt and pepper. Sprinkle rub over pork and rub in with fingers. Cover and chill at least 2 hours. In a grill with a cover, arrange medium-hot coals around a drip pan. Insert oven thermometer into center of roast. Drain woodchips and sprinkle half the chips over the coals. Place roast on a grill rack over pan, cover and grill 1½-2 hours or until thermometer register 155°, adding more coals and woodchips as needed. Remove roast, cover with foil and let stand 15 minutes before slicing. Serves 8-10.

Whoosh Tuna Patties

Courtesy of Patricia Tyler from the Pearson 424, Whoosh
10oz canned tuna or cooked fish
1 boiled potato - mashed
3 scallions - chopped
generous amount parsley - chopped
dash crushed red chilies
1 lime - juiced
ground pepper
optional 1 celery stalk - chopped
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1 cup crushed soda crackers

Mix first 7 ingredients together, divide and shape into patties. Beat egg and water together and dip in each patty then coat with soda crackers. Sauté patties in olive oil. Serves 4.

Aunt Gloria's Stew

Laurie from Alberta Crewed, who featured in May's Galley, makes her favorite aunts stew on cooler days and passages.

2lbs stewing meat - cubed
l onion - quartered
½ green pepper - diced
4 carrots - diced large
4 stalks celery - diced large
¼ cup quick cooking tapioca
2 cups fresh mushrooms (optional, especially in the Caribbean)
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 28oz can tomatoes
¾ cup dry red wine

Combine all ingredients. Cook 30 minutes in a pressure cooker. Substitute any of the vegetables with whatever you can find at the market. Serves 8.

Apple Bread

This recipe is courtesy of Ted Owens. We met by chance while we both were browsing Friday Harbor's recycle magazine rack outside Ace Hardware and were quick to strike up a conversation to ward off the winter chill. When I said I was in search of interesting foodie reads and perhaps recipes Ted exclaimed "I've just perfected an awesome apple bread, would you like to try it the next time I make it”. Sure enough 3 days later Ted emailed the following recipe along with a taste testing invitation – Yum!

1 red delicious apple - peeled and diced
1 oz butter
1 tablespoon oil
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1¾ cup bread flour
½ cup sugar plus extra
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon buttermilk (optional)

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 350°F. In a frypan over medium heat sauté apple in butter and oil until it starts to soften; about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. In a small bowl whisk together eggs, vanilla and cinnamon. In a large bowl blend together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix in egg mixture then apples. Coat the inside of a 9 x 5 inch loaf with oil, pour in mixture, smooth off the top, then shake over with sugar. Bake until top is golden brown and/or when an inserted tooth pick comes out clean, approximately 35 minutes. Allow to cool for 15 minutes; placing a folded cloth over the top of the pan to assist in even cooling. Turn out onto a wire rack. Good eating - Todd Owens.

galley essentials rule


I first noticed the yacht Y Not a few years ago when we were in the Azores but nobody was aboard so recently when we tied up beside her in a the marina in New Caledonia, half way around the world, I was delighted to meet and interview her German owners Ute and Guenter.

 Yes as long as we do enjoy it!” was the answer a friend's question "Do you really want to quit your jobs and do a circumnavigation?” What intrigued us was the possibility to travel slowly around the world in our home, a Contest 48 CS built in 2000, and to be able to discover places by boat that we would never normally visit. We have no plans and are sticking to them but know that we will head back to Europe/Med sometime.

I've been learning by doing since I joined Guenter in 1997 whilst Guenter has been sailing dinghies and boats since his university days. I combine the characteristics of the crew, the chef and sometimes the admiral and am more cautious and concerned. Guenter is the skipper and is prepared to take more risks...sometimes too much. We both wish to be open minded, interested in other people and cultures whilst trying not to be obtrusive. You're welcome to view our adventures on

Our galley has a 3-burner FORCE 10 stove, microwave, fridge, a freezer only used to chill drinks and chocolate, and two round sinks with a fresh water and salt water pump. Galley safety is important to us especially cooking during bad weather. We like the grab rail along the galley and in front of the stove and the chef can even fasten themselves in with a belt. We're happy with the layout although we'd possibly like a bigger fridge that would allow us to use the freezer as such. Our most important galley feature is a really good knife!!!

Long-term provisioning is a shared task then if something "special” should be missed it's nobody's fault. We'd recommend creating a provisioning list as it makes the process more efficient. Our list has changed over the years but now provisioning isn't a nightmare. We plan carefully utilizing longer lasting fruits and veggies depending on our passages and if possible stock up on products we can't get along the way such as green and red pesto, pine nuts, walnuts, olives, marmalade, mustard, special spices, gnocchi and good Italian pasta.

The cooking and cleaning is mainly done by me because I am not a technical freak at all. Guenter is the one who submerges into all the compartments, holes sand the bilge to maintain the "First Lady”. I get seasick for 2-3 days after long breaks so the day before leaving I start taking "Travel Ginger” tablets. If I get seasick underway I stay in the cockpit drinking water or coke (although I don't like it much) and eating salty pretzels or crackers.

At sea Guenter likes chocolate (Lindt), sausages, instant noodle soups (on night watch) whereas I like pretzels, mixed nuts, gummy bears and cereal bars. We both enjoy spaghetti with all kinds of ready made or self made sauces, like pesto, Bolognese or carbonara. In the past I didn't like raw fish but now I appreciate the "catch of the day” and even indulge sashimi and marinated fish.

I get cooking inspirations from books, magazines and talking to other "chefs” however it depends on what's available. We're passionate about Italian cuisine but now that we're in the Pacific we're making more Asian food, especially Thai. My two favorite cookbooks are in German which tranlate to COOKING! 1,295 recipes you really need and The True Italian Cuisine - an imageless almanac with a huge variety of international recipes.

Nasi Goreng à la Y Not

Tested at night on our maiden voyage in gale wind - simple, fast & satisfying.

In a big pot boil 2 cups of sticky rice in 4 cups of water.
Add a sachet of Nasi Goreng Seasoning.
Take one fresh egg per person.
Don't fry them separately because as you will then use an additional pan (Think of big waves, strong boat movements and more dishes).
Instead, add eggs directly into the rice and stir well for few seconds then simmer a few more minutes.

It will definitely satisfy your crew for several days as it lasts long in their stomachs. The remaining can be used to fill wholes in the hull, perhaps even under water.

Marinated Fish

1lb medium or firm-textured white fish - skinned and boned
juice of 3 large lemons
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
½ small chilli - deseeded and finely chopped
1 tomato - chopped
½ telegraph cucumber - peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, basil and dill

Cut fish into 1-inch cubes. Place in a large non-metallic bowl gently mix in salt and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours until fish is white but a little raw in the centre. Drain fish in colander then place in a clean bowl. Gently stir in coconut cream, chili, tomato, cucumber and herbs. Serve immediately with crusty bread. Serves 4.

Chili Beef Stir-fry

1lb rump steak - sliced
¼ cup rice bran oil
black pepper
½ cup tomato sauce
¼ cup Asian char siu sauce
1-2 bird's-eye chilies - halved, deseeded and sliced
1 clove garlic - peeled and finely chopped
2 red peppers - cut into strips
4 spring onion - cut into 2 inch strips
steamed rice and lime wedges to serve

Toss steak in half the oil and season well with pepper. Combine tomato sauce and char siu sauce in a jug. Heat large frying pan on high and cook steak in 2 batches for 1 minute, until just browned. Remove form pan and set aside. Reduce heat to medium, add remaining oil, chilies, garlic and red pepper and stir-fry 30 seconds. Add tomato sauce mixture and bring to the boil, add steak and toss to coat. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer 2 minutes. Toss through spring onion and cook 1 minute. Serve immediately with steamed rice and lime wedges. Serves 4.

Fettuccine Carbonara

1 lb fresh fettuccine pasta
2 oz butter
6 rindless bacon slices - thinly sliced
1 clove garlic – crushed
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
1¼ cups pouring cream
2 eggs - lightly beaten
½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup finely grated Romano cheese
2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh chives

Cook pasta in large saucepan of boiling water until tender; drain. Meanwhile, melt butter in medium frying pan, cook bacon, stirring, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, pepper and cream, simmer, uncovered, until sauce reduces by half. Remove for heat stir in eggs and cheeses. Add pasta to sauce, stir to coat. Serve sprinkled with chives. Serves 4.


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