Mid-Life Cruising Sabbatical

Chapter 9

The Cruising Galley
Part Two

When we mentioning products by name in Part 1, we forgot Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning. It's great on just about everything!

We also forgot to mention a storage technology we used in the refrigerator. We bought two LL Bean stuff sacks (mesh bags with drawstring closures sold to hold small camping items) and put things like cheese and butter in them. The bags kept these small items corralled and made it easy to find the in the fridge.

You also should get one of those contraptions that squashes metal cans. We used the stomp-on-it-with-your-foot method, but the devices do a better job. Anything you can do to reduce the amount of garbage is a plus.

We also forgot to mention that we had a barbecue grill. You know, one of those round Magma jobs that clamps on the rail. We even rigged it to run off one of our large propane bottles so we would not have to fool with the little one pound cylinders (details if anyone is interested). We didn't use it as much as we thought because there is so much wind you have trouble keeping the grill going.

In Part 1 we promised some recipes that we used over and over. In planning recipes for your trip you need to know what sort of fresh items will be available to you. You CAN get eggs, milk, cheese, bacon, chicken (usually frozen), beef (usually frozen), spices, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, green peppers, squash, tropical fruits, all sorts of root crops (like jicama and malanga) and bread. You CANNOT get lettuce, broccoli, asparagus, berries, apples. Basically any sort of cold weather crop is unavailable (surprise). Interestingly enough, you cannot buy fish many places except from fisherman who come to your boat. I guess everyone is supposed to catch their own.

A word of caution about fish. There is this nasty parasite called ciguaterra you get from eating reef fish and their predators (like barracuda). You'll see the locals eating them, but I wouldn't. Stick with the groupers, bass and dolphin.

Here are our recipes:

Curried Coleslaw

(Jane Brody's Good Food Cookbook)

We like this one because it doesn't use much mayonnaise.

4 cups shredded green cabbage
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup finely slivered green pepper
1/4 cup cider vinegar
4 teaspoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon minced onion
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/8 teaspoon salt
Fresh ground black pepper

In a medium bowl, combine cabbage, carrot and green pepper. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for the dressing. Pour over cabbage mixture; toss and chill for at least two hours.

Cheese Filled Meatloaf

Ground beef and some form of "cheddar" cheese are available everywhere. Makes great sandwiches when cold.

1 1/2 lb ground beef
2 8 oz cans tomato sauce
1 egg
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 cup chopped onions
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme
4 oz sliced cheddar cheese

Combine beef, one can tomato sauce, egg, onions, bread crumbs, and spices. Divide mixture in half and place half in a greased loaf pan. Place half the cheese on top of the meat. Place the other half of the meat mixture in the pan and top with the remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes.

Drain fat and pour remaining can of tomato sauce over top. Bake another 30 minutes. Allow to stand 10 minutes before serving.

Mocha Mousse Cheesecake

Yes, we did make cheesecakes. This recipe is from a restaurant Jim once owned in Columbus Ohio called A Matter of Taste. This recipe serves 14 - 16. Have a party!

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 stick butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine all ingredients and press in the bottom of a greased 9 inch springform pan.

3 8 oz packages cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs

Combine all above and set aside.

1 8 oz package semisweet chocolate
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup strong coffee
1/4 cup coffee liqueur
2 teaspoons vanilla

Melt chocolate in double boiler. Off heat, add other ingredients in order. Add chocolate mixture to cream cheese mixture. Pour in springform pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes or until sides begin to pull away from pan and center of cake is firm to the touch. Chill overnight.

Corned Beef Casserole

(great for breakfast)

Cream cheese and "cheddar" available everywhere.

1 15 1/2 oz can corned beef hash
8 oz meatless spaghetti sauce
1 3 oz package cream cheese broken into small pieces
1 cup cheddar cheese
4 eggs
1/4 teaspoon oregano
Dash of pepper

Press corned beef into bottom and sides of greased 1 1/2 baking dish. Pour in spaghetti sauce. Add cream and cheddar cheese. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Combine eggs, oregano and pepper. Pour over corned beef and cheese. Bake another 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Corn Timbale

(Julia Child and Company)

All you need for this are ship's stores and fresh eggs which are available everywhere.

1 1/2 cups canned cream corn
3 eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons grated onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons parsley
1/3 cup bread crumbs
6 drops hot sauce
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Mix all ingredients together and turn into greased 4 cup baking dish. Bake in a water bath for 75 minutes at 350 F. Timbale is done when a straw inserted comes out clean.

Melanie's Eye of Round Roast

(Melanie is Jim's sister)

This recipe will tenderize even the toughest roast.

1 round roast (eye is best, but top or bottom will do)

1/4 cup salad oil
2 tablespoons lemon pepper seasoning
1/2 cup wine vinegar
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

Combine all marinade ingredients. Place roast and marinade in Rubbermaid container. Allow to marinate at least 3 days in the fridge. We prefer 10 (yes that's right 10 days). Turn meat every day or so. We found the easiest way was to place the Rubbermaid container on the bottom of the fridge and let the boat's motion do the turning.

Cook uncovered in the oven at 250 degrees F for 2 to 3 hours. Yes that cooking temp is correct. Time will obviously vary with the size of the roast. Use a meat thermometer.

This roast is great hot or sliced thin and served cold.

Beef Catalane

(Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking)

Another recipe that will work with tough meat. In fact, if you use a good cut it will fall apart during the cooking.

4 slices bacon
Olive oil
3 quart oven proof casserole

Cut bacon slices in thirds and simmer 10 minutes in water. Drain and dry and brown lightly in olive oil in the skillet. Place bacon in casserole.

3 lbs stewing beef cut in squares about 1 1/2 inch across
1 1/2 cups sliced onions
1 cup raw white rice
1 cup vermouth
2 13 oz cans beef stock
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 cloves mashed garlic
1/2 teaspoon thyme
Pinch of saffron
1 crumbled bay leaf

Brown the beef in oil in the skillet a few pieces at a time and place in casserole. Add onions to the skillet, brown and add them to the casserole. Put rice in skillet and cook over moderate heat stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Put the rice in a bowl and save for later.

Pour vermouth in skillet and boil for a minute, scraping up residue from the beef, bacon and onions. Pour into casserole.

Add beef stock to casserole and add the spices. Bring to simmer on top of stove. Place in oven at 325 degrees F for 1 hour.

2 28 oz cans whole tomatoes

Shred tomatoes and add to casserole. Do not add juice from tomatoes. Bring to simmer on top of stove and place back in oven for another hour.

Raise temp to 375 and add the rice you saved. Stir once, bring to simmer and place back in oven for 20 minutes.

4 oz grated Swiss cheese

Just before serving, stir in cheese.

While this may look like a lot of work (what Julia Child recipe isn't), it's definitely worth it

Lentil Chowder

Great passage food. Prepare in advance and reheat in pressure cooker.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced carrot
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced celery
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon fresh ginger
3 bay leaves
2 cups crushed tomatoes in juice
1 quart vegetable stock or water
2 cups lentils

Saute carrot, onion celery and spices in olive oil 3-5 minutes in soup pot over medium high heat. Add the tomatoes, stock or water and lentils and bring to boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook about 1 hour until lentils are softened and the soup is thick. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Summer Lime Chicken Breasts

Nice and light for those really hot days.

4 boneless, skinned chicken breasts
1/3 cup olive oil
juice of 3 limes
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3 tablespoons cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Pound chicken slightly. Combine remaining ingredients and marinate chicken 1 hour. Grill or broil.

Serve with roasted red and yellow peppers.

Pasta Carbonara

Great with canned bacon.

1 teaspoon olive oil
4 oz bacon
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 eggs
8 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 to 1 1/4 pounds pasta

While pasta water is heating, saute bacon in olive oil over low heat for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until bacon just becomes crisp and garlic is lightly golden. Don't let garlic burn.

Beat eggs in a bowl and add cheese and a generous amount of black pepper. Cook pasta and drain. Add pasta to pan with bacon. Add eggs and cheese mixture. Cook gently for a few minutes to heat eggs. Serve with additional cheese.

Conch Salad

How down island! You can still find conch in the Bahamas, but further south, they are pretty much gone.

3 or 4 conch cleaned, pounded and cut into small pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery including a few leaves
1/2 small green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup lemon or lime juice
Salt, pepper and hot pepper to taste

Buy your conch from a native the first time you want to try this. Get him to show you how to clean them.

Mix well and chill at least one hour.

Red Beans and Rice

Great for when the cruising kitty is running low.

4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 pound dried red beans
2 1/2 cups chopped celery
2 cups diced onions
1 cup sliced green onions
1 cup chopped green pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 oz diced cooked ham
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon red pepper
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon hot sauce
2 bay leaves
2 quarts water
4 1/2 cups cooked rice

Soak beans.

Saute celery and next 4 ingredients with cooking spray. Add remaining ingredients except rice and cook uncovered over medium heat 1 hour stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaves and serve over rice.

Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning is great on this.


We found that smoked sausage will keep forever in the bottom of the fridge. Everything else available down island.

1 2-3 pound chicken
3/4 pound smoked sausage cut into 1/2 inch slices
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onions
5 cups water
1 pound rice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cook chicken and sausage in oil in Dutch oven until golden. Remove chicken and sausage. Drain all but 2 tablespoons fat from Dutch oven. Saute onions and next 3 ingredients in drippings. Add rice, water, salt, peppers, chicken and sausage. Bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Portuguese Soup

Great passage food. Prepare in advance and reheat in pressure cooker.

6 cups chicken stock
1 pound kielbasa or smoked sausage`
1 pound boiling potatoes, peeled and diced
1 14 oz can kidney beans, drained
1/2 head medium cabbage, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, diced
1/2 cup green pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced

Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Bring to boil stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer until thick (about 2 hours) stirring occasionally. Season with pepper.

White Chili

More great passage food. Prepare in advance and reheat in pressure cooker.

1 pound great northern white beans, soaked
2 pounds boneless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 4 oz cans chopped green chilies
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 cups chicken stock
3 cups grated jack cheese (about 12 oz)
Sour cream, salsa, chopped cilantro

Poach chicken in water 15 minutes, cool and cut into cubes. Drain beans. Saute onions in large pot 10 minutes. Stir in garlic, then chilies, cumin, oregano, cloves and cayenne. Saute 2 minutes more. Add beans and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 2 hours. Add chicken and 1 cup cheese and stir until melted. Garnish with rest of cheese and the sour cream, salsa, and cilantro.

Chicken Cacciatore

Made from ship's stores and ingredients available everywhere.

2 1/2 pounds chicken
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
1/3 cup dry red wine
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon pepper
16 oz pasta

Brown chicken in oil. Remove chicken and in same pot, saute onions and garlic. Return chicken to pot. Add remaining ingredients, except pasts. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 40 minutes. Remove bay leaf and skim fat. Server with pasta.

Jicama Marinade

Here's one recipe for one of those weird roots. You are on your own for the rest.

3 tablespoons orange juice
3 tablespoons grapefruit juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon grapefruit zest

Marinate jicama cut into 1/4 inch strips for at least 1 hour. Mix with chopped or sliced oranges and serve.

Steamed Cabbage and Potatoes

(The Victory Garden Cookbook)

2 pounds green cabbage, chopped
2 large potatoes, sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 - 3/4 stick 9 oz Pepperoni stick
1 cup sliced onions
Salt and pepper

Cook onions and pepperoni in olive oil in Dutch oven until onions are wilted. Add potatoes and salt and pepper. Cook covered over low heat for 10 minutes. Add cabbage and cook covered another 10 - 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender. If vegetables start to dry, add water.

The pepperoni we used here was another great find. The brand we bought was Bridgford. It comes in 9 oz sticks that don't need refrigeration. Look in you grocery store. You'll find them near the packaged cold cuts. They keep forever. We just made this last weekend with one left over from the trip!

Of course, these recipes represent our tastes. Pick the ones you like and enjoy. Needless to say, you should try any you pick before you leave.

Jim & Diane

Send comments to: jkbarrentine@earthlink.net

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This page last changed on: Monday, June 02, 2003