Posts Tagged ‘recipes’

Breakwater Breakfast Burritos

Umidori1 300x224 Breakwater Breakfast Burritos   “flot flot flot… flot flot flot…”

I was trying to get some sleep before my watch when I heard it.  Damn, another flying fish flew in the hatch, I thought.  I’ll just get it when I get up.  I promptly rolled over and went to sleep.

My alarm went off at 3:45 a.m. and I dressed for watch.  Just before going up, I went to the head (toilet) in my room to brush my teeth.

“Oh!” I cried, as I turned on the light.  A pigeon-sized dark-grey bird sat on the floor looking up at me.  I went outside and brought Mori San, who was just going off watch, in to see.  He must be one of the little dark birds we had seen flitting over the waves almost our entire 4,000 nautical mile passage.

I say he because everyone on the boat was convinced that any bird visiting the girl’s cabin had to be male.  I pointedly ignored Zeus comments.

Umidori2 300x225 Breakwater Breakfast BurritosI had wondered how on earth these birds managed to make it so terribly far from land without rest.  We were thousands of miles away from any land.  Maybe that was the reason the little guy made his way into my cabin.  He just needed a break.  With a long curving beak and clear dark eyes I wondered what kind of bird my new friend was.  I did want to make sure he was okay.  It was night, but he seemed far too sedate to be entirely healthy.

I took a towel out of the bathroom cupboard and covered the bird, and scooped him into my arms.  He weighed less than air as I carried him outside.  He didn’t struggle or put up the least bit of resistance to my moving him.  I was worried.  Had he hurt himself on his way inside Umineko?  Was he sick?  Wild animals tended to avoid humans like the plague unless they are sick.

 

Umidori on deck 300x225 Breakwater Breakfast BurritosSetting him on a bench I filled a small bowl with fresh water and placed it in front of our visitor.  He didn’t pay a bit of attention to it** nor did the flying fish I offered have any effect.

After 10 minutes he got down off of the bench and moved into the saloon.  He tucked in behind the table and made his way into the darkest shadowy corner he could find, away from the red light in the saloon.

“Maybe just needs to rest,” Toshi San suggested.  “He wants to go somewhere that’s quiet.”

At 5:45 the faintest hints of light brushed the Eastern horizon.  Dawn was on its way.  I went inside with the towel.  I didn’t want dawn to come and the bird to start flying around the boat.  It was vital to get him out when it was still dark.

He wasn’t in the saloon.  He wasn’t on the port side, I peered down the dark steps to the starboard side.  There he was, a darker pool in a darker shadow resting at the bottom of the two stairs.  Directly in front of Mori San’s berth.  I breathed a sigh of relief that Mori San hadn’t needed to use the head and accidently stepped on our guest.

xbreakfast burrito egg cheese 300x225 Breakwater Breakfast BurritosThis time when I draped the red towel over him he struggled.  I smiled as he tried to stretch his wings and placed him on the back of the port side bench.  After a few minutes he hopped down to the bench, and then thought better of it.  My heart soared as he flapped his way back up to the ledge.  A few minutes more and he disappeared into the dissipating night.  He had just needed a place to rest.

Finding a bird in your cabin is fun, always provided you don’t step on it.  On the flip side spent the next day cleaning up er… presents our friend had left.

I love breakfast burritos.  They are healthy, tasty, and meet the requirements of sailing food:  Easy and portable.  Even better, they don’t require complicated ingredients.  If you have leftover rice or beans from the night before they’re a fantastic way to use up ingredients.

 

Breakwater Breakfast Burritos

Ingredients:

  • xbreakfast burrito filling 300x225 Breakwater Breakfast Burritos4 tortillas
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 slices of cheese (or 8 small slices)
  • 2 c rice
  • 2 c black eyed peas (soaked and cooked)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 T taco seasoning
  • Salsa
  • Oil

 

 

Directions:

  • Crack egg into nonstick skillet over medium heat
  • Immediately lay tortilla over egg squish around so that tortilla is coated in egg
  • Allow to cook 2 minutes and flip onto plate
  • Fry garlic in oil for 2 minutes
  • Spoon rice and black eyed peas into pan
  • Mix in taco seasoning
  • Put tortilla in clean skillet over medium heat, egg-side up
  • Lay cheese on top
  • Spoon ¼ of mixture onto each of the tortillas
  • Wrap and serve with salsa

xburrito finished 300x225 Breakwater Breakfast Burritos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*When handling wild animals always wrap them in a towel.  This is safer for both of you.

  1. Wild animals don’t know what is happening to them.   More often than not they are terrified of the person holding them and the towel protects you and curbs their movement.
  2. It is terrible to get human scent on the animal.  Often others of its kind will shun it after that
  3. It is some protection from disease

**In retrospect he probably didn’t know what fresh water was!  Sea birds have internal desalination systems so that they can just drink sea water.  There have been numerous times at sea I wished I were built like that.

Fair Winds Farro

DSCN9381 300x225 Fair Winds FarroThe grey, rainy, miserable Bahamian weather lifted like a curtain to reveal some of the most gorgeous waters in the world.   The shades of azure, aquamarine, and turquoise put gemstones to shame.  This was the Bahamas I’d been hearing about.

 

 

 

The balmy mid-80s weather with a gentle 10-knot breeze was ideal for sailing to Allan’s Cay, just a few miles away.  We anchored off of the island and peered through our binoculars.  One solitary iguana was standing sentinel on a rock.  Still, it was a wild iguana.  Exciting!  More were certainly in the tangled undergrowth further along the island.

As the morning progressed more and more iguanas filed to the beach, some scampering faster than I knew iguanas could move.  Was this just the ideal beach for sunning yourself?

DSCN9401 300x225 Fair Winds FarroWe dropped our tender and were getting ready to climb in the dinghy when a large white motorboat zoomed up just 10 feet from the island and dropped anchor.  With “Powerboat Adventures” painted in large letters along the side, the boat was filled to bursting with raucous tourists.

The iguanas streamed to the tourists in droves.  These “wild” animals were well-trained.  They knew when the “Powerboat Adventures” tour brought breakfast.  We pulled up to the shore and watched the melee.  The prehistoric throwbacks dove for grapes and eyed fingers hopefully, their tongues darting forth in what I’d say was licking their lips if I didn’t know better.  One creature actually jumped up on its hind legs to get a grape on a stick.

I didn’t have anything so luxurious as grapes to feed the reptiles.  Just some orange peel we were saving for them and the swimming pigs.  I didn’t think it would matter.  After all, the creatures lived on a desert island, how picky could they be?  I was wrong.  After the grape extravaganza some actually turned their noses up at the bits of orange peel.  Luckily not all of the lizards were so persnickety.

DSCN9428 300x225 Fair Winds FarroWhen the tourists got into the boat and pulled up anchor that was the signal.  The droves of iguanas scattered until only a few remained sunning themselves on the beach.  Cruisers were clearly not nearly as interesting (and by interesting I mean generous) as tourists with their ropes of grapes.

I wanted to try something a little different.  I had been curious about farro for quite a while.  Different grains add so much to a meal and a hot day was perfect to experiment with this classically Italian grain.  Before we headed to the beach I cooked some farro to get a head start on lunch and let the grain cool while we fraternized with iguanas.

After making the nutty, chewy grain I’m sorry that we don’t have more on board.  It’s delicious!  I highly recommend trying it.

Fair Winds Farro

Ingredients:

  • 1 c farro
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • ½ t oregano
  • ½ t rosemary
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 t lemon juice
  • 1 T capers

Directions:

  • Boil farro in 2 c water for about 20 minutes or until tender but still firm and chewy
  • Drain and set aside
  • Sauté onion in olive oil in skillet until translucent, about 3 minutes
  • Add spices, tomatoes, lemon juice, and capers.
  • Cook over medium-low heat for another 5 minutes.
  • Mix into farro
  • Serve immediately or refrigerate and serve cold in the next few days

DSCN9431 1024x768 Fair Winds Farro

Kraken Kimchi Salad

No Swimming.

The sign also said no cleaning fish, no fishing, and a myriad of other marina regulations but the no swimming really caught my eye.  Of course I wasn’t going to swim in the marina. Gross!  But I’d never seen a marina explicitly state that you really shouldn’t swim there.

And we were in the Bahamas!  The transparent blue water beckoned, offering a delightful respite from the warm sun.  I was longingly gazing at the water when a sleek grey form glided past.  10-feet of perfectly-engineered predator.  Suddenly the water didn’t seem so inviting.

Now I am not afraid of sharks in general.  There is a higher probability you will get killed by a falling coconut or that lightening will be the cause of your untimely demise.  They don’t even like the taste of people… we’re not in their food chain.  Most shark attacks are just a shark sampling something that looks tasty.  Unfortunately that “sample” is enough to kill a person if taken out of the right place.

DSCN9233 300x225 Kraken Kimchi Salad

Bimini Big Game Club, the marina we were staying at had 4 “pet”  bull sharks, that they fed.  Bull sharks.  The type of shark jaws was based off of.  Now ordinarily sharks aren’t dangerous, but still.  There are certain varieties I would prefer not to swim with.  Especially in an area they’re being fed.

Rather than take my chances on the paddle board or swimming anywhere near the marina, I opted to celebrate our arrival to warm weather with one of my favorite salads.

For some reason I can barely look at a salad in chilly climates.  As lettuce doesn’t last more than a week and Spinach not much longer my favorite warm-weather fare isn’t great cruising.  And try finding greens on uninhabited islands in the Bahamas.  Sure you can find them in Nassau in western supermarkets on sale for just $10 for a head of lettuce.

But while I had fresh lettuce I was going to make the most of it.

DSCN8874 300x225 Kraken Kimchi SaladKimchee salad is one of my favorite recipes Sato San has taught me.  Who am I kidding, most of them are pretty tasty.  But this salad is simple, delicious, and utterly unlike any other I have tasted.  It is also an excellent way to stretch your lettuce out and really make it last.

Kraken Kimchee Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tomato, chopped
  • ½ cucumber, chopped
  • 1 ½ c lettuce, chopped
  • 1 c kimchee
  • 2 t salted kombu
  • ¼ c dried cranberries
  • 1/8 c chopped or slivered almonds
  • ¼ c juice from kimchee

Directions:

  • Toss lettuce, kimchee, cucumber, and tomatoes together
  • Mix in ¼ c kimchee juice
  • Mix in salted kombu, cranberries, and almonds
  • Serve with a few extra cranberries and almonds sprinkled on top

DSCN9250 1024x768 Kraken Kimchi Salad

Naval Napa Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing

DSCN9360 300x225 Naval Napa Salad with Spicy Peanut DressingUmineko set out for Allan’s Cay with iguanas in our minds.  We had had to delay a day due to foul weather and the wrong winds, but we were more than ready to leave grey, dreary Nassau.  I should have known something was up when one of the resident sailors at Nassau Yacht Haven looked at us incredulously that morning. “You’re going out in this?”  His charter for the day had canceled.  Probably a wise move on their part.

It was James Bond sailing: shaken not stirred.  The shallow Bahamian seas tossed us about relentlessly, the sullen grey skies spitting rain.  The wind wasn’t from a terrible angle but comfortable was about the last thing one would call the passage.

Unfortunately the winds were not in favor of us visiting Allan’s Cay that day.  Instead we anchored off of a nearby cay and huddled inside listening to the rain course down the boat.  As Sato San pointed out, it was wonderful for washing off Umineko’s well-salted decks after the rolly passage.

I wasn’t about to let the rain drive me to making carb-heavy comfort food.  Anyway, I still needed to use up some napa cabbage left over from the previous night’s hot pot.  I settled on a happy medium.  A salad with peanut dressing.

I adore peanut butter.  In sauces, cookies, soups… pretty much any form you can think of.  This dressing is definitely a winner.  It adds protein and flavor to the salad.  You don’t even have to serve it as a side dish.  I ate it alone for my dinner.

Naval Napa Salad

with

Spicy Peanut Dressing

Ingredients:

  • DSCN9366 300x225 Naval Napa Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing2 c napa cabbage, chopped
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • Dried cranberries
  • Peanut dressing:
  • 3 T peanut butter
  • 2 T soy
  • 2 T rice vinegar
  • 1 T honey
  • 2 t siriracha

Directions:

  • Mix peanut dressing in small bowl and set aside.
  • Chop napa cabbage into bite-sized chunks and put into large mixing bowl
  • Slice carrot into fine strips, cut in half, and toss with cabbage
  • Pour dressing over and toss until salad is coated in dressing
  • Garnish with dried cranberries

DSCN9365 1024x768 Naval Napa Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing

Cruisers’ Ice Cream

DSCN9226 300x225 Cruisers Ice CreamI scream, you scream we all scream for ice cream.

And you’ll be screaming for quite a while at sea.  The one thing that I miss more than any other when sailing is ice cream.  Sure there are yachts with fabulous freezers, but generally they are filled with fish, meats, and other “necessary” frozen things

 

One of the first things I do when I hit land is scout out the nearest ice cream parlor.  Alas on small islands the ice cream isn’t usually the best but I’m an addict, what can I say?

Between ports though, on long passages, what’s a girl to do?  Make a substitute for ice cream.  That’s what.  I’ve been making versions of this Indian rice pudding for years.  Rich, creamy, and decadent, it is the best substitute for ice cream I’ve found.  I like to make a big batch before a long passage and pull it out of the bottom of the fridge on those hot days I’m dreaming of ice cream.

DSCN9188 300x225 Cruisers Ice CreamCruisers Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ c rice
  • 2 c water
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 c milk
  • 2 c coconut milk
  • 2 c water
  • 1 ½ t ground cardamom
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • ½ c pistachios, chopped
  • 1 T rose water

Directions:

  • DSCN9192 300x225 Cruisers Ice Cream
  • Wash rice well and soak in water to cover generously for 15 minutes.
  • Drain
  • Put rice and water in pan and bring to boil for 5 minutes
  • Turn off heat and allow to steam 5 minutes
  • Stir in milk, water, coconut milk, cinnamon, and cardamom
  • Bring to a boil
  • Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking
  • Cook 45 minutes
  • Remove cinnamon stick
  • Stir in pistachiosDSCN9325 1024x768 Cruisers Ice Cream
  • Cool to room temperature. Mix in rosewater

 

Chill 24 hours

Becalmed Penne with Bleu Cheese Beet Sauce

photo 1 Copy 300x225 Becalmed Penne with Bleu Cheese Beet SauceDo you want to cure a woman of ever wanting to go shopping again?  Put her in charge of provisioning a boat for an off-shore adventure.  That will cure the most die-hard shopaholic of her habit.

Years ago, at the start of my first long sailing trip,  I couldn’t understand Lindsey’s, my crewmate, aversion to supermarkets, Walmarts, and Home Depots.  I had joined the crew of the Leeway at the tail end of provisioning for our adventure.  Lindsey, on the other hand had been shopping for weeks straight.  Now I understand.

I loathe Provisioning.  Not shopping for a little trip, or picking up a few things here and there.  I’m talking about Provisioning.  With a capital P.  All-out shop-til-you literally want to drop.  On one provisioning expedition in Malaysia I came out of the store with a receipt over 7’ long.  I could hold it up as high as my arm could reach, stand on my tip toes and the paper still curled on the ground

Everywhere in the world has food!  Why buy the entire store?  Well, technically you don’t have to, but if you are heading to the Bahamas especially you might want to think about filling your galley to the point of bursting.  Provisioning in many island nations can be prohibitively expensive.  Not to mention the selection being extremely limited.  I remember before Cocos (Keeling) Island cruisers were given a list of foods that could be shipped in to the island to buy.  A head of lettuce was $25.

Of course you’ll want to pick up a few fresh fruits and veggies, and in some places local markets are wonderful for that.  But if you’re on a budget you’ll want to keep what you need to buy to a minimum.  Sure it’s entertaining going into Western supermarkets in Nassau to look at the small  bags of lettuce “on sale” for $10, but groceries really are three times as expensive.  When they’re available at all.

DSCN9182 300x225 Becalmed Penne with Bleu Cheese Beet SauceAnd so I gritted my teeth and went provisioning.  I wrote a post on couchsurfing, asking if anyone had a costco card and would help me with provisioning.  Costco might not be my first choice for everyday shopping, but when you are buying supplies for months in advance it’s a good way to go.  wonderful gentleman Don offered to take me.

I felt a little bad but he assured me that he realized what he was in for.  After 3 ½ hours of shopping at costco and 2 carts filled to brimming, we headed to get some additional supplies at Publix, another grocery for 2 more carts.  Did I mention the day-trip to the Asian supermarket?  Yeah.

The one good thing about provisioning is that you do want to get rid of the tail ends you have left over, so the night before I threw together a blue-cheese beet pasta.  We had some blue cheese that needed to be used up and a few beets and the resulting pasta turned out fantastically.

 

 

Becalmed Penne

with Bleu Cheese Beet Sauce

DSCN9186 Copy 300x225 Becalmed Penne with Bleu Cheese Beet SauceIngredients:

  • 3 oz blue cheese
  • ¼ c walnuts, chopped
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 4 beets, cubed
  • ½ c cream
  • 1 c milk
  • 1 c yachting yogurt
  • 1 T corn starch
  • 1 t butter

Directions:

Cook beets 15 min in pressure cooker

Boil penne in water with a splash of olive oil to prevent sticking (I like to use a mixture of ½ fresh water and ½ salt water at sea)

Fry onions in butter until translucent

Stir in walnuts, cream, yogurt, milk

Cook for another 2 minutes on low heat

Drain penne

Put penne and sauce back in pot and mix thoroughly

Serve with a few whole walnuts to garnish

Riverboat Rose Scones

DSCN9116 300x225 Riverboat Rose SconesMotoring into Fort Lauderdale, there is a sign boasting that the city is the yachting capitol of the world.  It is a different world: mansions with megayachts moored in front of them line the ICW.  Down each of the side streets it seems as if there are boats moored in front of every home regardless of size.  Even the local Episcopal church has a message to yachties on their sign.  Boats are the standard rather than the exception.

 

Unfortunately, transient spots (places for traveling boats) for catamarans were somewhat limited.  Especially the week after the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show.  After calling numerous marinas, I had reserved a place in the heart of downtown Fort Lauderdale, at the downtown city docks.  The dockmaster, Matt, had been extremely helpful and knew boats.

DSCN9123 300x225 Riverboat Rose SconesIn other words he realized our timing was weather-dependent and didn’t try to pin us down to exact dates.  He even knew how to spell the word catamaran, which is more than I can say for some marina workers.  (“catamaran… is that spelled with a “C” or a “K”?”)

The city docks are right next to the prison.  Sure it sounds sketchy, Matt told us, but it’s actually an incredibly safe place to be.  The prisoners get out and no way do they want to go back.  Not to mention that there is excellent security in the area.

We motored into downtown Fort Lauderdale snacking on the Riverboat Strawberry Rose Scones I had made for brunch that Sunday morning.  I adore rose water.  The delicate flavor adds a richness and vibrancy to almost any dessert you  add it to.   I am a firm believer that rose water should take its rightful place beside vanilla and almond extract in the pantry.

DSCN9127 300x225 Riverboat Rose SconesI first started cooking with it in baklava and I couldn’t get enough, unfortunately at the gourmet food shops you can find rose water (as well as orange flower water another of my loves), but a tiny bottle can be as much as $12-15.

Then I discovered Mediterranean and Indian groceries.  A bottle 5 times larger costs a quarter the price.  Thankfully rose water is beginning to make its way into regular groceries, but you can always find it in Indian or Mediterranean shops, as well as some Asian groceries.

Strawberry, rose water, and just a hint of lime combine to make a delectable tender scone.  A delightful and easy snack to piece on motoring along the ICW, or just on a lazy Sunday at home.

Riverboat Strawberry Rose Scones

Ingredients:DSCN9105 300x225 Riverboat Rose Scones

  • 3 c flour
  • ½ t baking soda
  • 1 T baking powder
  • ¼ t salt
  • ½ butter, melted
  • ½ c sugar
  • ¾ c milk
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1 T rose water
  • ¾ c strawberries, sliced

 Directions:

  • DSCN9114 300x225 Riverboat Rose SconesPreheat oven to 375◦ F (190◦ C)
  • Mix dry ingredients in medium bowl and make a well in the center
  • Pour butter, milk, lime juice , and rose water into well
  • Mix  slightly (there should still be lumps)
  • Gently mix in strawberries
  • Spoon large dollops onto flour-dusted tin foil
  • Bake 10-12 minutes or until just beginning to turn golden brown around the edges

DSCN9128 300x225 Riverboat Rose Scones

Under the Lee Hitsumabushi Unagi

flowers 1024x768 Under the Lee Hitsumabushi Unagi

It was an overnight sail from Charleston.  Smooth sailing all the way, unfortunately not fast, but smooth which was nice.

We had originally wanted to find a marina in Brunswick but all the marinas either didn’t have space for us or were extremely expensive.  We opted for anchoring out a bit further South.  Almost at the border between Florida and Georgia.

We anchored among a few other boats in the lee of an island.

“There are horses on the island.” Sato San told me.

Of course I had to go outside and see.  He was right, there was a small herd of ponies in the woods down the beach.  We dinghied out to the island and tied up at the dock.  As soon as we got off the boat we could feel the grandeur of Southern

stag 1024x768 Under the Lee Hitsumabushi Unagi

nature.  A hush of the cathedral forest made it feel holy.  The cool sweet air had a different texture than the ocean just feet away.  We walked through the woods’ grand corridors gawking at the ancient trees with their elegant tresses of sphagnum  moss.

 

 

 

We were in a completely different world.  A doe sprang away from us as we startled her browsing by the pathway.  But I had my heart set on seeing the feral ponies.  Their droppings littered the pathways but nary a pony did we see.

We wound our way through the woods to the beach on the opposite side of the island without hide nor hair of a pony. Finally we happened upon some other people who told us that the ponies generally stayed near some grassy ruins a short dinghy ride away.

The three scrubby ponies we happened upon weren’t scared of us at all. pony 1024x768 Under the Lee Hitsumabushi Unagi In fact they were accustomed to people.  Feral ponies are always fun to see, but I could easily see why Assateague’s feral ponies were more well-known than Cumberland Island’s.  (okay, so Marguerite Henry’s Misty of Chincoteague may have helped a little) Soon I was wowed by the enormous buck that crashed through the trees just ahead of us, pausing to look back at us.  His antler crown made him seem like royalty of the forest.

But Sato San was getting eaten alive by mosquitoes and so we headed back.  After the night sail and exploring the island I was a little tired.   I wasn’t really in the mood to make an involved dinner.  I asked Sato San what he wanted to eat he suggested unagi.  Not the simple unagi I was used to.  He wanted to teach me how to make a special dish: Hitsumabushi Unagi.

DSCN8943 300x225 Under the Lee Hitsumabushi UnagiThis unagi-fest of a dish was invented in Nagoya but soon spread throughout Japan.  I adore Unagi.  Given the choice of a last meal I might have to choose unagi.  Still, this dish is like the Japanese equivalent of an all-you-can-eat crab dinner.  You know you shouldn’t eat more but you just can’t stop yourself.

Simple and delicious.  The only problem is finding the unagi.  You can usually find it in the frozen section at Asian supermarkets but unfortunately the price of unagi has gone up in the past year because eel has been overfished and they are increasingly hard to find.  Still, I highly recommend trying this dish if you can find unagi.  The tender meat practically melts in your mouth in a sweet-savory blend of deliciousness.  Balanced by rice and a little wasabi I can’t think of many things more scrumptious.

Under the Lee Hitsumabushi Unagi

Under the Lee: Located in the calm area to the lee of an island or peninsula

Sea Talk Nautical Dictionary

DSCN8949 300x225 Under the Lee Hitsumabushi UnagiIngredients:

  • 1 recipe unagi sauce
  • 2 unagi steaks
  • Short grained rice
  • 1 c Japanese green tea
  • Wasabi paste
  • Green onions, finely sliced

 

 

 

DSCN8948 300x225 Under the Lee Hitsumabushi UnagiDirections:

Cook rice (I hate to admit it but the rice cooker really does cook rice better than I can and sadly the rice cooker is a shore-power only thing.)

  • Make recipe of unagi sauce
  • Bake eel about 15 minutes at 350◦ F (170◦ )
  • Broil 5 minutes to cook top
  • Cut unagi into thin strips
  • Place unagi, unagi sauce, and rice pot in center of table and set table with bowls at everyone’s place
  • Get Ready

Get Set… 

Go!

Round 1:

  • DSCN8954 300x225 Under the Lee Hitsumabushi UnagiSpoon rice into bowl
  • Place strips of unagi on top
  • Spoon unagi sauce
  • Devour

Round 2:

  • Spoon rice into bowl
  • Place strips of unagi over rice
  • Sprinkle green onions on top
  • Squeeze wasabi onto the creation
  • Drizzle unagi sauce around
  • Mix
  • Savor

Round 3:

DSCN8955 300x225 Under the Lee Hitsumabushi Unagi

  • Round 2 + green tea (The green tea is wonderful to help clean the sticky rice and unagi sauce out of the bowl and adds an interesting flavor)
  • You can do it!  Just a little deliciousness left to go…

 

 

 

shoreline cumberland 1024x768 Under the Lee Hitsumabushi Unagi

Sailing Seafood Gumbo

lift bridge 1024x768 Sailing Seafood Gumbo

When I’m in a new place I like to sample the local delicacies.  For me trying new foods is half the fun of travel.  What do they eat in this part of the world? How does the food reflect the culture?

One fabulous thing about sailing is that you have your galley with you so you can learn how to make the local foods you like, or at least your rendition of them.  Freshly locally-grown produce and spices are always better than something shipped in from halfway around the world anyway.  So take advantage of the opportunity.  What better than adding new spices to your cupboard, bringing different flavors into your life, and expanding your culinary horizons?

Umineko was in Charleston, South Carolina.  Sailing in I knew nothing about the Southern City, other than that there was a dance named after it.  I quickly discovered Charleston was known for being a foodie’s town – the unsung culinary capital of the South.  Not to mention being a being a beautiful place resplendent in southern charms.  Street vendors sold boiled (pronounced balled) or deep-fried peanuts in front of elaborately-decorated southern mansions. The clip-clop of horse hooves from the numerous horse-drawn carriages gave the “low country” South Carolina city a special feel.

After eating at Husk, a restaurant lauded by the NY Times, I understood what everyone was talking about.  I needed to pick up some Cajun seasoning and try my hand at making gumbo.  After all, we had just bought some fresh shrimp from fisherman in Georgetown.  What better way to use them?

At Marion Place farmer’s market, Charleston’s Saturday market, a delightful woman was running the Charleston Spice Company booth gave me some gumbo-making tips.  For gumbo I clearly needed Cajun seasoning.  She recommended her smoky Cajun seasoning and I was all for it.

She didn’t have a recipe because she didn’t make it, but her husband made the best gumbo she had ever tasted.  Several years earlier she had put a few teaspoons of sassafras filé in the gumbo at the end. That was the missing ingredient.  The gumbo was perfection.  The filé helped thicken the gumbo and added a hint of flavor to the delicious mélange… that extra something she told me.

That afternoon I went back to Umineko to prepare the gumbo.  I may not have made it before, but I had tasted a few gumbos in my life.  Playing it by ear, and mixing in what we had on board a delectable seafood gumbo came into existence.

Now technically gumbo, like most stews, is better the following day.  I did let it sit for several hours (and it was better the next day), but we sated ourselves on gumbo and rice that evening.

Sailing Seafood Gumbo

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 can green beans, drained
  • 2 Tablespoon Veg. oil
  • 2 Tablespoon Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 6 oz can Tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 t black pepper
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 T Smoky Cajun seasoning
  • 1 t 7 chili seasoning
  • 1 T Vegeta, vegetable soup stock powder (or bouillon cube)
  • 1 lb shrimp
  • 1 c small scallops
  • 3 Cup Water
  • 1 c cooked rice
  • 2 t ground sassafras filé (to thicken it up and give it that special extra flavor)

Directions:

  • Sautee onions, garlic, and green pepper in oil
  • Add tomatoes
  • Stir in flour and mix well.
  • Add spices, tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce cover, and simmer for 30-45 minutes on med-low heat
  • Remove bay leaf
  • Add green beans, cooked rice, and seafood, cover, and cook 10 minutes
  • Stir in sassafras filé
  • Serve in soup bowls with cornbread on the side or over rice
  • DSCN8884 1024x768 Sailing Seafood Gumbo

Regatta Rose Almond Cookies

DSCN8899 1024x768 Regatta Rose Almond Cookies

Yachting puts things in perspective.  All along the Erie Canal people marveled on Umineko, a 43’ catamaran’s size.  She was enormous.   In places it was difficult to find places to moor, we couldn’t take the Chamblee canal because we were too wide!  A big fish in a small pond.

As we sailed into Charleston, Charleston City Marina informed us over the VHF radio that we would have to stay on their megadock.  Another boat was staying in slip they had Umineko scheduled to moor in.  Docking at the megadock was a reality check.  We were dwarfed; by far the smallest boat on the pier.

But even the goliath power boats lining the pier looked tiny next to Rising Sun, the world’s 3rd largest private vessel.  Why anyone would need a private yacht the size of a city block that employed a 45-person crew is beyond me but apparently David Geffin likes his toys.

Still, even a yacht that size, even the largest tanker, the most massive ocean liner is minuscule in the middle of the ocean.  Perhaps that’s why they stay at the dock so much of the time.

But more than simply the home of “the megadock,” Charleston is a culinary epicenter, or at least that’s what every resident and visitor told me.  And being in a food-loving city I felt like I needed to step up to the challenge and bake some unique cookies.

I adore rosewater and have since I first tasted baklava.  I feel like it isn’t used nearly enough in cooking and I wanted to incorporate it into more of mine.  The last time I was in an Indian grocery I picked up a bottle and had been waiting to use it.  This was the perfect opportunity.

These shortbread-like cookies melt in your mouth.  The delicate rose taste gives them an almost an angelic flavor.  The meaty texture and flavor of the whole almond in the center of the cookie rounds the dessert out nicely.

DSCN8894 1024x768 Regatta Rose Almond Cookies

Rosewater Almond Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 c butter
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 2 ½ c flour
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 T rose water
  • Whole almonds

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350◦ F (170◦ C)
  • Cream together butter, sugar, vanilla, and almond extract
  • Mix in flour and salt
  • Form into walnut-sized balls
  • Press gently to flatten the ball slightly
  • Push almond into center
  • Bake for 10 minutes or until just a touch of golden-brown appears around the sides of the cookies
  • Allow to cool 20 minutes

Enjoy!

 

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