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katejoy 04-08-2008 12:11 PM

Recipes anyone?
I love to cook, but I have a feeling that living aboard cooking is completly different. Do any of you have your faviorte recipes?

eryka 04-09-2008 12:45 PM

less "different" than you'd think (i hope!)
Hi Katejoy, if living aboard cooking was *really* different it would feel too much like camping out, and that would be no good! So if you already like to cook, use your favorite recipes. That said, here's a few thoughts I've had about the differences after 5-1/2 years aboard fulltime. Don't know what's in your galley, we have a fridge but no freezer, a stove & oven & broiler but no microwave. (And no grill CD! You'll have to provide advice on that :) ):

You're probably more constrained by fuel and water than you are on land. For example, boiling a big pot of water for pasta isn't as efficient as couscous, where all the water is absorbed.
We use a pressure cooker a lot, for various permutations on beans and rice plus whatever veggies are handy. Less water, and cooks faster. We do lots of one-pot meals, soups and stews. BTW, serve them in big deep bowls only half-full, so they have room to slosh if its rough and not spill on the unlucky diner. And nothing greasy or very spicy if anyone's prone to seasickness.

We don't use the oven as much as we did on land - especially in summer. It has less insulation than a home oven and really heats the cabin. If you've gotta bake, do it early morning or late evening. We substitute lots of stovetop things - an omelet uses about the same ingredients as a quiche, and fill the same niche on the brunch table without so much waste heat.

Revisit your appetizer recipe collection, you'll want a few on hand always for the many cruiser happy hours you'll enjoy with your fellow liveaboards; and your sandwich/wrap collection for when you're at the helm thru lunch.

I know this isn't exactly what you asked for, but hope it helps point you in a direction. Give us a few more specifics and maybe I or someone else can tailor a response a bit more - are you planning to be in a marina? cruising? what kind of boat and what part of the world?

Someone on the site, T37Chef?? was considering building a cooking class with categories like "things to eat while underway" and "things to bring to a raftup" perhaps s/he can also help?

Yofy 04-11-2008 08:11 AM

We've lived aboard since the late 80's in a variety of boats and I totally agree with eryka. When we're dockside I cook pretty much the same way I would in a land based kitchen and we have a small galley. It's just a matter of organization and a little imagination.

Most of our dockside meals do tend to be 2 pot meals. Our galley is a little small to start sorting out three different pots, but if I want to cook say rice, vegetables and meat or another dish, I will often steam my vegetables along with the rice. ( I just lay them on the rice for the last few minuets of cooking and add a little more water to the pot from the start.) I stir fry in a deep frying pan (or pot if I need to stir fry for a group) rather than a wok because we don't have room to store one. I don't have a tea pot, but make herbal teas and other teas from loose leaves in a thermous with a tea bell....

Offshore is another thing. We go one pot meals unless it's dead calm.

And I'd be up for sharing some recipes. Where is T37Chef? Their idea sounds great.


PBzeer 04-11-2008 08:40 AM

One of my staples is cut up some taters, green and red pepper, onion, toss it in a skillet with butter, and while that's frying, slice up some sausage (I usually use Hot Sausage) and toss that in. Stir it up occasionally until the taters are done.

TrueBlue 04-11-2008 09:27 AM

One of my favorite cooking techniques is to quickly stir-fry veggies and various meats over the cooktop. The cooking portion takes little time - but preparation of the ingredients and sauces can be time-consuming. Not a problem when dockside of course, advance prep saves time when cruising.

Through the years, I've perfected different base sauces for beef, chicken or seafood and have them printed on index cards. I'll try to recall the beef stir-fry recipe, fairly simple anyway.

  • Mince 3 cloves garlic and 2 tbsp fresh ginger root
  • Slice 1 lb of sirloin tips into 1-1/4" x 3/4" x 1/4" strips
  • 3 green onions, bias-cut in 3/4" pieces
  • 4-5 stalks bok choy - chop roughly, diagonal cut
  • Julienne 1/2 red pepper
  • 3/4 lb shitake mushrooms (or button) - cut in bite size chunks
  • 1/4 cup light soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp peanut oil
  • 1 tbsp corn starch - mix w/1 tbsp water
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp dry sherry
  • 2 tbsp butter
SAUCE (adjust quantities to taste)
  • 1/4 cup rich chicken stock (I reduce a can in saucepan)
  • 1/3 cup dark soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp dry sherry
  • Chinese chili sauce (or chili oil)
  • ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp corn starch - mixed with 2 tbsp water (add during cooking)
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Mix beef with light soy, 1 tbsp peanut oil and 1 tbsp corn starch mixture
(this could be done in advance, along with chopped veggies -refrigerate until ready to cook)

Heat a wok (or deep skillet) to highest flame on cooktop, add 1 tbsp peanut oil. When oil smokes, stir-fry beef until it just loses pinkness and transfer to a work platter.

Reheat wok, add remaining 2 tbsp peanut oil and butter, saute garlic and ginger a few seconds. Add all vegetables and stir-fry until bok choy brightens - about 2-3 minutes - then return beef to wok, stir-fry another minute. Add sauce, stir and thicken with cornstarch mixture.

This can be eaten as is, or served over rice or noodles. You could substitute veggies with whatever is on hand, since the sauce is what makes the dish - delicious!

eryka 04-11-2008 09:55 AM

You guys want my recipe for ramen noodle soup? (One of the "four food groups" for this sailor.) :)

I've been experimenting with foods that can be served at room temperature, inspired by a recipe in the Washington Post last summer for marinated swordfish steak with tomatoes & olives. Handy for potlucks.

Hey, I'm definitely up for trading recipes, but for now, I'm supposed to be working. Thought I'd give you-all some value for your tax dollar today so I'll post in over the weekend. (They're on my home computer anyways)

sailingdog 04-11-2008 10:18 AM

Do grill recipes count... I guess that's a moot question for CD... :) I'll dig up a grill recipe in a bit and post it.

MattGardner 04-12-2008 11:18 PM

After 2 years living aboard I finally got a used marine propane oven. I only had a 2 burner range prior that came with my boat. Finally I can bake a chicken using the free rosemary growing all around my marina. And COOKIES!!!

Easy peasy lemon and marina herb chicken:

-chop rosemary enough to slather all over the chicken. Leave a bunch un chopped to stuff bird
-chop 3 lemons, squeeze one lemon all over chicken, stuff with other 2 lemons and several bunchs of rosemary.
Bake till done in covered (foil) baking dish.
( come no one makes a 12x12 pan for boaters?! Or are odd size pans for marine ovens available somewhere?)

Also I've been playing around with a pressure cooker. Faster steaming/boiling = less propane used. Awesome for fast steaming veggies, or for super fast pasta. Also was attracted to pressure cookers after reading about the safety aspect of cooking in a self contained unit while under way...if it should happen to fly off of the stove, at least it stays closed and doesn't burn the hide off of the cook.

Yofy 04-13-2008 08:36 AM


if it should happen to fly off of the stove, at least it stays closed and doesn't burn the hide off of the cook.

You need pot holders. An absolute must for any cooking underway.
(scroll down the page and you'll see a picture of a pot being held by pot holders.)


NauticalFishwife 04-20-2008 12:23 AM

Pot Roast in the pressure cooker.
Season the pot roast. I use McCormick grill mates-garlic and onion or Mrs Dash grilling blends for steak. Brown on both sides. Add to the pot one sliced onion, a few cloves of garlic and one can of beef broth. Place lid on, bring up to steam and turn on low. Cook for about 45 minute to an hour. Quick release steam according to your pressure cookers directions. Be careful! Add small red potatoes, carrots-any root veggies. I often use peeled sweet potatoes. Replace lid, bring up to high steam again. Turn on low and cook another 10 minutes. Turn heat off and allow steam to escape until easy release. Usually another 15 minutes. The meat will be so tender, veggies cooked just right and if you like-you can use the drippings to make a killer gravy. This is like your Mom's pot roast that took half the time to cook. And you are not heating up the cabin using the oven. This same recipe is great for cooking pork roast or country style ribs. I use a bottle of beer instead of beef stock. Add your own bbq sauce for pulled pork.
A quick dessert recipe is to take a roll of Pillsbury sugar cookie dough and spread it in a cake pan. Bake about 12-15 minutes (you know your oven). Remove and spread orange marmalade on the warm cookie. Sprinkle with a few chocolate chips. The chocolate chips will melt just enough to swirl. Then sprinkle some chopped pecans on top. Let cool... A treat with tea or coffee or after dinner drinks.
I also keep the packages of chocolate chip cookie mix on board. You add butter and egg. Nothing keeps you going while on delivery like warm cookies.... and they smell SO good while baking. And so easy to do bread pudding in the pressure cooker. Follow a basic bread pudding recipe-adding any fruit that may be getting a bit ripe-along with raisens you've soaked in rum. Do this in a round pan that fits in your pressure cooker. I place a couple of baking ramikins upside down, so it raises my round pan up. So you can add your water. Bring to high steam-turn down and cook for 15 minutes-turn heat off-let cool-release and serve warm with a butter rum sauce.

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