Sunday, February 28, 2010

Just Chill'n

The fridge just isn't an option on most small boats.

You can't be a goumet if you start with water logged, squished food that has been you dug out from the cooler or icebox. Travelling with a cooler or two is a must on most small boats, even if it is equipped with some icebox. Keeping your food resembling the stuff you took out of the refridgerator takes some practice.

The zip lock baggie is the greatest invention ever made, not only for packing the cooler but for a multitude of uses on a boat. I carry at least three different sizes on boat.

In my early days, I bought a nifty set of three nesting round plastic containers with lids. I was so proud of myself, thinking they would be so handy to stop food from getting smushed and they would all pack away so nicely when the food was gone.  Like a bad carpenter, I forgot to measure twice, or even once. The largest of the three bowls would not fit in any of my coolers. (Yes, I have many.) Round containers meant much of the space in the rectangular cooler was made useless. Worst of all, none of the lids were as waterproof as advertised. My other half does not view green salad dressed in swampy cooler water as a delicacy.

Great ice bags can be made out of ingredients frozen in baggies. One of my friends who fears of rough weather always travels with a one-pot dish frozen in a baggie. Another buys the wine box, takes the plastic bag out of the box and lays it in the freezer. You pick your priorities, but when you're ready to go take the bag out of the freezer and put it on top in the cooler, works much better than having just water melt.

Boeuf Bourguignon
  • This is definatley a make at home dish and always tastes better the next day.
  • Works well if frozen in meal size portions in ziplock bags. Good for a big crowd.
  • Great for rough or raining days when asking the cook to do anything more that heating one pot is likely to result in a mutiny.
1/4 pound thick-sliced bacon
3 pounds boneless beef chuck
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound onions, chopped
1 Stack of celery, sliced thin
4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup brandy
1 tablespoon parsley
2 teasppoons of dried thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
2 cloves
2 onions, finely chopped
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 (750-ml) bottle dry red wine (supposed to be a Burgundy, but I improvise.)
1 pound mushrooms, quartered if large

Cook bacon in boiling salted water 3 minutes, then drain.

Pat beef dry and season with salt and pepper. In a large bowl toss the beef with the flour to coat.

Heat 1‚ tablespoons oil and 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in a wide 6- to 8-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown beef well on all sides in 2 or 3 batches, without crowding, adding remaining ‚ tablespoon oil as needed. Transfer to a bowl.

Pour off any excess oil from pot, then add brandy to pot. Deglaze by boiling over high heat 1 minute, stirring and scraping up brown bits, then pour over beef.

Heat 1 tablespoon butter in cleaned pot over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté bacon, stirring, 2 minutes. Add chopped onions, garlic, and celery, then sauté, stirring, until onions are pale golden, about 5 minutes. Add wine, meat with juices, parsley, thyme, bay leaves, and cloves simmer gently, partially covered, until meat is tender, 3 1/2 to 4 hours. (Or cook in a slow cooker for 8 - 10 hours.)

While meat simmers, blanch boiling onions in boiling salted water 1 minute and drain in a colander. Rinse under cold running water, then peel.

Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then saut
 boiling onions, stirring occasionally, until browned in patches. Season with salt and pepper. Add 2 cups water (1 1/2 cups if using pearl onions), then simmer, partially covered, until onions are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to a glaze, 5 to 10 minutes.

Heat remaining tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then saut
 mushrooms, stirring, until golden brown and any liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir mushrooms into stew and cook 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.


  1. I totally agree about your zip lock bag theory. When I was backpacking on my world trip i carried nothing with me except the pack on my back so you can imagine how limited I was for space. Zip lock bags became my best friend for shampoo, body wash, juice, even yogurt. I think a few people looked at me a little strange when they saw me eating out of a plastic bag but oh well. Your recipe sounds amazing as well, I am definitely going to have to try that out!

  2. Your blog makes me excitied for hot days, warm nights, great food and good friends.

    Of course, you seem far more prepared then I am when on water, I need to learn from you. I aim to have my bathing suit and a towel and more then often I forget one of the two. I get too excitied about sailing I forget the essentials! What are those kind of girls called again?

    However, your recipe sounds amazing, all I need now is a boat and a sailor who can cook for me, lol (a girl can dream).