Published: Dec 04 2018
Food is always an important part of packing for a boat trip, whether you will be gone for a day or a month. A good piece of advice to consider from our Boat Cooking Tips article is that one-pot meals work well when you are at sea. Whether you head out on a day trip or are out for a week, there are a number of easy recipes that can be prepped at home and simply assembled when you are ready for them at sea. Here are a few recipes that, whether you are on a fishing boat or a yacht, will ensure that your crew gets a tasty, nourishing meal without a lot of prep or cleanup time.
Not all boats have a galley, and you do not need one to make a great one-dish meal. One great alternative is a rail-secured grill. These are charcoal or gas-fired and require an outside deck rail to operate safely. Be certain to mount the grill tightly before use to keep a rogue wave or wake from tipping your meal over the side.
Here are a few simple recipes that work well on a small, mounted grill:
Pre-chop carrots, potatoes, and onions at home, place in a sealable bag, and bring with you on the trip in a cooler. Take the meat, chop, and divide into portions. Place each portion on its own piece of aluminum foil. Divide vegetables and add one portion to each foil. Mix ¼ cup of Worcester sauce to a packet of onion soup mix. Dribble the result onto all of the packets, and toss so it is spread evenly on all the ingredients. Add pepper to taste. Wrap each packet and place on grill. Cook at medium heat for 15-20 minutes. Depending on the size of your grill and your crowd, this can be done in installments. Unwrap onto a deep plate or a bowl and enjoy.
This is an easy dish to tailor to any number of people, and can be prepared with a variety of fillings. All you need is a chicken breast per person, split to thin and hammered to widen. Spread the inside with your filling of choice, roll and secure with toothpicks, sprinkle with a bit of oil for lubrication and salt to taste, and grill. Here are some fun filling choices:
Italian: ½ cup mushrooms, ¼ cup parsley, and half an onion, chopped finely.
Apricot: ½ cup dried apricots, 1 tbsp. chopped thyme, 2 minced garlic cloves, thinly sliced Brie.
Asian: ¼ cup chopped water chestnuts, 1 tbsp. soy sauce, ½ cup shredded cabbage, 1 tsp shredded ginger, 2 minced garlic cloves.
The next step up in culinary choices on a boat is a griddle top. This adds a wide range of soups and stews to the one-pot menu. Chilis and chowders are great options at sea, as are some standby favorites. Looking for something different? Here are a few tasty and filling choices:
Precook your lamb ahead of time, chop, and bring with you in a bag. When assembling soup, mince garlic and add to olive oil, cook in bottom of pan until golden. Toss lamb in the garlic until warm. Add all ingredients and cook until warm.
Cook salsa verde on medium for 2 minutes. Add other ingredients, cook until warm. Garnish with sour cream and tortilla chips and serve.
Cook the fennel and leeks in the butter in the bottom of your saucepan. Stir in the flour. Add clam juice, milk, and potatoes, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the shrimp and corn, cook until potatoes are soft, and corn and shrimp are warm. Stir in parsley and lemon juice just before serving.
Boats with an oven have the opportunity to make a number of casseroles and lasagnas for their crew. To save time and cooking fuel on a boat, day trippers counting on a hot meal should consider precooking the casserole most of the way before you leave on your trip, so that it needs only be warmed.
Preheat oven to 375. Mix corn, beans, chicken, and barbecue sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish. Top with cornbread batter, and cook until cornbread is fully baked through.
Cold buffets are another option that also works well for a large group of people on a boat. This can be anything from a cold cut and sandwich platter, to a large pan of taco meat and a burrito bar, to a skillet on a grill and chopped meats and veggies for each person to make their own scrambled egg dish. Many items can be pre-prepared in a smorgasbord and brought out during mealtimes. The chopped vegetables and meats that are left over can often be added to another one-dish meal later in the day or the following day.
Not everyone’s diet is the same. It is important to keep those considerations in mind when preparing food dishes for a group. If you are unfamiliar with dealing with dietary restrictions, then here are a few pointers:
Before embarking on your trip, be certain that you have the fuel source necessary to have a hot grill. If you are renting a boat, ask before you go if the gas or charcoal will be provided, or if this is something you must bring. Familiarize yourself with the cook surface before you leave. Is the grill/stove/oven easy to start? Do you have a long-necked barbecue lighter handy for pilot lights? Are there additional shut-off valves inside cupboards? Be certain the units heat and your fuel is topped off before you leave.
Cooking is not always easy on a sailboat while underway, and it is important to consider the motion of your boat when it comes both to cooking and trying to eat with a knife and fork. If you have a boat that rolls while in motion, you may want to save much of your cooking for times while you are at anchor.
If conditions at sea get rough, it is important to remember that just because you have a certain meal planned for a certain day, does not mean that you cannot be flexible. Chopping and cooking in rough seas can be a recipe for danger. If unexpected weather tosses you around, have a simple, grab-and-eat backup meal to keep you safe, and save the chopping and hot stovetop liquids for calmer seas. If you must cook during foul weather, consider wearing your foul-weather gear to protect against hot liquid or grease burns.