The Sea is Your Larder – Recipes for Cooking on a Yacht
Three tasty recipes to inspire sailors and landlubbers alike, including: fried sea bream, grilled mackerel and creamy monk-fish soup.
Photo used under the Creative Commons license courtesy of Katherine Kenny
Sailing on the earth’s greatest food resource can’t fail to make you lust after succulent fish and sweet crustaceans. However, cooking on a yacht can be a real challenge. A lack of equipment, limited space and being far away from a well-stocked pantry all seem to conspire against culinary greatness.
But fear not! With a little creativity and planning prior to your yacht rental, delicious seafood-based meals can be on your plate in little time and with next to no effort.
The freshest fish needs little adornment. I remember one of the most delicious meals I ever had was fresh shrimp cooked in a little olive oil and garlic on a white pebbled beach in Greece. The memory of the smell is enough to make me weep.
The dishes below require few store cupboard essentials because they rely on the fresh and sweet bounty under your sea legs. They can all be cooked on a hob, and require little equipment save a pan or two, a knife, a colander and a chopping board – precisely the kind of equipment you’ll find on all bareboat charters. Above all, they make the most of what the sea has to offer and will leave your taste buds all a-quiver.
Sea bream with baby tomatoes and basil
· 5.5fl oz olive oil, extra virgin
· 2 bream, cleaned and scaled, weighing about 1lb each
· A handful fresh basil leaves, torn
· 25 baby tomatoes, halved
· 3-4 garlic cloves, depending on your taste
· 12fl oz water
· Splash of white wine
· 1 regular red chilli, finely chopped
· Good bread
1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-based skillet over a high heat.
2. Add the bream, followed by the garlic, tomatoes, basil and some salt.
3. Pour in the water, turn the heat down a little and cook the fish for 6 minutes on each side. If the fishes’ eyes have turned white when you flip them over, it’s a sign that they are cooked.
4. Remove the fish from the skillet and place on your chosen serving dish. Bring the heat up, add the wine and let the sauce bubble for 30 seconds then pour it over the fish.
5. Serve immediately, with plenty of crusty bread to mop up the tasty juices.
Salted cucumber and grilled mackerel toasts
· 2 filleted mackerel
· 1 cucumber
· 3 fl.oz of olive oil
· Soy sauce / dijon mustard / horseradish
· Crusty bread, like ciabatta or sourdough, cut into chunky slices.
1. Start by slicing the cucumber into thin coins and place them in a colander. Salt with gusto (arteries, calm down, the salt will be rinsed off later). Leave for 30 minutes, the coins will be nice and flexible.
2. Prepare the mackerel fillets by slicing three shallow diagonal cuts across that shimmering skin. Heat the oil in a heavy-based skillet on a high heat, reserving some to dribble over the bread. Place the fillets skin side down. Leave for two minutes and flip over for another minute’s cooking time.
3. While the mackerel is cooking, rapidly rinse the cucumber in cold water and leave to drain.
4. Toast the bread under the grill. Dribble a bit of oil on the top side.
5. Wring the cucumber out in a tea towel to absorb the excess moisture. Place on the bread, and lay the mackerel on top.
6. Finish with a smear of your chosen topping. You can serve with some lemon if you like.
Creamy monkfish and green vegetable stew
· 1 pound monkfish tail, cut into 1 ½ in. chunks
· 1 dessertspoon olive oil, extra virgin
· 8 oz. baby new potatoes, scrubbed and cut into thick slices
· 18 fl.oz fish stock, from powder or bought fresh
· 8 oz. mixed green vegetables (broccoli, broad beans, peas, zucchini all go well)
· 2 dessertspoons crème fraîche
· 2 tsp chopped tarragon
· Salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat the oil in a skillet and fry the monkfish on a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring every minute or so. Remove the chunks and set them aside.
2. In the pan used for the fish, throw in the potatoes and stir to coat. Pour over the fish stock, cover and simmer for 10 minutes until the potatoes are nearly cooked.
3. Remove the cover and turn the heat on high until the stock has reduced to half its volume. Add the vegetables and fish at this point and cook for another 3 minutes.
4. Stir in the cream and seasoning, sprinkle the tarragon over the top and serve straight from the pan.
Lalage enjoys the challenge of creating tasty food for yacht rentals