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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Cruising Cooking vs. Marina Cooking (& Favorite Ship & Shore Soup Recipe)


Posole soup and toppings stored in small containers for
microwaving at work.  Cruising soup leftovers would be
stored in one big container, ladled out into a saucepot
for heating a one-meal serving.  
Whether land’s days or at least a dinghy ride away, or is one step off the boat onto the dock makes a difference in cooking, even though meals are prepared in the same small galley.

What Doesn’t Change?
With shore power delivering practically unlimited energy all the time, I no longer need to rely on solar and battery power.  But I still use few electric appliances, mostly just a 1-cup food processor used maybe once a month or so.  I run the oven even more rarely than I do at anchor as we get little breeze in the marina.

What’s Different?
1.    Choices Here in Jacksonville, unlike most places we cruise, while not as exotic as the SouthEastern Caribbean (sigh… no soursop), my basic ingredient choices are almost unlimited… in particular….
Fresh & local produce white acre peas and mangoes are delicious locally grown surprises
Spices & ethnic foods my old favorites, at last! hominy, chili powder, enchilada sauce, fresh tortillas, fresh dill and lemon thyme plants…
2.    Affordability  A week’s worth of food costs us about $150 and we’re consistently getting more quality and variety for our money than we did cruising.  We don’t skimp.
3.    Portability Eating at work for us means bringing a lunchbox.  That means lots of little containers and other single sides, like little yogurts (hooray for lower suger Yoplait lights) and handfuls of baby carrots or cherry tomatoes.
4.    Community Gumbo and cobbler are a bit much for the two of us, but are great for sharing.  In a marina, that’s easy, and welcomed.  Some shared posole is the inspiration for this post (recipe follows).
5.    Separate Meals Between our alternate work schedules and different food preferences, we rarely eat together and often Wayne’s food choices are quite different from mine.  I’ve nearly eliminated wheat and potatoes from my diet; those are Wayne staples. 
6.    Inspiration Farmer’s markets, a “veggie bin” (produce “grab bag” like community sponsored agriculture) fellow yachtees, national public radio, and more choices encourage concerted efforts to break out of my culinary rut.  Some winners?  BBQ butternut squash, warm white acre pea salad, quinoa fruit salad, Benedictine, strawberry nutella muffins….
7.    Rot (aka “unintentional science experiments”) All that fresh produce and little containers, independent meals rammed into our tiny deep fridge is not always a good thing.  Much as I try to avoid it, we are throwing more spoiled food away than we were cruising.

As promised, my favorite ship and shore "comfort food" soup....

Posole

The New Mexico area serves some fabulous Posole (also spelled Pozole), a filling spicy Mexican soup-stew. It contains hominy, which is dried corn kernels that have been soaked in a lime solution to remove the hulls.  This particular recipe is easy.  However, when planning it, just remember it takes nearly an hour of boiling time to cook.  Provision hominy, canned chiles and your favorite chili powder and the rest of the ingredients generally aren’t too hard to find cruising.  The fresh topping can be skipped in a pinch.  

          vegetable cooking spray*
1 1/2 lbs. lean, boneless pork loin, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 c     onions, chopped
2 cloves     garlic, minced
2      4-oz can chopped green chile peppers, drained
2 t     chili powder
1/2 t     salt
1/2 t     pepper
6 c     canned no-salt-added chicken broth
4          15 1/2 oz cans white hominy, drained
1 1/2 c     thinly sliced radishes (optional)
1/2 c     thinly sliced green onions (optional)
1/4 c     chopped cilantro

      Coat a large stockpot with cooking spray; place over medium-high heat until hot.*  Add pork, and cook 4 minutes, browning well on all sides.  Remove pork and drain well; set pork aside.  Wipe drippings from pan with paper towel.  Recoat pan with cooking spray, and place over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic; saute 5 minutes.  Add chilis and chili powder; cook 2 minutes.

*I omit this step when cooking in a nonstick pan, though usually add ~1 T extra virgin olive oil for flavor.

      Return pork to pan.  Add salt pepper and broth; bring to boil.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.  Add hominy; cover and cook 30 minutes.

      Ladle into bowls; top with radishes, green onions and cilantro.


source:  Cooking Light, Nov/Dec 1993

Watch for a future post on galley changes before returning to cruising….  What is and isn’t making the galley cut?  What’s getting added?  What’s being hotly debated, and why?

*What would you like to see? Please consider offering your input on Galley Wench Tales blog site.  Click here to link to the survey.  And, thank you for helping make Galley Wench Tales a better blog.