Favorite Recipes

This web page includes instructions for making local dishes we discovered on our travels, some easy recipes we used while cruising, and subsequent favorite dishes we've created. If you've read the Patrick O'Brien series of Jack Aubrey novels, you may appreciate the recipes we've reconstructed from Pat's childhood in Scotland, for food served aboard the Surprise.

1. Generic Boat Stew 2. Generic Boat Curry 3. Raisin Scones
4. Spotted Dog (Clootie Dumpling) 5. Left-Over Soup 6. Pretty Good Haggis
7. Chopped Salad 8. Taco Salad 9. Corned Beef 'n Cabbage
10. Roach Cookies 11. Yoghurt 12. Carne Guisada
13. Habichuelas 14. Apple Griddle Cakes 15. Crock Pot Cabbage Rolls
16. Newfoundland Mess 17. Fisherman's Brewis 18. Squashy Corn Chowder
19. Morroccan Lentil Soup 20. Migas 21. Granola
22. Tacalagne 23. Oven French Fries 24. Texas Chili
25. Better Than Butter 26. Thai Chicken Salad 27. Groundnut and Sweet Potato Stew
28. Thai Shrimp Salad 29. Thai Vegetarian Salad 30. Pad Thai
31. Chicken Pot Pie 32. Salmon Pot Pie 33. Thai Beef Salad
34. Millet Mashed Potatoes 35. Crispy Fried Noodles  
Recipe Index


1. Generic Boat Stew:

Ingredients per serving:
Steps for Preparation:
  1. In saucepan or frypan big enough to hold everything, brown onion and meat (if fresh–except hold fish to step 3) over high heat, stirring, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add root veggies if fresh, tomato if available, seasoning, and liquid, cover pan, reduce heat to low and cook about 15 minutes, stirring a few times. Cook until veggies are barely fork tender. Add green veggies if fresh and cook covered an additional 10-15 minutes. [If everything is canned, skip this step.]
  3. Add canned items (and fresh fish if being used) and cook covered 5-10 minutes until hot through and all ingredients are fork tender.
  4. Sprinkle gravy mix over all, or add canned sauce, stir well, and keep stirring while you bring it to a boil. If stew is too runny, let cook (boil) over high heat with lid off until liquid is reduced to manageable amount.
  5. Turn off heat, cover, and let sit 15-30 minutes before eating. Serve with reconstituted mashed potatoes if liked.


2. Generic Boat Curry

Ingredients per serving:
Steps for Preparation:
  1. In saucepan put rice and salted water. Bring to rolling boil. Cover and remove from heat and let sit to conserve gas.
  2. In different saucepan or frypan big enough to hold everything, brown onion and meat (if fresh–except hold fish to step 6) over high heat, stirring, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add curry powder and other spices, and fry, stirring, 5 more minutes.
  4. Add liquid and tomatoes, bring to boil stirring. Stir in remaining seasoning.
  5. Add remaining veggies (except leafy) if fresh. Add fruit. Cover pan, reduce heat to low and cook about 15 minutes, stirring a few times. Cook until veggies and fruit are barely fork tender. Add leafy veggies if fresh and cook covered an additional 10-15 minutes. [If everything is canned, skip this step.]
  6. Add canned items (and fresh fish if being used) and cook covered 5-10 minutes until hot through and all ingredients are fork tender.
  7. If curry is too runny, let cook (boil) over high heat with lid off until liquid is reduced to manageable amount.
  8. Turn off heat, cover the curry, and let sit 15-30 minutes before eating.
  9. Serve with the rice which should have softened up while you cooked the curry. If rice is not tender, or still watery, cook an additional 5-10 minutes. Add a little more water if necessary to keep from sticking to bottom of pan.

3. Raisin Scones

Ingredients per Serving:
Steps for Preparation:
  1. Preheat nonstick griddle or frypan over high heat, reduce to medium. If not nonstick, wipe surface with oil.
  2. Mix all ingredients to a stiff paste
  3. Press mixture onto griddle and cover with lid or aluminium foil
  4. Cook 10 minutes on each side, checking to make sure it doesn't burn
  5. Cut into wedges, split and serve warm, with butter or margarine or jam.

4. Spotted Dog (Clootie Dumpling)

Ingredients (8 servings):
Steps for Preparation:
  1. Mix dry ingredients together in large bowl. Add fruit and lemon peel
  2. Melt butter, add molasses, water, lemon juice, and eggs. Beat with a fork till mixed.
  3. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp flour onto a clean cloth. (If laundered, boil it for a few minutes, then rince twice before flouring.)
  4. Add liquids to dry ingredients and stir together until well mixed.
  5. Put dough on center of cloth, pull sides up and tie tightly to enclose the dough.
  6. Steam the dough in a double boiler, on a trivet in a covered pan containing water, or a pudding basin, for 4 hours.
  7. Drop dumpling into basin of cold water for a minute, remove and drain. Untie and turn onto a plate. Dry out in a warm oven for a few minutes.
  8. Cut into wedges, and serve warm, with hot custard (or thin vanilla pudding), cream, sugar, or pour some rum over it.

5. Never-Fail Left-Over Soup

Ingredients per Serving:
Steps for Preparation:
  1. Mix all ingredients together in saucepan.
  2. Bring pan to boil, cover, and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.
  3. Serve immediately.

6. Pretty Good Imitation Haggis


Ingredients (6 Servings)
Steps for Preparation:
  1. Mix all ingredients well in a bowl with hands.
  2. Wrap in cheesecloth, pull up the edges, leave space for expansion and tie very tight at the neck with string
  3. Cook in or over boiling water, covered, 3-5 hours.
  4. Serve with mashed potatoes, and mashed carrots/turnips.

7. Chopped Salad

Ingredients per Serving:
  • 4-5 fresh vegetables (lettuce, onion, tomato, pepper, cucumber, summer squash, etc.)
  • Cooked vegetables if available (potato, carrot, peas, etc.)
  • 1-2 fresh fruit (apple, pear, pineapple, etc.)
Steps for Preparation:
  1. Chop everything, including the lettuce, into small bits (no bigger than 1/4" square).
  2. Mix all together in big bowl.
  3. Sprinkle with 2-3 Tablespoons of vinegar, same amount of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and mix well.
  4. Serve immediately in bowls.

8. Taco Salad

Ingredients per Serving:
Steps for Preparation:
  1. Heat the chili.
  2. Crumble corn chips in bottom of large bowl.
  3. Add salad ingredients, chopped or torn, on top of corn chips.
  4. Sprinkle cheese on top of the salad.
  5. Pour chili on top of salad mixture and toss.
  6. Serve immediately, with salsa on the side.


9. Corned Beef and Cabbage

Ingredients (serves 4):
Steps for Preparation:
  1. Peel and chop up the vegetables into bite-size bits.
  2. Heat the oil in a wok or other large pan.
  3. Saute the veggies over medium-high heat for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the water, cover, and cook over medium-low heat until tender (20 minutes)
  5. Add the corned beef, break it up, stir, cover and cook a few minutes more.

10. Roach Cookies

Preparation and Use:
  1. Mix to a paste with milk.
  2. Form into small cookies.
  3. Let dry in the sun on paper.
  4. Put them around out of sight wherever food is found. If you have animals or toddlers, be sure to put them in places they can't reach.


11. Yoghurt

Preparation and Use:
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a large saucepan
  2. Heat until just too hot to hold your pinkie in it.
  3. Pour into a large jar, and close the lid
  4. Put jar in wide-mouth vaccuum flask and close the flask
  5. Leave for 9 hours
  6. Remove yoghurt and refrigerate


12. Carne Guisada (Stewed beef, Dominican Republic)

[Also check these additional Dominican recipes]

Preparation and Use:
  1. Saute sugar in oil until it browns
  2. Saute beef, cut up, onions and peppers until browned
  3. Add remaining ingredients, cover and stew until tender (depending on meat cut)
  4. Remove cover and boil liquid down until thickened nicely
  5. Serve with rice and beans, and salad on the side (also fried plantains and boiled yucca too)


13. Habichuelas (Beans, Dominican Republic)

Preparation and Use:
  1. Soak the beans covered in water overnight. Drain.
  2. Saute the veggies in the oil.
  3. Add remaining ingredients, cover and simmer until beans are very tender (about 4 hours)
  4. Remove cover and boil liquid down if needed until somewhat thickened.


14. Apple Griddle cakes

Ingredients per serving:
Preparation and Use:
  1. Mix ingredients together while griddle heats up. Grease it lightly
  2. Drop 2/3 cup of the mixture onto the griddle and cook about 3-5 minutes, til brown, then flip and cook the other side. The amount given above makes 2 pancakes, each about 7" in diameter.
  3. Serve hot with butter and maple syrup.


15. Crock pot Cabbage Rolls

Ingredients for four servings:
Preparation and Use:
  1. Core the cabbage, then gently ease off 8 leaves using a push/pull action. Make a 2-inc deep "V" cut at the stem end of each leaf and remove the hard stalk
  2. Microwave the cabbage leaves on high for 4 minutes, until flexible.
  3. Slice the onion. Finely chop 2 slices and reserve. Put the remaining onion in the bottom of the crockpot.
  4. Mix ground beef, egg, rice, water, reserved chopped onion, and garlic.
  5. Put 1/8 of beef mixture in each leaf, and roll up, tucking both ends in.
  6. Put cabbage rolls into the crockpot, ontop of the onion slices.
  7. In a bowl, mix well the tomato sauce, tomato paste, salt, pepper, honey, lemon juice, and raisins.
  8. Pour the tomato mixture over the cabbage rolls.
  9. Cover the crockpot and cook on low for 7-8 hours.
  10. Serve with mashed potatoes or rice.


16. Newfoundland Mess

Ingredients per (hungry man) serving:
Preparation and Use:
  1. Cover a plate with the chips
  2. On top of the chips spread the onions and wieners
  3. Pour half of the gravy on top of the onions
  4. Sprinkle the dressing and meat over the gravy, and top with the remaining gravy

17. Fishermen's Brewis (Newfoundland)

Ingredients per serving:
Preparation and Use:
  1. Soak the brewis overnight .
  2. Cook the brewis over low heat being careful not to boil it (or it will go gummy) for ½ hour til soft
  3. Cook the fish until done (poach in milk or water). Remove all bones
  4. Fry the pork until the cubes are brown and crunchy ("schruncheons")
  5. Mash the brewis and fish together, adding butter and seasoning to taste. Serve sprinkled with scruncheons.


18. Creamy Squashy Corn Chowder

Preparation and Use:
  1. Put olive oil, then squash, apples, onion and garlic in large soup pot.
  2. Saute the vegetables in the oil over high heat for 4-5 minutes
  3. Add chicken base and water, cover and simmer for 45 minutes until veggies are very soft.
  4. Puree the ingredients in the soup pot, then add the corn kernels.
  5. Simmer the corn in the veggie puree for 5 minutes 'til just cooked and still a bit crunchy.
  6. Add cream, and heat through while stirring. Turn off the heat.
  7. Serve soup in bowls, with sprinkled herbs on top.

19. Morroccan Lentil Soup

This soup was inspired by a bowl of soup bought at a little restaurant in Reston, VA. In part, left overs from the 'frig were used and in large part it was made from the cook's (Pat's) intuition. Turned out delicious. The ingredients below are estimates.
Preparation and Use:
  1. Saute the garlic, ginger and onion in the oil.
  2. Add everything else except ½ the parsley
  3. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for about an hour until tender.
  4. Smush with potato masher or hand blender to break up ingredients. Don't make smooth, soup should have plenty of texture but no big lumps.
  5. Adjust seasoning. If too thick, add some more stock.
  6. Serve in bowls with reserved parsley sprinkled on top.

20. Migas (Tex-Mex Breakfast)

Ingredients for two:
Preparation and Use:
  1. Saute tortilla bits in oil for 2-3 minutes over high heat
  2. Add onion and garlic and saute stirring for a few more minutes
  3. Add rest of ingredients except salsa and beans, and reserved ¼ cup cheese
  4. Scramble eggs, stirring until barely set. Turn off heat, sprinkle reserved cheese on top and cover.
  5. Let sit for 5 minutes to melt cheese.
  6. Serve with salsa and beans on the side.


21. Granola

Preparation and Use:
  1. In large baking pan mix everything together well except the dried fruit
  2. Bake in 350° oven about 45 minutes until nicely tanned, stirring the mixture every 8-9 minutes so the bottom doesn't burn.
  3. Remove from oven and mix dried fruit into the warm granola.
  4. Store in airtight container, or freeze unused portion.


22. Tacalagne (Tex Mex Lasagne)

Ingredients (serves 4):
Preparation and Use:
  1. Oil an 8" or 9" square baking pan
  2. Prepare 4 tortillas by wrapping in damp paper towel, placing between two plates and microwaving for 30 seconds to soften. Line the bottom and sides of the pan with the tortillas.
  3. Sprinkle 1/2 of the meat, beans, spinach and 1/3 of the cheese on top of the tortillas. Add another layer of soft tortillas and repeat.
  4. Finish with the last 4 tortillas, softened, and spread with salsa and the remaining cheese.
  5. Bake in a 325° oven for 45 minutes until hot and bubbly. Let sit 10-15 minutes before serving with a garnish of guacamole, sour cream, chopped cilantro, and additional salsa.


23. Oven French Fries

Ingredients per serving:
Preparation and Use:
  1. Scrub potatos and cut into wedges.
  2. Soak in hot water for 10 minutes, than pat dry with towel.
  3. Toss wedges with oil, and spread in a single layer on a heavy-duty non-stick baking sheet. Season with salt.
  4. Cover with foil and bake on the lowest rack of a preheated 475° oven for 5 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 20-30 minutes, turning wedges once or twice until crisp and cooked through.

24. Texas Chili

Preparation and Use:
  1. Brown meat in skillet, breaking into good sized chunks. Add to small crockpot
  2. Saute chopped veggies in olive oil and add to crockpot.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients to crockpot, stir well, cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
  4. Stir thoroughly, adjust seasoning, and let sit 30 - 60 minutes before serving.

25. Better Than Butter

[For some reason you can buy this in Canada, Europe, Australia, but not the U.S. This spread tastes every bit as good as butter, is easy to spread, and is better for your health than margarine.]
Preparation and Use:
  1. Put butter in an 8-cup bowl.
  2. Add the oil and mix with a hand blender until it's smooth and creamy.
  3. Pour the mixture into 2 plastic storage containers and cover. Store one container in the refrigerator for everyday use, and freeze the other for later.

26. Thai Chicken Salad

Ingredients (serves 2):
Cook (Pat) was inspired by a meal we ate in a Thai restaurant in the Philadelphia airport during a particularly long lay-over. Here's her attempt to replicate it. It's delicious!
Preparation and Use:
  1. Poach the chicken breasts in 2-3 Tbsp of water over low heat, covered, for about 30 minutes. Remove chicken, and shred with two forks. If using pre-roasted chicken, after it's cool enough to handle with (clean) fingers pull bite size pieces off the carcas and use 1/2 the chicken for this recipe, saving the rest for another use.
  2. Reduce the juice from cooking the chicken to about 2 Tbsp and pour into a small bowl.
  3. Add to the chicken juice the first 6 ingredients above, and work with a fork until well combined.
  4. Mix vegetables with the chicken, pour the peanut dressing over, toss well and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

27. Groundnut and Sweet Potato Stew

Ingredients (serves 4):
This was inspired by a dish we sampled in a health food store in Burlington, Vermont.
Preparation and Use:
  1. Saute the onion, garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric, and coriander in the oil for 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add the apple and sweet peppers and saute until tender, about 7-10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes and bring to the boil.
  4. Mix the water with the chili paste, soup base, peanut butter then squeeze the juice of the lime into the mixture. Stir well and then stir into the vegetable mix.
  5. Bring back to the boil, stir in the sweet potatoes, cover and simmer at least one hour. If the sauce is too runny, allow to cook uncovered until it is medium thick.
  6. Serve with rice and a green vegetable or salad.

28. Thai Chicken or Shrimp Salad

Ingredients (serves 4):
We ate this for lunch in Nit's, Moose Jaw's famous Thai restaurant. We're guessing this is the recipe.
Preparation and Use:
  1. Mix fish sauce, lemon juice, chili paste, and sweetener.
  2. Combine rest of ingredients except reserved cilantro.
  3. Toss dressing with the shrimp or chicken and veggies, and let salad sit in 'frig for about an hour before serving.
  4. Serve either on a bed of, or tossed with, fresh greens and shredded cabbage.
  5. Garnish with reserved cilantro

29. Thai Vegetarian Salad

Ingredients (serves 2):
Preparation and Use:
  1. Prepare salad dressing by combining lemon juice, nut butter, ginger, garlic, tamarind, fish sauce, canola oil, sweetener, chili flakes, and water. Mix well, and adjust flavoring as needed.
  2. Combine all the vegetables in a large bowl and toss with the dressing. Let stand 30 minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped nuts and additional cilantro if desired

30. Pad Thai

Ingredients (serves 2):
Preparation and Use:
  1. Mix lime juice, fish sauce, garlic, chili peppers, sugar and tamarind paste.
  2. Cut up the scallions, chop the nuts, get the cilantro ready, and prepare the shrimp.
  3. Soak rice stick in hot tap water for 10-25 minutes (depending on thickness), stirring to separate. The noodles should be flexible but not completely expanded. Remember, you can't let these guys sit after they're soft so be prepared to cook immediately they're ready.
  4. While noodles are soaking, in wok or large saucepan, heat oil and fry shrimp until cooked.
  5. As soon as the noodles are ready, drain them and turn into wok with the sauce, shrimp, 1 cup of bean sprouts, and scallions. Cook stirring over high heat until the sauce is absorbed by the noodles and they are soft, 5-7 minutes.
  6. Turn into bowls, and garnish with reserved bean sprouts, chopped nuts, and cilantro.

31. Chicken Pot Pie

Ingredients (serves 4-6):
Preparation and Use:
  1. Pick the chicken off the carcass and tear into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Let pastry soften enough to become pliable. Line the bottom of a good-sized casserole dish with one of the pastry sheets.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 375°F.
  4. While the pastry is softening, microwave the potatoes, onion, and carrots in 1/3 cup water (covered) to par-cook, about 4 minutes. Drain, saving the liquid.
  5. Gently mix together the chicken, veggies, frozen peas, soup, 2-4 Tbsp of veggie cooking water and then turn the mixture into the pastry-lined casserole.
  6. Moisten the edges of the bottom sheet of pastry, lay the remaining sheet on top of the filling, and flute the edges of the 2 pastry sheets together.
  7. Make 3-4 slashes in the top sheet of pastry and bake the casserole 45 minutes or until brown and bubbly.
  8. Let cool 15-20 minutes before serving.

32. Salmon Pot Pie

Ingredients (serves 4-6):
Preparation and Use:
  1. Let pastry thaw for 30 minutes while preparing the filling.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F
  3. Poach the salmon in 1/2 cup water, covered, and cook until just done. Tear into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Combine salmon, peas, and soup and pour into a casserole dish.
  5. Unfold the pastry and lay on top of the salmon filling. Flute the edges with fingers, and cut 2-3 slashes in it.
  6. Bake about 45 minutes intil pastry is risen and brown and filling is bubbling up round the edges.
  7. Let cool 5-10 minutes before serving.

33. Thai Beef Salad

Ingredients (serves 4-6):
Preparation and Use:
  1. Mix first 10 ingredients (using 1/2 the cilantro only) in food processor to make marinade/salad dressing.
  2. Sear, then cook the meat over high heat approximately 4-6 minutes on each side, until it is cooked medium. Do not overcook. Remove from heat and slice into thin strips. Add the meat and its juices to the sauce and refrigerate, tightly covered, for at least 3 hours.
  3. Tear the lettuce into bite size pieces and place in a salad bowl. Arrange the cucumber on top of the lettuce, and then pour the meat and sauce over. Top with the chopped tomatoes and green onions and garnish with reserved cilantro.
  4. Serve with rice if desired.

34. Millet Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients (serves 6):
We learned about this (mostly) macrobiotic recipe as an outstanding and nutritious alternative to mashed potatoes from a friend.
Preparation and Use:
  1. Saute onion in oil until wilted. Use a pan that will hold all the ingredients.
  2. Add the millet, cauliflower, and 3 cups water or bouillon. If not using bouillon, salt to taste.
  3. Bring to the boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer 30-40 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the millet and cauliflower are soft, adding additional liquid if needed.
  4. Mash with potato masher, then whip with a fork before serving.
  5. Left overs keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

35. Crispy Fried Noodle Cake

Ingredients (serves 3-4):
A great way to use up left over spaghetti or noodles. You can also do this with left over rice to make rice cakes.
Preparation and Use:
  1. Mix noodles with Tamari and scallions.
  2. Put 2 Tbsp oil on the bottom of a large skillet and heat to medium-high.
  3. When the oil is hot add the noodle mix, spreading it evenly and flattening it with spatula.
  4. Cook for 2 minutes, then turn the heat to medium-low. Continue to cook until the cake is holding together and is brown on the bottom, 8-10 minutes. Turn the noodles carefully (slide the cake onto a plate, cover it with another plate, invert the plates and slide the cake back into the skillet - use the remaining oil if necessary.)
  5. Cook the other side of the noodle cake until brown.
  6. Cut the cake into wedges and serve instead of rice or potato.


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Bill Dillon (KG4QFM)
Pat Watt (KG4QFQ)
This page was last modified on April 24, 2010

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