Filed Under (Boater's Galley Companion) by Debbie on 11-05-2007

If you view yourself as the ‘galley slave’ fear not! I’m going to tell you how to become the ‘galley goddess’. When you go sailing, are you packing up your kitchen cooking utensils and carting them back and forth? STOP!  A goddess doesn’t work that hard. Our first sailboat was a small trailer sailor and once set up, I never loaded anything but food and drinks.

Tight budget? Haunt the garage sales looking for useable pots and pans. A couple of non-stick fry pans, saucepans and maybe a bigger pot for homemade soups should be all you need. Look for items that can stack one inside the other. While you can manage with just about any kind of stirring spoon and spatula be sure you have a couple of good knives (1 chief and 1 paring and maybe a set of inexpensive steak knives) plus a roll up and stash away cutting board.

Lucky girl that I am, my galley has a refrigeration system. This wonderful blessing increases my ability to produce some truly gourmet delights! Although before we bought Whisper our Newport 30, I had the ever popular, camping cooler with ice. You should be able to work with either.

Think about what you use at home and how you could store it on the boat. Small plastic storage containers with lids and handles are wonderful for keeping galley equipment dry and easy to locate. You can use a permanent marker to label the lids, example, ‘salt/pepper, herbs, sugar and stir sticks’ or ‘knives, spoons, etc.’ so that you don’t have to open each box to find what you’re looking for.

Which would you like to tell your family is for dinner, ‘chili dogs and chips’ or ‘provence chicken in white wine sauce with red potatoes and salad’? I love to buy the frozen chicken tenders; they help to keep things cool in the fridge, are quick to cook, lend themselves to many dishes and can be easily thawed.

Provencal Chicken w/white wine sauce and red potatoes

3-4 chicken tenders per person (or use breasts cut into long thin strips)
Salt and pepper (keep on boat
Olive oil (or what ever kind of cooking oil you use, keep this on the boat
1-2 cloves garlic, minced (buy a garlic press and leave on boat
1 can chicken broth, about 2 cups
2 teaspoons dried herbs de Provence (yes I bring mine from home
1 bottle white wine (one you like to drink)
1-teaspoon butter or margarine
1-teaspoon fresh lemon juice (ok you can omit if you don’t have)
1- medium potato per person (no red ones? Just use what you have.)

Open the bottle of wine and pour the galley goddess a glass.

Cut potatoes into quarters, place in pan and cover with water, bring to a boil then cook on low, when tender drain. If you are working with a single propane burner you can still make this. Just boil the potatoes till cooked and put in a bowl to wait. They will be added to the chicken dish later to heat through.

Pour a small amount of oil into largest fry pan and heat. Salt and pepper the chicken and place in fry pan. Cook about 3 minutes each side or until done, remove from pan. You could place them with the potatoes. Pour about a cup of wine in the hot fry pan and scrape up any small pieces of chicken stuck to the pan, boil until reduced by about half. Add garlic and cook 1 minute (don’t let it burn) then add broth and herbs de Provence and bring to a boil. Then add butter and lemon juice, chicken and potatoes, reduce heat and cook until chicken and potatoes are heated through.

Grab a bag of salad greens and toss on plates, drizzle a bit of oil and lemon juice over it. Serve chicken and potatoes with the sauce and enjoy another glass of wine.

If you’d like to B-B-Q your chicken tenders but want something unique you can mix 2 tablespoons butter with 1 minced clove of garlic,  and add ¼ teaspoon of herbs de Provence. Then salt and pepper the chicken and just as it’s almost done B-B-Q’ing, baste with the garlic herb butter. Yummy!

Okay, galley goddess, it’s cold inside and out. The crew is grumbling, shivering and night is fast approaching. Is dinner pasta with canned sauce or is it home made Tortellini Soup? This soup is easy to make and extremely warming for the body and the sagging sailor’s sprits.

1 lb bulk sweet Italian sausage (if you can only find links remove the casings)
1 small onion, chopped
2-4 big cloves garlic minced (remember you have a garlic press aboard!)
1 32-48 oz. box or can of beef broth
28 oz canned diced tomatoes
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 can green beans, drained
2 carrots sliced
½ Cup red wine
2 tablespoons each oregano and basil
½ Cup dried cheese filled tortellini or 8-10 oz. fresh
In your deep soup/sauce pan cook the sausage, crumbling as it cooks, when almost cooked through add the onion, garlic and wine. When sausage is cooked add all remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, and simmer until pasta is tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Lagging lunches? Is your crew sick of a thick slice of cheese grilled between two pieces of bread? Try this the next time for a tasty treat.

Galley Goddess Grilled Cheese Sandwiches 

½ Cup diced, canned ham, or spam, or turkey, or corned beef, etc. (left over from breakfast is great).
2 Tablespoons chopped onion
¼ Cup diced boiled leftover potato
1 Cup course grated cheese

If you have additional leftovers of cooked and crumbled bacon, and sliced mushrooms or olives, you can add to the mix. Then use enough mayo to hold mix together. Garlic butter the bread and spread mix ½ inch high on non-buttered side and then grill until golden and cheese is hot. You can back this with hot tomato soup and it’s a memorable lunch.

Are you cruising offshore and feeling generous? Heat the above mixture and place in a small wide mouth thermos to keep warm. Leave your favorite cracker next to it for the night watch to dip and snack. They will be singing praises to the galley goddess!

Remember to always look for equipment or tools that will make galley life easier. No Captain would take to the water without the proper equipment nor should any galley goddess.

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