I’ve been baking quite a bit lately. I actually enjoy baking, so I am having fun figuring out what the treat of the day is.
They are eating the baked goods like crazy, so I will continue to bake them like crazy. I create my savory dishes from scratch, so they are all true originals.
But when it comes to baked goods, I usually follow a recipe since it’s more of a science. I do “wing it” sometimes, but it’s actually fun for me to find new baking recipes.
I have tons of cookbooks (over 500) in my library at home, but when it comes to being on the boat, I have zero. Actually the previous chef had bought several of Thomas Keller’s cookbooks. They look nice on the coffee table, but hardly usable for daily cooking inspiration.
I made these cookies last week, and liked them well enough. I actually made a double batch and they were still gone in a few days. I wound up eating several (maybe a few more than that) myself and the more I ate them, the more I really enjoyed them.
So I decided to share the recipe with you. It certainly has enough good reviews from other people. You can get the recipe here…
The captains wife was flying home tonight so I wanted to cook her a nice dinner. She’s from New Jersey and loves Italian food. She mentioned her favorite dish was Eggplant Parmesan, so it was on!
She’s old school New Jersey, so this wasn’t going be my healthy version, but the classic Italian-American version.
The pictures below are all messed up and formatted weird. Not sure why? But just embrace it
You peel and slice the eggplant thin and then dip it in flour, egg, and then bread crumbs. Here’s the setup…
Once your finished dredging the eggplant, here’s what they will look like…
After that you want to heat up some oil in a pan and fry the eggplant until golden crisp.
Here’s what that looks like…
Of course we don’t want our Eggplant Parmesan to be a greasy mess, so make sure you drain it on some paper towels…
Put some marinara sauce in the bottom of a baking pan and top with a layer of the eggplant. Top that with shredded parmesan and mozzarella. Do that one more time finishing with the cheese. Will look something like this…
Bake it at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to one hour until browned on top.
I had a couple of whole chickens I needed to cook for dinner the other night. I felt like roasted chicken, but wanted to do something a little different.
I remembered learning to stuff chicken under the skin several years ago. It really is pretty easy. You make a flavored butter (or simply plain butter) and loosen under the skin with your fingers, then rub the butter all over under the skin.
Even rub some on the outside of the bird for good measure and roast like usual. It turned out great. What you mix the butter with is up to you, there are countless possibilities.
It helps to truss the chicken.
“But Chef Jeff I don’t know how to truss a chicken, and even the thought scares me to death!”
Don’t worry, I found this video which shows a super simple way to truss your chicken, and takes all of a minute or two.
It helps the bird roast evenly, and the breast meat is more tender.
Here’s what your prepared bird should look like before you put it in the oven…
It’s all pretty easy, and makes a big difference in taste and presentation. Here’s the basic recipe…
Garlic and Herb Roasted Chicken
1 whole chicken
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup chopped Italian Parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse and dry the chicken. With your fingers loosen the skin from the meat (breast and legs). Mix the butter, herbs, and garlic and rub equally between the skin and meat of the chicken. If you have some leftover then rub on top of the chicken as well. Truss the chicken according to the video above. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. If you ran out of herb butter, then simply rub some more plain butter on top of the bird to baste while cooking. Roast for 1 hour and let rest for at least 10 minutes before carving it so the juices have a chance to settle down.
Internet connection has been terrible! Down for most of today. Just got the almost full crew back today, so I made a full lunch spread and Dinner. Slow braised Pork Quesadillas for lunch and Teriyaki Fillet Mignon for dinner.
I also have been doing a bunch of baking. I always wing it when I am cooking, but almost always follow a recipe when baking. With the technology of the internet you can get some easy baking recipes without much effort. We had a crew meeting this afternoon, so I thought it would be nice to have a few sweets to munch on. I made an apple strudel and thumbprint cookies.
For the apple strudel I peeled, cored, and diced 3 apples, added a 1/2 cup raisins, 1 cup sugar, juice from half a lemon, a Tbsp. flour, and a few Tablespoons small cubed butter. Mix that together and wrap in a thawed piece of puff pastry and brush with egg. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until nicely browned.
They turned out awesome, worth a try for sure. I used walnuts for the outside of the cookie, and it turned out great…
I also just made some peanut butter bar cookies, they were good, just not awesome enough to share the recipe here for you.
Okay, that’s all I got for today, not leaving the boat much to explore the island because I have so much to do on the boat to get myself settled in.
Looks like we will be here for awhile, so there will be plenty of opportunity. Plus an awesome benefit is that the chief stewardess is from here, and knows all the culinary secrets of the island, plus she speaks Tahitian, and French!
Most of the crew is gone on vacation right now, so I’m mostly organizing the galley and going through the food that is on the boat.
Thee are a few people still here doing watches etc. so I am making sandwiches and simple dinners for now. Once I start cooking for the full crew, I will start posting the recipes here.
I did make a couscous salad yesterday that was a hit with the few people that are on the boat. I do a similar salad with other grains such as quinoa as well.
I also add fresh mint to this salad, but was working with what ingredients we had on the boat.
2 cups couscous
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup sliced green onion
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lime, squeezed
2 Tbsp. sweet chili sauce
Cook the couscous according to directions with the broth. Cool to room temp. and mix with the rest of the ingredients.
Okay, it’s time to fire up this ol’ blog again. Just a recap to all who are new here:
I started this blog back in 2007 when I was asked to work the summer for a charter yacht that I had worked on for several years previously. I knew it was going to be an interesting ride, and the boat had internet, so I decided to blog about my adventures.
I have kept this blog active off and on since. I mostly only post on this blog when I am traveling as a chef, hence the name-
I just got a new gig as a chef on this great yacht and so It’s time to crank this blog back up again. I will share what I am cooking for the crew and guests which includes recipes.
These may not be my healthiest recipes, but I tend to keep things healthy for both the crew and the guests. If you want my daily healthy recipes then you can sign up for my newsletter which deals with healthy cooking and weight loss here:
We are going to be based out of Tahiti for the next few years. That’s the plan, but in yachting you never get too excited as nothing is ever set in stone.
We will be doing some fun side trips, and since I have never been cruising in this part of the world it should be fun!
I will share a bunch of information on what it’s like to be a yacht chef, but I won’t share the name of the boat or owners of course for privacy issues.
I brought several video and still cameras with me, and even a few microphones. So I will be documenting my experience for you. But fist and foremost I will be sharing about my cooking experiences since I am after all a chef.
The crew is great, and I will also introduce you to them as well. As I like to say, never a dull moment in yachting.
I am hoping to become a better food photographer, so I will be practicing that a lot as well. I cook a lot of food for a lot of people so I might as well document it, right?
I will be cooking lunch and dinner for a crew of 9 and how many ever guests may happen to be on the boat when they arrive. I will also cook breakfast and snacks for the crew a few times per week as well.
Okay, so sit back and relax and get ready for some great recipes and hopefully some great stories as well. Please also feel free to comment below and let me know if there is anything you would like to see.