Friday, June 11, 2010

Waterbloggers Food Tour: Dorado Ceviche

Carol Anne has a challenge - what would we serve some tired sailors (or kayakers) when they come back to land?

That brought back a lot of memories, mostly at a tangent to the original idea, relating to the longing for proper cooking that comes after a voyage.

It was a frequent subject of conversation on the ARC: what would we eat when we get to land? Over many days as St Lucia got ever closer the mouths would begin to water more and more and the decision was made: steak and chips with a glass of red wine to wash it down.

Of course the wine got skipped as that we went for that sailors favourite, the cold beer, which came first, second and third before finally getting some medium rare avec des frites.

Then there was the Fastnet in which we crawled into Plymouth early one morning to be welcomed with a crate of beer which was sampled a couple of times before heading off for a gloriously greasy full English breakfast.

A shorter voyage was an overnighter to Cadiz where we were delayed by many a fishing boat and lack of wind. Arriving late morning at what the pilot book scorned as being a remote working port we decided we couldn't face the long walk into town so plumped ourselves down on some plastic chairs outside a drab portacabin.

We found to our amazement it was a gastro experience, as razer clams, baby squid, clams, prawns and much much more, all dripping in garlic butter were produced. Plates were wiped clean with bread and we still remember that meal to this day:

Ok, a recipe, and its simple, easy to prepare and uses no fancy cooking stages or ingredients. Indeed its one we used many a time on the ARC, sailing our way on the trade winds from Europe to America.

1. Catch your fish (see photo at top). Basically just tow a line behind the boat with a lure and most days we got at least one. Indeed there were complaints from those less enthusiastic about fish. The biggest problem was bringing the beast on board as they are good swimmers and at times the only way was to heave to the boat: not popular with skippers.

2. Kill your fish. There is some debate about this with some suggesting a bang to its head or smash it against a winch. Apart from making a mess there is a much better way - pour vodka into its gills. Sounds weird but I was glad to find out the Copelands did the same in their round the world journey recorded in the "Just Cruising" books.

3. Gut, clean and fillet the fish. Just do it, get it over with, using the ship's bucket and knife.

4. Cut the fillets into slices or cubes and marinade in lime. You could also use lemon but we were all Brits so what better for a bunch of limeys. You can also add some chilli for a bit of kick.

5. Wait. The on-watch crew will begin to ask "is it done yet?" after about 10 to 15 minutes, but tell them to concentrate on their steering and it will be all the better.

6. After a certain amount of time (depending upon taste - maybe 30 - 40 minutes) serve, then sit back and enjoy the feel of the ocean as the swell passes by and look up at the spinnaker gently waft to and fro and think to yourself: "this is the life".


BoatingBible said...

The crew on the Talisker Bounty Boat - - are getting by on survival biscuits since leaving Tonga some weeks ago. They are dreaming of hamburgers when they arrive in Kupang!

Carol Anne said...

Excellent. You're taking your fellow waterbloggers on a cruise! This definitely fits into the rules' stipulation that the food should be prepared on or near the water with resources available wherever you happen to be.

JP said...

Glad you liked it Carol Anne!

Healthy and fresh too :)

bonnie said...


The freshest is the best!