A collation of our successful recipes.
LOBSTER FUSILLI WITH LOBSTER BISQUE
- Fusilli pasta shapes – or whatever other pasta you have!
- 1 live lobster
- Tin of tomatoes
- Brandy (or whisky – if you’ve no brandy aboard)
Remove lobster from lobster pot, place in an open plastic container in the fridge (helps to shock any unsuspecting fridge-raiders). Leave for 3-4 hours as we believe this is a humane way to despatch him. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, (must have a lid) weigh lobster to ensure correct cooking time, place lobster gently into boiling water replacing lid. Bring the water back to the boil and simmer for the required time. Remove from the water and leave to cool.
When cool, remove the claws and legs, remove the tail and split lengthways, remove meat from the tail, claws and front legs and place all shells including the head into a large saucepan, retaining the meat for later.
Heat the carcass for 45 minutes then flambé with the brandy. Smash the bones a bit (to ensure a harmonious marriage – do not use her rolling pin, buy a cheap one specifically and keep it outside in the man-cave – you may have an alternative location available to you!). Add the carrot and tin of tomatoes. Simmer, with the lid on, for about an hour. Using a chinois, if you are lucky enough to have one (I use a stainless colander!), drain the fluid into another saucepan for later use.
Whilst cooking the pasta, according to the pack instructions, heat the bisque adding the chopped lobster. When pasta is cooked, toss the pasta into the sauce and serve.
Note: A 400g lobster is a nice portion size for one person.
And Remember: The bigger the lobster, the bigger the pan!
The following recipes use precooked lobster that has been poached in salty water using a guide of ten minutes cooking time at boiling point for a 500g lobster, add 5 minutes for every 250g above that.
Fragrant Lobster Curry
- 1 500g prepared lobster per person
- Bunch of spring onions thickly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves peeled and chopped
- Thumb size piece of ginger peeled and chopped
- 1 red chilli (mild) thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon of Gochujang (Korean Hot Pepper Paste)
- 1 tablespoon of Lime Juice
- Big bunch of coriander (stalks as well) chopped
- Half a tin of coconut milk
- Salt to taste
In a suitable pan (we use a non-stick wok) heat a small amount of oil (we use vegetable or groundnut – not olive!), add the spring onions and stir fry until they start to soften then add the ginger, garlic, chilli and coriander stalks and stir fry for a further minute or so. Add the coconut milk, salt, lime juice and pepper paste, bring to the boil and simmer for two to three minutes, add the remaining coriander. You could now add the lobster and heat gently for a couple of minutes or, if you don’t mind your lobster cold or you are using the curry sauce as the base for more than one dish, place the lobster into the serving plate and the sauce can then be poured over. We used the sauce for a mushroom curry for Tee – dry-frying the mushrooms for three to four minutes first to remove most of their water before adding to the sauce for the final couple of minutes.
We served this with plain steamed basmati rice – bring a pan of salted water to the boil, add the rice and cook for seven to eight minutes, then strain into the steamer section and steam for a further four to five minutes until the rice is cooked perfectly. We have never had stodgy rice with this method!
LOBSTER WITH LIME AND CAPER BUTTER
- 1 prepared lobster
- 1 teaspoon Lime Juice (or juice and zest of 1 lime if you have fresh)
- 1 tablespoon of capers
- 1-2 garlic cloves (to taste)
- 30g salted butter
To a small frying pan add butter and heat slowly until it has melted, then add chopped capers, garlic and lime juice and heat for 3-4 minutes on a low heat, then add the lobster and continue to heat for a further 3-4 minutes depending on the size of the lobster.
Serve with coconut rice:
Using a tin of coconut milk and a further tin of water, bring to the boil and add a large cupful of rice, salt and cook for 10-12 minutes. The consistency is quite sticky (almost like a savoury rice pudding!).
HOT SMOKED EEL
Remove eel from lobster pot (note they are very slimy, slippery creatures!). The easiest method I have found so far is to unzip the lobster pot over a large bucket where the eel accommodates by sliding out into the bucket. Make sure it is a bucket you can afford to keep solely for this purpose as the eel does smell a little bit!
With the eel in the bucket, sprinkle with copious amounts of salt like you are killing a slug – leave for two hours then rinse bucket and eel with fresh water and soak for at least three hours. This removes the slime from the eel skin to allow you to handle it. After the three hours remove any remaining slime with a disposable cloth or scouring pad – a pair of latex gloves come in very handy as this gives the added benefit of keeping your hands smelling freshish.
To gut the eel, first remove the head and cut along the belly at least an inch or so past the anal passage and remove all guts and traces of veins (as, apparently, eel blood is poisonous). Rinse eel thoroughly. At this stage the eel will need to be brined overnight. I use salt, sugar, soy sauce, water and lemon juice in a plastic container with a tight fitting lid (that will fit in the fridge).
To smoke – remove eel from brine solution and rinse. Place the eel on the smoking rack, belly up as this will keep the eel moist. Smoke until the skin starts to peel off the flesh – approximately 45 minutes to an hour for a half metre long eel. The two in the photo needed an hour and a half.
After smoking the eel can be used as you would smoked mackerel.
MINCED BEEF AND SMOKED EEL PIE
- Minced beef (or meatballs or burgers broken up)
- Finely chopped onion
- Oxo cube
- Brown sauce
- Smoked eel
- Shortcrust pastry
Get your other half to make the shortcrust pastry and whilst it is resting in the fridge you can prepare the filling.
Brown off the meat in a saucepan, remove any excess fat, add onion and other ingredients to taste and cook for 20-30 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool.
Find a suitable pie dish and roll out the pastry as thin as you dare. Line the base of the pie dish with the pastry and trim the top edge. Roll out a suitable lid for the pie and cover to stop it drying out. Using the mince mixture place a thin layer into the pie then a layer of smoked eel and continue building this way until the filling is approximately half an inch away from the top. Top with prepared lid and crimp the edges and cut a vent in the centre.
Cook in a preheated oven (boat temperature approximately 180 deg C) until pastry is cooked and the pie is shrinking away from the pie dish. You can egg wash the pastry for a glossy finish but our oven doesn’t really create brown tops and we are too tight to waste an egg on an egg wash. Serve with whatever you like or nothing at all!
SMOKED EEL DAUPHINOISE
- Smoked Eel
Par-boil large white potatoes, drain and set aside to cool. Thinly slice the onion. When the potatoes are cool, slice them into 1 cm slices widthways. Take an ovenproof dish and dot some butter on the base and start to create layers, commencing with onion followed by flaked smoked eel and then potato. Season each layer lightly. Continue layering until you’ve nearly reached the top of the dish ensuring that the final layer is potato. Pour the cream over the top and sprinkle with the paprika and bake at boat temperature 180 deg C for approximately 30-40 minutes.
This works just as well with smoked mackerel fillets. The finished dish tastes very similar to Cullen Skink.
- 1 Wrasse (similar to Sea Bass)
- Two heaped teaspoons Tandoori powder (shop bought or see recipe below)
- Natural plain yoghurt (no fruit bits allowed!)
Fillet and debone the wrasse. Mix the tandoori powder and yoghurt together and liberally coat the fillets and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour. No salt or lemon was added as we didn’t want the fish to start pre-cooking.
Preheat grill to as hot as you can get it. Place the wrasse on aluminium foil on a griddle pan and grill the wrasse for 4-5 minutes or until the yoghurt starts to show signs of catching. There is no need to turn the fish.
Serve immediately with carbohydrate of choice, we chose cheap vegetable noodles (approx. 30p a packet) this time.
When we were in France we were running low on this and were unable to find any in the shops so after searching on line I found a recipe but had to modify to ingredients I had available.
- Two teaspoons of chilli flakes
- Two tablespoon of coriander seeds
- One tablespoon of cumin seeds
- Half a tablespoon black pepper
- Half a tablespoon cardamom seeds
- Half a teaspoon cinnamon ground
- One teaspoon ground ginger
- One teaspoon ground garlic
- Half a teaspoon turmeric
- Two tablespoons paprika/smoked paprika
Dry fry the chilli flakes, coriander, cumin, pepper and cardamom until it starts to smell nice (a minute or so). Once cool, put into a pestle and mortar and grind to as fine a powder as you can manage. Add in the remaining ingredients, thoroughly mix to ensure even distribution of ingredients and store in an airtight jar.
If you want a darker red, add more paprika.
Sorry, but yet another use for our legendary falafel mix!!!
Falafel Bean Burgers
- Falafel mix
- Tin of mixed beans
- Bread Roll
- Sweet Chilli Sauce
Combine falafel mixture with the drained and rinsed beans, mix thoroughly. I found that there was enough seasoning in the falafel mix that I didn’t need to add additional seasoning. Place a sheet of greaseproof paper on a flat work surface and with a poncey chef’s ring fill it approximately one inch thick and press with the back of a spoon to compact the mixture. Note: there is no need for a binding agent. Continue until mixture is all used – will make approximately four good sized burgers. Shallow fry in a large frying pan but don’t turn too early, a nice crusty bottom makes turning easier.
Serve with homemade bread rolls (see recipe below) and garnish with lettuce, mayonnaise and sweet chilli sauce or whatever you like! The lettuce adds a nice texture change. I dare you to eat more than one in a sitting!!
Easy Bread Rolls (courtesy of Bakingmad.com)
- 500g strong white bread flour
- 7g sachet of dried yeast
- 1 ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 300ml warm water
Mix flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a bowl. Using finger tips rub in the butter, to create fine crumbs. Add the water and mix until combined (you might need more or less water – seems to depend on the type of flour!). Turn out onto a board and knead for ten minutes. Lightly grease the mixing bowl with a bit of oil, place the dough back in, cover and leave to double in size. Once doubled, knock back the dough and knead just five times to get the air out. Cut into 12 pieces (or 6 if you want big burger buns) and shape. Place onto baking sheet (I use a bread crisper sheet from Lakeland Plastics – got it cheap in Ispwich!!) cover and leave to prove until doubled in size again. Bake at 220 deg C if your oven can get there but we tend to bake at about 180 deg C for approximately 20 minutes until the top is nicely brown (if you’re lucky) and the bottom, when tapped, sounds hollow.
Steve’s mum always makes these for us (mainly because Steve demands them!). Below is her recipe with my changes alongside.
- 6 oz Butter or Marg. (Butter – salted)
- 3 oz Soft Brown Sugar. (Whatever sugar I have available)
- 6 oz Self Raising Flour. (I add bicarb to my plain flour)
- 1.5 oz Sweetened Drinking Chocolate. (Cocoa – unsweetened)
- Salt (I never add salt as I use salted butter)
- 3 oz Walnut Halves. (Steve doesn’t like walnuts so we don’t have them)
- Chocolate chips or chopped up chocolate bar to suit taste/availability
Soften the fat, add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. sift the flour, drinking chocolate and salt and stir into the creamed mixture. Knead until smooth. Roll mixture into small walnut size pieces and place 4 inches apart on a greased baking tray. Flatten each piece with the base of a wet jar and top with a walnut.
Bake on the second shelf from the top in a moderately hot oven (375 deg F, gas mark 5) for 8 – 10 minutes until cooked through.
DO NOT ALLOW TO DARKEN as the flavour will be spoilt. Cool on a wire tray.
Makes approximately 36
Soften the butter, add the sugar and beat until as light and fluffy as you can be bothered. Add the flour and cocoa (don’t possess a sieve) and stir into the creamed mixture. Add choc chips or chunks. Knead until smooth(ish). Roll mixture into small balls, flatten with palm of hand and place on a baking sheet.
Bake in the oven at about 180 deg C for as long as it takes for them to look cooked but not BURNT.
Cool on an upturned pizza tray (COOK’S TIP – any breakages are cook’s perks!)
Makes approximately 18 (if you are lucky)
FALAFEL (adapted from Toriavey.com)
- 1 pound (about 2 cups) dry chickpeas/garbanzo beans – you must start with dry, do NOT substitute canned, they will not work!
- 1 small onion, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (I use dried)
- 3-5 cloves garlic (I prefer roasted) (I use dried garlic flakes – a good handful)
- 1 1/2 tbsp flour
- 1 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (I use chilli powder as I don’t have cayenne)
- Pinch of ground cardamom (I crush a few cardamom seeds and use that)
- Vegetable oil for frying (grapeseed, canola, and peanut oil work well)
See her full post at
- Place the dried chickpeas in a bowl and cover with about 3 inches of cold water. Leave overnight.
- Next morning, drain and rinse the chickpeas well and return to the bowl.
- Add the rest of the ingredients (apart from the oil) to the bowl.
- Get your stick blender (unless you are lucky enough to have a food processor) and bash/blend the ingredients until you get a thick paste.
- Fork through the mixture (and Tori says remove any larger chunks of chickpeas remaining – but I don’t), cover with an acquired shower cap (or clingfilm if you’ve not stayed in a hotel recently) and put in the fridge for a couple of hours.
- Get your husband (or alternative fryer) to put some vegetable oil into your wok.
- Whilst the oil is heating, shape your balls. I prefer smaller ones!
- Once oil is to temperature, leave the kitchen to your better half. He will gently add the balls to the oil and fry them, turning as required to achieve consistent colouration – just shy of Steve’s summer tan.
- Lift from pan using a slotted spoon and leave to drain on paper towels.
- Your falafels are now ready to eat.
MOROCCAN CARROT SALAD
- Carrots – grated or thinly sliced using a veggie peeler or mandolin
- Numnees (Sultanas to the rest of the world) – Green and Golden work best
- Orange Juice (freshly squeezed)
- Pinch of ground cinnamon
Mix all ingredients together and leave for at least an hour for the flavours to amalgamate and the numnees to plump up.
- 1 tin chickpeas (drained)
- Vegetable oil
- Lemon juice.(Jif will do – if you don’t have fresh)
With your stick blender wizzy wizzy woo woo the chickpeas with approximately 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil and a teaspoon of lemon juice and enough garlic for your taste (start with one clove initially). Add about 1/4 teaspoon of salt, blitz until smooth adding more oil if the consistency is too thick. Test for flavour and adjust accordingly. (We nearly always add more salt!) Transfer to suitable serving dish (if required and you can be bothered with the extra washing up). A pinch of cayenne on top looks good (we use paprika as we don’t have cayenne!)
This is my adaptation from two recipes found online.
- 250g strong white flour
- 1 sachet dried yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp olive oil
- Warm Water
Mix the flour, yeast and salt together. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of oil and some of the water and mix the ingredients together using your fingers. Gradually add more water and the additional oil until everything is incorporated and you have a soft dough.
Put a small amount of oil onto your “kneading board”. Place the dough and then knead for 5 to 10 minutes until you have a smooth dough. Put into an oiled bowl and leave until it has doubled in size.
Once doubled in size place dough onto flour-dusted “kneading board” and knock the dough back. Split the dough into 6 equally sized balls.Roll each ball into a round(ish) shape 3-5mm thick.
Get your husband (or other responsible adult) to heat a non stick frying pan to medium-high heat and dry fry each pitta bread for 3-4 minutes on each side until slightly coloured but still soft. To get more colour push the bread down taking care not to puncture it. The breads puff up beautifully!! Keep warm in foil until all pittas are cooked then serve with all the above!!
If you don’t eat them all in one go, they reheat rather nicely under the grill but are just as good cold and nothing like the cardboard ones you buy in the supermarket!!
FALAFEL SCOTCH EGGS
We made the falafel mix as above, boiled (and I am sorry to say hard-boiled – but that is the only way I eat them) eggs and then wrapped them in the falafel mix. I had slightly more mix than I needed so just turned the rest into normal falafels for another day. Once again cooking duties were handed over to the master fryer and after several minutes of occasional turning we ended up with these beauties, which we served with a salad!! Tasty!
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 tablespoons chilli powder
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp cumin
- Vegetable stock
Heat the oil, cook out the flour (preferably in an extremely well-ventilated kitchen or have a slightly cooler pan), add remaining dry ingredients (choke) then add stock stirring as it cooks until it reaches the consistency of ketchup. Allow to cool and use as desired (at your own risk!!)
COURGETTE & ONION QUICHE
- 1 Courgette
- 1 Onion
- 1 Egg (Free range from the market – no idea of size but probably medium!)
- 100ml Crème Fraiche
- Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
- Cooking Salt (to extract excess moisture from courgette)
- 8” Pastry Case
Grate courgette into colander, sprinkle approximately one heaped teaspoon of cooking salt (not the decent sea salt) on top, stir and leave over a pot (to collect the water) for as long as you want or have time for (2-3 hours ideal). You can squeeze it occasionally to aid the process. Some may like to use a tea-towel – but only if a washing machine is readily available.
Chop one small onion, add to the now-dry courgette, and mix thoroughly-ish. Beat the egg and crème fraiche together and add to the onion and courgette. Remember to season using decent sea salt. (Chef’s tip: the salt used to extract the water from the courgette isn’t enough to flavour the dish). Steve would also have added pepper, but someone around here doesn’t like it! Pour mixture gently into pre-cooked pastry case and bake in the oven at 180 degrees(ish) until set. If (like us) your oven doesn’t always brown the top of your food, grill for a couple of minutes to get a nice finish.
PEA FRITTERS AND CHIPS
- 1 tin of marrowfat peas (small tin here 1€30)
- Pinch of salt
Combine egg, flour, vinegar and water and mix to a thick batter, leave to rest. (Batter recipe based on a Brian Turner one)
Drain peas thoroughly, then using your right hand (so apparently if you are left-handed you can’t make them – that’s my excuse anyway!!) manipulate the peas until they squelch through your fingers. Then add the required seasoning (salt). Best salt to use is the crappy table salt (none of the fancy sea salt for this recipe). Form pea mixture into neatly shaped, meat ball or cork ball float (for the yachties amongst us) size balls and lightly flour them.
Peel potatoes, then cut into batons approximately 3/8” square (length dependent on potato). Hide under a paper towel so the recipient can’t see what you’re doing.
Using a wok, as this is the only safe boat method for us, add approximately an inch to an inch and a half of oil – must be vegetable, however the purists could use lard or beef dripping – but not on my boat! Heat oil carefully to a temperature that would fry a bread cube to a crisp in minutes. Place hidden potato into said oil and fry for approximately 5 minutes turning frequently to ensure even fry. Remove and place in a position where the recipient can’t see them. Place preformed pea balls into the batter, coat thoroughly then place into the hot oil, turning occasionally to ensure thorough browning on the batter. If you have a deep enough pan, they could be considered done when they float – however on board that is not possible! Once the peas are nearly cooked, carefully return the batoned potatoes to the oil until everything is nicely golden brown. Serve with loads of salt and vinegar (again crappy salt works much better than fancy salt, and the vinegar must be malt vinegar!) No other garnish required. And there we have the southerner’s pea fritter and chips!!!
SMOKED MACKEREL PATE
- Two hot smoked mackerel (you can buy pre-done if you don’t have a smoker or a Frenchman to supply the fish)
- Crème fraiche
- Horseradish (Steve used jarred but you could use fresh)
- Salt and Pepper
- Smoked Paprika
- Lemon Juice
Place the crème fraiche, horseradish, lemon juice, salt, pepper, paprika, and half the fish in a bowl, then wizzy wizzy woo woo (blend). Add the remaining half of the fish, flaked – refrigerate and serve.
BASIC GRATIN TOPPING
Grate 6 inches of stale baguette (much easier if you have a food processor as it protects your fingers!), grate a teaspoon of Parmesan (and cheddar if you like), add dried or fresh herbs of your choice, then make sure you have some extra virgin olive oil for assembly. Amalgamate all ingredients (except the oil) in a suitable container (we use a plastic bag!), mix thoroughly and set aside.
Prepare the fennel bulb, cut into 8 segments length-ways, ensuring the root holds each segment intact. Boil in salted water until stalk is tender, drain, place in a suitable deep sided baking dish, place a small knob of butter on each segment, cover with gratin mixture, drizzle lightly with the virgin olive oil and bake for approximately 20 minutes at 180 deg c (or thereabouts!!) until the topping is golden and piping hot.
Serve as a main dish or accompaniment. I had it with roasted vegetables.
Char the skins of 3 peppers (we use red or yellow for sweetness) using either a handheld blow-torch, gas top burner or grill. Once blackened place in a plastic bag or bowl with cling film over, leave to sweat. Once cool enough to handle, remove as much of the skin as possible. Chef’s tip – don’t rinse under water as the blackened bits add flavour. Cut peppers into strips and place in ovenproof dish (one or two layers is ok). For the darker looking gratin finish on this dish Steve added finely chopped capers and black olives. Place gratin topping over the peppers, drizzle with oil and again bake for about 20 minutes at 180 deg c. Serve as a main dish or accompaniment. I had sweet Marsala carrots (although we didn’t have Marsala so used sweet white wine instead!!)