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Meals That Keep Your Galley Cool
Posted by Lori Ross - Viewed 77574 times

Story and photography by Lori Ross

When the Chesapeake Bay’s languorous spells of hot, humid and hazy days take hold, cooking seems like a burdensome chore.  Jim and I just want to retreat into cool, shady places on the boat and drink iced drinks and eat cool, soothing foods to reduce our body temperature.  We want to lean back in a chaise or a hammock and eat iced melon or sip frozen drinks that temporarily chill us against the oppressive heat!

When mealtime comes, I typically wander around the boat opening the refrigerator and freezer, or “shopping” in the cupboards seeking a light meal that won’t warm us or the galley unnecessarily. In my lazy explorations, I discovered refrigerated leftovers (of previously hot meals) that taste great cold or room temperature; the wonders of the microwave in cooking food while keeping the galley cool and I ‘ve experimented with menus that feature assorted cold or raw foods.

While in the Bahamas on PassageMaker’s Pokie Run in 2003, the participating yachts gathered dockside one sweltering afternoon for cocktails and nibbles.   Every boat cook brought out a favorite cold food and cocktail and we had a feast!  Cool Bellinis and Bombay Bellinis got us started.  Fresh chunky guacamole with taco chips and fresh conch ceviche followed some creamy, cool dips with raw iced veggies.  Smoked salmon, smoked halibut spread and a hard boiled egg, sour cream and caviar dip along with cold melon and grapes completed the memorable feast and inspired all of us to be more creative on hot days aboard!

Cold and raw foods are not only tasty and convenient, but they are considered healthier than hot or cooked foods by some nutritionists.  While a few scientists believe that people use more calories eating cold and frozen foods than hot foods (because the body has to heat cold foods up), there is little evidence that cold foods help you to lose weight.  However, a cult of raw, uncooked food diets spread from the West to the East coast over the past 5 years and spawned gourmet raw foods restaurants that serve organic fruits and vegetables in their most nearly natural form, sometimes dehydrated, but never cooked above 118 degrees—the point at which, believers say, they lose their essential enzymes.  Raw foodies credit the regime with rejuvenating health benefits and significant weight loss. Some practitioners go so far as to exclude all animal products (meat, fish, and cheese, eggs) to promote raw, vegan diets.

Cold and raw foods are also traditional in some cultures.  The Chinese celebrate an annual Cold Food Festival Hanshi (Cold Food) Festival based on an ancient seasonal fire lighting tradition. Fire is lighted anew upon the start of each season. Before the new fire is officially started no one is allowed to light a fire, thus they needed to eat cold or raw foods.

Raw fish is a tradition around the world, including America and Europe (gravlax, oysters and clams on the half shell, smoked fish, pickled fish), Japan and China (sushi and sashimi), the Arctic circle, the Polynesian (poke or lomi-lomi salmon) and Melanesian islands (kokoda) and other parts of Asia. While raw fish can contain parasites, or parasite eggs many traditional recipes salt or acid-marinate raw fish, essentially cold-cooking with lime, lemon juice, vinegar or salt thus killing the parasite and its eggs.

Raw meat – beef, veal and lamb– is also traditional in many cuisines as evidenced by the continued popularity of carpaccio, tartare and other raw preparations. The derivation of the tartare method of preparation dates back to Genghis Khan and the Mongols, who were also called Tartars.  Tartars would spend months at a time on horseback and needed to carry their food supply with them. They needed food that could be easily carried from place to place and could be eaten without stopping, since speed of movement was critical to their success. Mongol soldiers would carry patties of horsemeat, beef, lamb and mutton under their saddle. This cushioned their buttocks and softened the meat.  Eaten raw on bread, this was a quick meal!

Tartare preparations reached Moscow with the 12th century Mongol invasion of Russia where Russians adopted the dish under the name steak tartare and gradually added chopped onions and egg to the beef. The tartare method had also reached China where Marco Polo encountered it for beef and other foods. No longer prepared on horseback, the meat was ground in a kitchen. And German sailors, especially from Hamburg encountered the dish on trading missions in Russia. They brought the dish back to Germany where steak tartare became known as Hamburg steak which became popular amongst the working class. German immigrants brought the dish to the US in the late 18th and early 19th century where it became known as a hamburger which was not served in bread or buns until the 1880's or 1890's.

While you may have favorite cool and cold dishes, some of our favorites chilled out meals include the following.  All recipes serve 4 people.

Cold Cucumber Soup and open faced sandwiches

Small open-faced sandwich as popular throughout Europe as appetizers, a snack, accompaniment to tea or several as a full meal.  They are usually set out on large trays and the diner selects several open faced sandwiches.  These are great for hot weather with a glass of wine or a beer.  They are very flexible and you can use whatever tidbits you have on hand.   The following are some tasty sandwiches that we enjoy. Start with a cold cucumber soup and then use your imagination and favorite ingredients.   Use dense, thin sliced rye, sourdough or pumpernickel bread and layer ingredients in the order in which they are listed:

Cold Cucumber Soup

Cold Cucumber Soup and open faced sandwiches
Small open-faced sandwich as popular throughout Europe as appetizers, a snack, accompaniment to tea or several as a full meal.  They are usually set out on large trays and the diner selects several open faced sandwiches.  These are great for hot weather with a glass of wine or a beer.  They are very flexible and you can use whatever tidbits you have on hand.   The following are some tasty sandwiches that we enjoy. Start with a cold cucumber soup and then use your imagination and favorite ingredients.   Use dense, thin sliced rye, sourdough or pumpernickel bread and layer ingredients in the order in which they are listed:

Cold Cucumber Soup

2 medium cucumbers, seeded and chopped
1 medium red onion sliced thin
1 1/2 tsp. dill weed or 1/3 chopped fresh
2 Tsp. mint flakes or 2 Tbsp fresh minced mint
2 cups buttermilk or half and half
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 tbsp chopped walnuts
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Place cucumbers, onion, dill, mint in a food processor or blender and process for 30 seconds. Add buttermilk or half and half, yogurt, chicken broth, and walnuts. Process 20 seconds longer until well blended. Transfer to medium bowl; add vinegar, salt, and peppers. Cover and chill for 5 hours. Top with chopped chives, scallion or dill.

Make sandwiches more interesting by varying texture and color. Here are some ideas:

•    Cream Cheese, Smoked Salmon, Cucumber, Sweet Onion, Parsley
•    Boston lettuce, Marinated or Pickled Herring,  Sour Cream and Dill
•    Mayonnaise, Mustard, Roast Beef, Horseradish, Salt and Pepper
•    Steak Tartare, Watercress, Capers, Olive oil, Slice of Lemon, Salt and Pepper
•    Shrimp salad with tarragon mayonnaise, Boston lettuce, diced carrot or sliced fresh sugar snap pea and fresh tarragon
•    Mustard, Mayonnaise, Ham, Swiss or Muenster cheese, pickle or sliced green olive,  
•    Mayonnaise, Roast beef, asparagus stalks, sliced marinated artichokes, halved grape tomatoes
•    Mayonnaise mixed with a dash of curry powder, Boston lettuce, crabmeat, avocado, sliced egg, pitted black olives, curried mayo, chopped chives
•    Cream cheese, Sliced radishes and salt
•    Butter, cottage cheese or ricotta, chopped green onion and tomato, salt and pepper
•    Butter, Sliced tomato, parsley, smoked cheese, pickle
•    Butter, cucumber slices, hardboiled egg slices topped with cocktail onion or olive
•    Cream Cheese, Cucumber, paprika, dill or caraway seed and salt
•    Mayonnaise, sliced chicken, Muenster Cheese, Chutney and walnuts
•    Cream cheese, watercress, cherry tomatoes, salt
•    Butter, sliced hard-boiled egg, sliced pimento pepper, marinated mushrooms

French Crudite and Charcuterie Platter

Crudités are a traditional French appetizer comprised of individual raw vegetables tossed with vinaigrette flavored with herbs and spices that compliment each vegetable.  Start with several of the salads listed below; add bread, wine, cheese and charcuterie and you have dinner for 4!

•    Chickpea salad with capers*
•    Celery or celery root salad with thyme*
•    Fennel salad with grated orange *
•    Endive salad with grated lemon peel*
•    Cucumber salad with dill*
•    Tomato salad with rosemary or basil*
•    French Charcuterie (sausages, ham, pate)
•    French bread
•    Butter
•    French cheeses
•    Fruit
•    Red and White Wine

*Dressing for vegetables:
¼ cup olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar or lemon juice
1 tbsp Dijon mustard (e.g. Grey Poupon), optional
1 large clove of garlic minced or pressed
Salt, pepper to taste
Mix vinegar, mustard and garlic, pour into sliced or grated vegetables.  Add salt and pepper to taste. 


Italian Antipasto Platter

Use all or some of the following ingredients for a lovely cold supper.  Serve with wine and fresh bread, followed by melon or other fresh fruit. .
•    olive or artichoke tapenade with bread sticks;
•    breadsticks wrapped in proscuitto
•    fresh mozzarella with tomatoes and basil;
•    marinated artichoke hearts
•    mixed olives;
•    Gardiniera (jars of pickled vegetables in Italian section of supermarket)
•    lupini beans;
•    caper berries; •    Tomatoes
•    Celery
•    pecorino romano cheese;
•    assorted salamis and hams, such as proscuitto
•    Anchovies
•    Tuna in oil
•    Oil and wine vinegar in cruets
•    Whole wheat and white Italian bread

Steak Tartare and Beef Carpaccio

The Italian Carpaccio is made of thinly sliced raw beef, veal or tuna and usually served as an appetizer or first course. The name comes from the painter Vittore Carpaccio who favored the red-blue colors reminiscent of raw beef. The dish is said to be an invention of Harry’s Bar in Venice created when a famous actress of the day, supposedly in 1950, advised Giuseppe Cipriani that her doctor had recommended she eat only raw meat. Typically the thin slices are served with on a salad of bitter greens such as arugula and topped with a dressing of virgin olive oil and lemon juice and thinly sliced Parmesan cheese. Today carpaccio is used variably and often refers to any very thinly sliced presentation of foods, which can range as widely lamb, zucchini, tomatoes, fish, bresaola among other and it is not always served raw as the amount of cooking varies from none at all to seared, cooked rare and fully cooked.

Italian Beef Carpaccio

8oz tenderloin, sirloin, rib or rump steak, sliced into three pieces
olive oil for drizzling
2 Tbsp chives, chopped
4 Lemon wedges
Place the meat between two pieces of plastic wrap on flat surface. Using a rolling pin or meat hammer, beat and flatten until thin and tender. To serve, place the meat on a serving plate and drizzle with olive oil. Season, to taste, with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper. Garnish the chives and lemon wedge and serve immediately.

Classic Steak Tartare

1 1/2 pound beef tenderloin or sirloin minced
2 tbsps capers, drained and chopped
4 shallots or scallions , finely chopped
4 tbsps flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
4 sour pickles or cornichons, finely chopped
3 dashes each of Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
4 medium egg yolks
2 Tbsps olive oil
2oz mixed salad leaves
Loaf of French bread, split

Place the meat into a bowl along with all the ingredients except olive oil, and mix well to combine. Divide among 4 plates and form into mounds on top of salad leaves.  Drizzle with olive oil and serve with bread.  Place Tabasco, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce on the table so diners can serve themselves.

Japanese Beef Carpaccio

7 oz sirloin or tenderloin steak
2 lemon, segmented
2 tsps sesame seeds
2 bunches fresh coriander, chopped
2 Tbsps soy sauce
4 scallions to garnish
Slice the steak thinly or pound thick strips thinner with meat hammer or rolling pin. Lay meat on a plate and top with the lemon segments, sesame seeds, coriander, soy sauce and scallions. Serve immediately.


Fish Cooked Without Heat

Start you dinner with a fresh cold soup and then move on to a lovely fish cooked without heat

Cucumber Pineapple gazpacho
4 cups chopped pineapple (fresh or canned reserving pineapple juice)
4 cups peeled, chopped cucumber
3 tbsps minced jalapeño
3 tbsps thinly sliced scallions
1 tbsp lime juice
1 cup pineapple juice
1 to 2 tsps sea salt
1⁄2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
3 tbsps olive oil
1⁄2 cup finely chopped raw macadamia nuts

In a food processor or blender, process 3 cups each of pineapple and cucumber, 2 tbsps jalapeño, 2 tbsps scallion, lime juice, pineapple juice, and salt at high speed until smooth. Taste and correct seasoning (because the sweetness of pineapples varies), and add jalapeño and salt to taste. Add the remaining pineapple and cucumber, the cilantro, and 1 1⁄2 tbsps of oil. Pulse the blender quickly a few times—the gazpacho should remain chunky.  Pour into bowls, or use wine glasses.  Garnish with the macadamia nuts, remaining jalapeno and scallions.


Crunchy Vegetable Salad

This salad is delicious with carpaccio or tartare of fish or beef.  Vary the ingredients based on what you have on hand paying attention to the balance of crunchy (cabbage, celery, onions, peppers, sesame, peanuts, cashews); sour (vinegar, lemon, lime, cranberry or pomegranate juice); sweet (raisins, dates, figs, crystallized ginger, sugar or honey) and soft (feta, goat cheese, gorgonzola, brie)

10 oz carrots, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
10 radishes sliced thin
2 crunchy apples sliced thin
½ cup raisins
½ cup each of parsley and mint
4 tbsps sherry or red wine vinegar
8 tbsps olive oil
1 tbsps tahini (sesame butter) or other nut butter (peanut butter) (optional)
2 tbsps sesame seeds
3 oz. feta, halloumi, swiss, blue or mozzarella cheese (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Whitefish Carpaccio

Use mild white fish such as monkfish, snapper, bass, halibut, cod or flounder
16 oz. fish filet sliced thin (across the grain)
Juice and zest of 2 limes (1/4 cup juice and 2 tsps zest)
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger (optional)\
4 tbsps olive or sesame oil
4 oranges, peeled and segmented
4 scallions
Pinch of salt

Cut fillet of fish into thinnest possible slices* and lay slices (overlapping is OK) on large plate.  Make dressing by mixing lime juice, zest, grated ginger, oil, orange segments, salt and scallions in a bowl. Taste dressing, if too acidic, add more oil.  Pour dressing over fish and serve immediately.

* To slice the fish very thinly you will need to part-freeze it. Freeze the fillet for about 1 hour, and then thinly slice with your sharpest, thinnest knife.   Alternatively, you may pound slices thinner by placing slices between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and gently pounding them with meat hammer or rolling pin until very thin. .

Tuna and salmon have a stronger flavor so they can handle bold ingredients such as balsamic vinegar, lime and pomegranate juice and alcohol such as vodka, tequila or scotch.  Experiment with some of these unique flavors yourself!

Spicy Tuna Tartare

16 oz. sushi-quality fresh tuna, chopped
2/3 cup mayonnaise
4 tbsps hot chile paste (thai or Chinese is fine)

2 tsp hot chile oil
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
4 tbsps finely sliced scallions
4 tbsps toasted black sesame seeds
Wasabi paste
Soy sauce
Hot sauce

In a small bowl combine mayonnaise, chile paste, hot chile oil, and sesame oil. and blend with chopped tuna.  Mound tuna in the center of a plate and  sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Surround with a mound of wasabi paste, scallions, pickled ginger.  Serve with small bowls of soy and hot sauce and encourage guests to help themselves.  If you feel ambitious, serve with sushi rice and/or nori seaweed so guests can make their own sushi rolls.

Italian Tuna Tartare

4 Tbsp olive oil
4 lemons, juice only
4 limes, juice only
4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
16 oz.raw tuna, chopped
4 tomatoes, thinly sliced
4 tbsps chopped fresh parsley
4 tbsps sesame seeds
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place the olive oil, lemon and lime juice and balsamic vinegar into a bowl and mix well.
Add the tuna to the bowl and let the fish marinate in the bowl for ten minutes.
To serve, arrange tuna atop tomato slices on a plate and sprinkle fish with fresh parsley, sesame seeds, salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Salmon Tartare

16 oz. salmon, filet, chopped fine (1/8" cubes or smaller)
4 hard boiled eggs, chopped
4 scallions chopped
4 Tbsps of capers
4 Tbsps Lemon zest
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice from two lemons plus one lemon quartered for garnish
8 slices toasted bread
Optional ingredients for table:
Hot sauce
Pickled ginger

Add lemon juice to the salmon and mix, then place salmon in the middle of a large plate and surround it with small piles of eggs, scallions, capers and zest. Toast crusty bread and place on four plates.  Encourage guests to serve themselves and mix ingredients into salmon to their personal taste using chopped ingredients and optional sauces and ingredients. .

Monkfish or other thick fish with lemon

8oz monkfish or other thick fish fillet
2 oz lemon olive oil
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
2oz arugula or mixed salad greens
½ ounce of parmesan cheese
Lay the slices neatly onto four cold plates. Pour lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper over fish.  Lay the rocket leaves on top. Make shavings of the parmesan from a block of cheese by using a potato peeler. Lay about 6-8 shavings of parmesan over the rocket. Serve at once.

Cool and Spicy Southwestern Fare

Cold Avocado Cucumber Soup

2 cup water
2 medium avocado, reserving 2 Tbsps. For garnish
4 cups chopped cucumber
3 cup chopped tomatoes
4 hot chilies, seeded and sliced (optional)
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 sprigs mint leaves
Juice of 4 lemons or limes
1 tsp salt
2 tsps maple syrup or honey (optional)
4-6 mint leaves
Paprika (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a blender in the order listed. Start blender on low speed for a few seconds, and then switch to high. Blend until creamy and smooth, about 1 -1minutes.
Pour into 4 soup bowls. Garnish with reserved avocado, mint and sprinkle of paprika.

Seafood Ceviche

1 pound fresh raw white fish such as cod, halibut, bass or raw scallops, shrimp, conch (single type of fish or mixed)
½ cup lime, lemon, orange or grapefruit juice
2 fresh red chilies, chopped (optional)
Small bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
2 fresh tomatoes, chopped

4 Tbsps of chopped onion
Salt Pepper
Crackers or tortilla chips to serve

Slice or chop the fish and put into a glass or plastic container. Cover the fish completely with freshly squeezed citrus juice.   Add finely chopped coriander, chilies, onion and tomato. Make sure all the ingredients are covered with lime juice, cover with a lid and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.   Serve within 24 hours with tortilla chips, salsa and ice cold beer.

7-Layer Dip

This dip is wonderful served cold but can also be served warm on a cool day (350 degrees for 20-30 minutes). Place in a 9x9 glass baking dish so that you can see the colorful layers.

16 oz. canned refried beans mixed with 2 Tbsp dry taco seasoning
2 cups sour cream
2 cups red salsa
2 cups shredded Mexican or cheddar cheese
2 cups guacamole (recipe follows)
1 cup chopped green onions
1 cup of sliced pitted black olives
Taco chips
Top with chopped cilantro and sliced pickled jalapeno peppers (optional)
Layer all ingredients except chips over bean mixture; cover. Refrigerate several hours or until chilled.


4 ripe avocados, peeled, seeded
1 tsp ground cumin
1 ripe, medium Roma tomato, seeded, diced (or uses two tbsps of good chunky tomato based salsa
½ cup sliced scallions
2 Serrano or jalapeno chilies, seeded, minced (pickled jalapenos are good too!)
¼ Cup chopped cilantro leaves
4 tbsps fresh lime juice
Hot pepper sauce, salt, pepper to taste

Cut avocado in large chunks and mash coarsely in large bowl with a fork. Add remaining ingredients and blend gently - leaving some small chunks. Taste and adjust seasoning with more hot sauce sauce, salt and pepper to taste. 


Tags:Beef  Carapaccio  

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