- by Carol Standish
The intent of One Pan Galley Gourmet (International Marine/McGraw Hill, 184pp, $15.95) is “to give new life to cruising cuisine.” The two authors, Don Jacobson—an avid back-packer who wrote The One Pan Gourmet in 1993 and John Roberts—a cruising sailor, share a common discontent with eating out of cans and a common concern with cleaning up after a meal. For the most part, the recipes in the book use fresh ingredients and a single pot or pan.
In explaining their epicurean philosophy, they state that “time spent in the galley should be as rewarding as time spent in the cockpit, at the helm or in any other activity on the boat.” Of course adjustments to food storage and meal preparation must be made on a small cruising boat which is defined as “measuring from about 18 to about forty feet.” The book is not addressed to those whose boat sports a full kitchen but for something considerably more modest. The authors evaluate various types of cooking fuel, stove burners and utensils for optimizing heat. Especially good advice is provided for keeping food cool (it’s assumed you don’t have a fridge). They particularly like space blankets and keeping air spaces to a minimum. Even adding “scrunched up plastic trash bags to take up empty space will make the ice last longer.”
With the expert aid of Jacobson’s wife, a nutritionist, menus are constructed of the four major food groups. Lists of meat substitutes, food combinations that provide good balance. Shopping lists, packaging ideas and sample menus for a weekend or a week are provided at the end of the book. Clean up, it is suggested, may not be part of the cooks duty. And garbage that is made up of food scraps, when sufficiently wrapped, can be handily stowed in the emptying cooler until a shoreside receptacle is reached.
Roberts’ wife is credited with “common galley sense” [which] “has done much to help us keep our culinary ambitions afloat realistic.” And in large part it has. Oddly, there is a considerable section on soups, which sound delicious but must simmer way too long for economy of fuel or temperature of galley to have been keenly considered. Since the authors are enthusiastic about carrying frozen food as a means of “keeping cool” it would make more sense to make the soup at home and freeze it for enjoyment on the cruise. Otherwise, recipes and suggestions are temperate and economical.
Recipes are portioned for two people unless otherwise specified and are organized by the type of pot they are most appropriately cooked in. There are three section headings: the frying pan (with cover), the pot and the oven. The oven can be a pressure cooker (sans lid gasket and rubber safety valve) or “any sort of oven, built-in or stove top. (They recommend simple, fold-away stove-top called the “Outback Oven” which was developed for the trail.) Each of these container-driven sections is further divided into breakfast, lunch/dinner and dessert.
Cooking directions for any single meal rarely exceed five lines—a clear indication of simplicity—and miracle of miracle, every well-balanced meal is cooked in one pot (or pan). Hong Kong chicken is a yummy-sounding example of bountiful simplicity: heat oil in pan. Add chicken and brown. Reduce heat. Add OJ, ginger, raisins, water chestnuts, white wine. Simmer 30 minutes. Add cashews. Using whisk, mix cornstarch and water in cup and add as needed to thicken sauce. Serve over rice cakes. Sounds pretty good, eh?