The boat is a wreck.
The house is a wreck.
It’s the height of crazy winter, with college notifications coming in and our second child’s Shakespeare play (they are directing) opening in a week. Oldest child is ordering suits and hobnobbing with politicians in Richmond as he learns lobbying from the inside.
Seems like the perfect time to focus on simple, delicious food.
Escapism is a good thing every now and then!
Peel and Eat Shrimp
Shrimp is a favorite. There’s a great seafood market near the boat, and we can get wild-caught Carolina shrimp with ease.
Old Bay seasoning is required of course - we are in the Chesapeake!
2/3 lb large shrimp, shells and tails on
1 bottle or can beer
Old Bay seasoning
Pour beer into a saucepan with a tight fitting lid and bring to a boil. Cut lemon in half and add one half of the lemon to the boiling beer.
Add in shrimp. Sprinkle liberally with Old Bay. Cover.
Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until shrimp is pink and curled and cooked through. Don’t overcook!
Drain beer away. Sprinkle liberally with Old Bay.
Eat in the cockpit, peeling the shrimp as you go. You can serve with cocktail sauce or not. Toast your good fortune as you enjoy the sights and tastes.
Goat Cheese Salad
We first had this salad (or a version of it) with friends Alison and David when they were living on St. Barth’s. We flew down for a fabulous spring break either junior or senior year in college (I forget which one) and this was one of many amazing meals they shared with us in their diminutive kitchen.
1 small head Boston lettuce
6 oz mushrooms, sliced thin
1 medium-large good tomato, chopped
12 slices baguette
4 oz goat cheese, sliced into 12 pieces
Lay the bread on a baking sheet and top with the cheese. Bake at 350 for 7 minutes, or until cheese is gooey and oozing a bit
Separate lettuce leaves and wash them. Layer a shallow bowl with the lettuce. Top with tomato and mushrooms.
Remove cheese toasts from oven and layer on top of salad.
Top with dressing (I use a homemade mustard vinaigrette) to taste and serve.
I don’t have photos of this one. It doesn’t particularly look amazing, frankly, but it tastes FANTASTIC!
Pasta with Garlic and Beans
We first had this on Metanoia, a boat we met in the Bahamas back in the early 1990s. It’s a pantry staple, easy to make and easy to eat and tastes good hot or cold or in between. I grate some Parmesan over it all and dash on some Tabasco.
This is easy enough to make vegetarian or vegan; substitute vegetable stock for the chicken broth and use a vegan Worcestershire sauce.
Serves 4 GENEROUSLY (makes awesome leftovers too!)
1 lb penne pasta
3-4 TBS olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 good dashes Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 c red wine (optional)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 can (2 cups) chicken broth (I like Swanson’s low sodium)
2 cans pinto beans, drained (you could also do 1/4 lb dried beans, soaked and cooked.)
Cook pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, in a smaller saucepan, heat olive oil and sauté garlic for 30 seconds or until beginning to smell amazing. Dash in Worcestershire. Stir in red wine and let simmer for a minute or two, until the wine is mostly evaporated.
Stir in oregano. Add in chicken broth.
Stir in the pinto beans. Simmer until you’re ready to eat!