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In it for the Long Haul

Apr 13th 10
By Joanne MacKenzie

As the Caribbean season comes to a close, the summer season in New England and the Med is just beginning. This means long passages between yachting destinations with no stops along the way for fresh provisions. Here are a few tips for chefs preparing and provisioning for the long hauls.


Stock up on long life produce. Items like carrots, potatoes, onions, cabbage, squash, beets and apples have a long shelf life and will keep for over a week. Cauliflower, leeks, brussel sprouts, peppers, oregano, blueberries, oranges, grapefruit, peaches, pears and lemons will keep for about seven days. More delicate produce such as asparagus, broccoli, corn, green beans, mushrooms, dill, basil, watercress, strawberries, bananas, cherries all have a shorter shelf life, staying fresh for only a few days.

Some greens are sturdier than others. Firm plastic containers of salad greens stay fresher longer than loose or bagged lettuces. Iceberg and romaine lettuce last the longest. If they begin to wilt, you can julienne them and add in some peppers and other cooked grains for a chopped salad. Spinach and arugula can be added to a soup or pasta or cooked off with oil and garlic and pepper if they begin to droop.


When stowing your produce, think about what you are going to use first. Put the shorter shelf life produce at the front of the fridge. Also, when you are buying produce, if it isn’t refrigerated, keep it at room temperature as it will last longer.

When you start running out of fresh green vegetables, you can always use some frozen ones. Chopped spinach, green peas, mixed Asian vegetables are quick cooking and nutritional.

Some other dry stores that are good to have on hand include stewed tomatoes, capers, pitted olives, artichokes, heart of palm, baby corn, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, cannellini and other precooked beans, dried berries and nuts and seeds.

Preparing one dish meals and sauces ahead can save time, especially if the weather is rough. Standbys like lasagne, shepherd’s pie, curries and soups as well as sauces, like Bolognaise, can be made ahead of time and frozen. Pre-roasted chickens and cold meats are also good to have on hand. Also, have pregrated cheeses, chopped onion, carrot and garlic to save prep time in the galley.

If the weather goes bad, so too may crew appetites. Easy to grab snacks such as ginger beer and coke, ginger candy and green apples can soothe stormy tummies.

No matter what the weather is like, many people have a sweet tooth, so be prepared. Have cookie dough premade in the fridge for a quick batch whenever a sugar rush is needed.



Long Haul Recipe

Curried Mixed Vegetable Orzo

2 zucchini, grated

2 yellow squash, grated

2 carrots, grated

6 shallots, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

Italian parsley, two handfuls

1 tsp curry powder

½ tsp paprika

½ tsp cayenne

4 cups chicken stock



1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated


Extra virgin olive oil



Heat olive oil. Add shallots. When translucent, add chopped garlic and cook about two minutes. Add carrots, cook about two minutes. Add grated zucchini and yellow squash and cook for two to three minutes. Add curry, paprika and cayenne. Add in orzo and cook for four to five minutes.

Add chicken stock one cup at a time, each time stirring well and covering until all the stock is absorbed and the orzo is cooked through. After last cup of chicken stock, mix in chopped parsley and cheese.


Related Topicss:

Fit and Fabulous: Keeping in shape during a long-haul

10 Tips for Preparing Your Yacht for Shipping

 Atlantic Weather Patterns for Spring 2010

Rating  Average 0 out of 5

  • Some very good information provided there. Depending on the size of the yacht lots of pre cooked then frozen foods such as stews, bolognaise, sauces etc are a life saver. Most vegetables and fruits will last the distant of a crossing 12 to 14 days depending on the quality. Herbs can also have their shelf life extended by either snap freezing, turning in to paste and kept in an air tight container or sous vide. You can also gently roll herbs up in a damp J-cloth then cling film them. Most importantly keeping an eye on all your fresh produce and stock rotating will cut down on waste. You can also blanch vegetables off to extend their shelf life by another 2 to 4 days. I like the idea with the flying fish, we only had a few landing on the decks so not enough to feed 20 crew.I hope this information helps and adds to your very good advice written above.
    Posted by Paul_30 15/11/2010 18:17:30

  • Hi Joanne,
    I made the curry orzo, yum. Thanks for the recipe.
    Posted by Kate Lardy 22/04/2010 15:14:36

  • Might as well enjoy the freedom of the sea while you're out there.

    Instruct a sharp witted deckhand to harvest flying fish off the deck each morning so that you may celebrate another sundown at sea with a basket of IBNA Fried flying fish chips. Remember, before you cast off, stock up on scallions, garlic, red hot peppers ( easy on em' or culo de fuego), celery, dried marjoram, dried thyme and parsley to throw into a blender when making the toxic batter required to spice up your IBNA fish chips .. Best way to fillet a flying fish is to nail their tails into a cutting block... DECKHANDS!! DO NOT NAIL THE FLYING FISH TAILS TO THE TEAK DECK ( Note for Americans. Knives are sharp and may cut your fingers, wood may have splinters, and remember, you cant sue the IBNA. ) .....( Note to chefs....salt the fillets for a bit to pull the oily, fishy taste out)

    Also consider manufacturing IBNA grade, " SO , YOU CAN TUNE AN SSB, BUT CAN YOU TUNA FISH ? ", premium canned tuna.
    Posted by junior_1 16/04/2010 11:10:25

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