Food Might Be a Good Thing to Pack...
As I prep for cruising, I've largely been putting off the problem of what to eat as something I'd deal with later on and instead concentrating on getting the boat in shape and preparing safety equipment. My thought being that since I start out coastal cruising, stopping in ports along the way, I could pretty much eat as I do now until I got to the point of doing an offshore passage. I'd stock up in Cabo San Lucas or La Paz and hopefully have a better idea of how I wanted to cook when grocery stores and propane sources fade into the wake behind me.
That's not working out though. I follow a friend on FB, who's planning a massive voyage circumnavigating Antarctica and the Americas in a single year, and see all he's posts on provisioning and meal planning and see photos of his supplies coming in, and the anxiety of not being ready builds. I still think food is a bit of a detail for later, but I've decided to start prepping a bit. I'll still figure it out as I go, but at least I'm starting my figuring earlier.
First order of business was to learn to use a pressure cooker. Yeah those scary things your Aunt burned herself with and your mom told you to never go near. It turns out that they aren't that scary, greatly reduce propane usage (extremely nice since the amount I can safely bring is limited), and can reduce the amount of cooking heat (super nice in the Tropics). They're also less disastrous if a big wave knocks the boat about and causes the pot to go bouncing across the cabin.
Since I eat a lot of vegetarian, I'm attacking the challenge of finding yummy vegetarian dishes that can be made from ingredients that have been stored for a few weeks. I had seen a recipe for Jackfruit Chili Verde in one of my favorite cookbooks and decided to give converting it to an ocean passage dish a go. The results were yummy!
Jackfruit comes canned so that was sort of easy though finding jackfruit that isn't canned in sugary syrup is a not easy. The recipe used potatoes, onion and garlic which all store well, but called for fresh roasted tomatillos, jalapeños, and Anaheim peppers, none of which are practical after a couple of weeks at sea. I found a source for canned in a bag, roasted, crushed tomatillos and decided to use those along with canned chilis and pickled jalapeños. The spices it uses are all things that store well so that wasn't a worry. I played a bit with ratios of ingredients since the tomatillos came in a bigger quantity than the recipe called for and I didn't want to waste them. I sautéed the onion, garlic, and jackfruit per the recipe, then instead of doing a 25 minute simmer of all the ingredients, I locked it in the pressure cooker for a few minutes as it got up to pressure and 6 more as it cooked. Depressurized the pot and, bam, a hot yummy meal to add to my menu planning.
Tomorrow night I'll try it reheated and hopefully that works out as well. :-)