From the Culinary Trail – Sailing and Savouring the Gulf Islands Part 2

Does kitchen size matter? In Amsterdam (The Netherlands), we lived in a small top floor apartment of a canal house that was built in the 17th century.   My partner and I loved this cozy flat particularly for its location, that is – in the historic center of the city and overlooking one of the grand canals.   It had a lot of nice features, such as a roof deck and a wood-burning fireplace.  But, like so many small flats in the city, our place had a teeny-tiny kitchen. It measured roughly 3 x 4 feet and included a dual burner electric stove, sink, short counter, and mini-fridge.  Only one person could squeeze into the L-shaped space to prep/cook; but we managed to make elaborate and gourmet meals….and, without an oven!  I didn’t miss the baking…after all, I’m the {Kale} in this blog and prefer savoury dishes.

Typical sailboat galleys are no bigger than our old Dutch kitchen. There is a common misconception that the confined galley space limits your cooking to simple or camp-like meals.  Not at all.  In my view, the quality of our culinary creations has never been affected by the size of the kitchen or galley.  Even though I am pretty creative with menu planning and provisioning for our sailing trips, I am always interested in cookbooks that focus on galley-friendly options.  I recently discovered a cookbook that is fantastic and worthy of sharing with our blog circle.  It’s a fairly new cookbook from Vancouver Island called “Sea Salt: Recipes from the West Coast Galley“.  This cookbook has received rave reviews and won ‘Best Fish + Seafood Cookbook in Canada’ and ‘Third Best Fish + Seafood Cookbook in the World’ by Gourmand International.   During our Gulf Islands sailing trip on the Amritha Catamaran, we had the pleasure of meeting two of the cookbook’s authors.  We were sailing with a friend from a yachting magazine and because he was preparing an article about the cookbook and interviewing the authors, our group was able to experience a unique dinner prepared by the authors and based on the cookbook’s recipes.  This part 2 of 2 posts is my recap of our spectacular culinary evening and includes a recipe of a dish that we sampled from the cookbook.
sea salt cook book - kake2kale
The mother-daughters collaboration behind this successful cookbook is made up of Lorna, Hilary and Alison Malone.  They are a family of sailors and reside in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.  Alison, an accomplished lifestyle writer and editor, is one of the daughters but was not available to join us. We met Lorna, the mom and avid racer, and the other daughter, Hilary, a chef and an expert food styler.  Both are incredibly down to earth and their passion for their project and the local food/wine scene shows when you meet them.

The award-winning Sea Salt cookbook is a collection of over one hundred sea worthy recipes which are fast and delicious, whether aboard in the galley or at home on land.  I love that the eight chapters are logically organized by the time frame of a sailing trip.  My favorite chapters include: i) Chapter one (Breakaway) highlights recipes with fresh ingredients on the first nights, ii) Chapter five (Entertaining: On the Dock and Rafting Up) showcases recipes for appetizers, dinners and desserts that are ideal for sharing, and iii) Chapter six (North) features recipes of food with a longer shelf life that can be used near the end of a trip.  There is a lot more to enjoy from their cookbook, from stocking and provisioning tips, suggestions about markets to the stunning food photography by Christina Symons.  But, what stands out is that the recipes are inspired by the freshest local flavours of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Products from twenty artisan producers of food, beer and wine are featured and stories of the producers are included with various recipes. Our 4-course Sea Salt dinner comprised of:

Balsamic Beets and Goat’s Cheese Crostini with beets from a Nanaimo farmers market, chive flowers from the Malone garden, goat cheese from the Salt Spring Island Cheese Company, and red fife sourdough bread from Bodhi’s Artisan Bakery
sea salt cook book 2 - kake2kale
Seared Qualicum Beach Scallops with Sweetcorn-Basil Purée and Heirloom Tomato Salad with Qualicum Beach scallops from Island Scallops Ltd.
sea salt cook book 3 - kake2kale
sea salt cook book 4 - kake2kale
Pacific Cioppino
with mussels from Island Sea Farms on Salt Spring Island and sea salt that is hand-harvested and natural from Vancouver Island Salt Co.
sea salt cook book 5 - kake2kale
Cranberry and Hazelnut Coffee Cake
with hazelnuts from Foote’s Hazelnut Farm
sea salt cook book 6 - kake2kale

Four wines, handpicked by Lorna, accompanied this amazing meal.  My favourites were the Averill Creek’s Cowichan Black and Joie Farms 2011 Pinot Noir.

There were so many superfoods in our Sea Salt dinner.  Scallops, clams, mussels, salmon, prawns, beets, tomatoes, hazelnuts and cranberries were just a few of them. Go to our list of favourite superfoods to see the nutritional benefits.

I highly recommend the Sea Salt cookbook, whether you’re a sailor or not, and regardless if you cook in a small or large kitchen.   I wish the Malones continued success with their cookbook and I look forward to trying all of their recipes!  Thank you to Lorna and Hilary for an unforgettable culinary experience.

The Seared Qualicum Beach Scallops with Sweetcorn-Basil Purée and Heirloom Tomato Salad recipe and cookbook cover photo are courtesy of Sea Salt: Recipes from the West Coast Galley by Alison Malone Eathorne, Hilary Malone and Lorna Malone, with photographs by Christina Symons, Harbour Publishing, 2013, www.harbourpublishing.com

Travel Far, Explore More! – {Kale}

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s