This is a fusion dish, which I’ll admit is not my comfort zone. I normally don’t like mixing Japanese with Mexican, or Brazilian with Middle Eastern. Just typing all those words together makes me a little unsettled. But true as it is, many great cuisines are, in fact, a mix of cultures. Take for instance my co-pirate’s cajun cuisine. It is a beautiful blend of French, Native American and Afro-Caribbean. Many African dishes are laced with the Indian culture; great Vietnamese cuisine is a combo of Southeast Asian and French.
So let me take a stab at what I would classify as “Italian-Southeast Asian Fusion”. Keep in mind that this recipe does not have to be served on squid ink pasta. It can be served on any linguini or rice.
My friend Alyson gave me Squid Ink Pasta that I’ve been saving for peak Galley Pirates season. I’ve made it before, but never in this form. The pasta given to me was 21″ long. You’ve got it….it doesn’t fit in ANY drawer on a sailboat, barely a locker; maybe the lazarette. But I was bound and determined not to break it. Then, upon careful inspection I noticed that this pasta was not just 21″ long but FOLDED OVER at 21″! So each pasta strand was actually 42″ long. That’s about the length of a sail tie. Challenge on. I’m going to boil this pasta without breaking it, and let’s see if one noodle will twirl up on a fork.
Fruit de Mer with Ginger Cream Sauce
2 lbs of shrimp, lobster, langoustines or prawns, or a combination of them
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
3 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon ginger juice
2 teaspoons of fresh pressed ginger juice
2 habenero peppers
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup light cream or half-and-half
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups Chicken bouillon
1 lb squid ink pasta
3 cups fresh bean sprouts
4 scallions, sliced
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Slivers of Habańero peppers
Squeeze of lime
If you think you might be squeamish about squid ink pasta, don’t worry. It tastes little different than regular pasta; you just have to overcome the color.
Let’s start with cooking the pasta. Heat up a pot of water that will fit your pasta. I needed to find the biggest pot on the boat…the crab steamer. And about a day’s worth of tank water to fill it. While the water heats up, prep the ingredients.
The secret to this pungent ginger cream is using ginger juice. Peel your ginger and cut into 1/2″ sized pieces and press through a garlic press. You’ll want about a tablespoon of ginger juice and 3 teaspoons of minced ginger.
Mince the garlic and habańero peppers. (be careful to not touch the inside of the peppers. Best to use gloves.)
Sauté the garlic and habańero in 2 tablespoons of butter and a tablespoon of vegetable oil for two minutes. Add the ginger and ginger juice and sauté another minute.
Add the shrimp, langoustines, lobster…whatever you are using…to the pan of spices and sauté on low until pink. Remove seafood to a plate so you can make your white sauce.
Add 2 tablespoons of butter and a tablespoon of flour to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, for about a minute. You’re just making a white sauce so it does not need to cook long.
Oh boy! Right in the middle of the white sauce I ran out of propane. You’ve been there, right? It used to happen frequently half way through the Sunday roast when we were living aboard. And we often didn’t have a spare propane tank, so we’d have to run to the gas station to fill the tank. Lessons learned….always have a spare tank on board.
Galley pirates are typically good about swapping out propane tanks in record time. So here I go. (For some good technical advice you can visit West Marine’s propane maintenance page or read Cruising World’s very through and sound advice.) Here are my two cents worth of propane change instruction (click on the images for more details.)
A Galley Pirate’s Dufflebag
AIS Personal Locator Beacon
In case I get thrown out to sea this tracking device will show my location in the water.
Galley Pirates Ball Cap
2 Jars of Better Than Bouillon
My all time favorite bouillon. Can't cook a good meal...especially with limited groceries, as in the islands...without it.
Spinlock Inflatable PFD
If I hit the water it should inflate, using a CO2 cartridge.
Not that I really need them; I'm just used to taking them on any sailboat. This Hylas 54 has motorized winches...merely push a button to adjust the sails from inside the full enclosure. But I'll take sail gloves for emergencies and to make me feel like I'm a real sailor.
Extra CO2 cartridge
The TSA allows for two CO2 cartridges to be packed in checked bags. I'll place a print-out of the TSA Regulations on top of this to remind the inspectors.
Goes without saying...
I got a three-pack of headlamps. They each have 4 settings....low light, high beam spot light, red light, and flashing red light. Hopefully we won't need that last setting. But having a head lamp wth a red light is great for night watches.
Foul Weather Jacket
My old blue Gil. May not need it in the hot climate we will be in, but you hate to be without it.
Hidden below a lot of other stuff is a small bag of Mung Beans. These are the "seeds" of which I plan on growing bean sprouts for a couple of Asian meals I have planned... Hot & Sour Soup and Egg Foo Yung. Torie has 20 cans of Tofu on board! It's just calling for fresh bean sprouts, don't you think? Now to convince the Captain that this is a good idea...
Some hose fitting things the captain requested
For Hot & Sour Soup and some other dishes. I usually use just Wood Ear Mushrooms, but Graul's doesn't carry those in bulk any more. We'll make do with their stir-fried variety.
One regular Nikon with a couple basic lenses and one easy underwater Panasonic Lumix.
Galley Pirate Battle Flag
Way down deep in the bottom of the duffle is the Galley Pirate Battle Flag. It'll look great on a Hylas!
HEPHEAS Tourniquet, Orange Military Combat Issue Application Tourniquet for First Aid Kit, Stops Bleeding, Lightweight, Hospital Life Saving Hemorrhage Registration Card!
Yeah, hope we don't need this!
Little spinner things that push the raw water through to cool the boat engine. You always want to have spares.
Engine mounted fuel filter
A request from the captain. It's always good to have extra filters.
Galápagos Field Guide
So we'll be able to accurately identify our Boobies. (Blue-footed and Red-footed that is)
Plastic Containers to Grow Bean Sprouts
I found great instructions for growing bean sprouts in carry out containers on the internet. It will take up about 8 square inches of space; growing fresh veggies in the forward head.
So back to the white sauce. Add cream, chicken broth, lime juice and sugar. Stir over medium heat until thickened. Add more both if it becomes too thick. You want this to be a very light, somewhat thin cream sauce. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper and more sugar if needed.
Add the seafood into the pan and blend into the cream sauce. Cover and set aside.
By this time your pot of water should be at a boil. Add a good amount of salt to the water. Then throw in the pasta.
It didn’t all fit but within a few minutes I was able to push all the pasta in.
But getting the pasta out of the boiling water…on a boat with tiny sinks…was the problem. Especially when the pasta noodles are close to 4′ long. As you can see, my colander was not quite up to the task. I pulled all of the pasta out of the water with tongs and placed in the “too small” colander. Not pretty, but it worked.
Place a serving sized pile of squid ink pasta on each plate.
Throw a handful of bean sprouts on the pasta.
Then spoon on the Fruit de Mer with Ginger Cream Sauce on top of the pasta. Top with scallions, cilantro and habańero peppers, plus a squeeze of lime.
By the time this meal was served, I realized I forgot to ask anyone to twirl one 42″ long pasta noodle onto a fork. It has yet to be done, here on Galley Pirates anyway. I’m sure there is a physics calculation that will determine if it will work or not. Or…just eat it. Or…challenge on. Let us know!
A delightful fusion dish of Italian pasta and light cream with Asian spices
- 2 lbs Shrimp, lobster, langoustines or prawns, or a combination of them
- 4 tbsp Butter, divided in two
- 1 tbsp Vegetable oil
- 2 Clove of garlic, finely minced
- 3 tsp Fresh ginger, finely minced
- 1 tbsp Fresh ginger juice
- 2 Habańero peppers
- 1 tbsp Flour
- 1/2 cup Light cream or Half and Half
- 1-2 tsp Sugar
- 2 tbsp Fresh squeezed lime juice
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups Chicken bouillon
- Squid Ink Pasta, regular pasta or rice
- 3 cups Fresh bean sprouts
- 4 Scallions, sliced
- 2 tbsp Fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- Slivers of Habańero peppers
- Squeeze of lime
Prepare your pasta or rice.
Peel the ginger and cut into 1/2" sized pieces. Press through a garlic press until you get a tablespoon of juice.
Mince the rest of the ginger, garlic and habańero peppers. (be careful to not touch the inside of the peppers. Best to use gloves.)
Sauté the ginger and habańero in 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil for two minutes. Add the ginger and ginger juice and sauté another minute.
Add the shrimp, langoustines, lobster...whatever you are using...to the pan of spices and sauté on low until pink. Remove seafood to a plate to make your white sauce.
Add 2 tablespoons of butter and a tablespoon of flour to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, for about a minute.
Add cream, chicken broth, lime juice and sugar. Stir over medium heat until thickened. Add more both if it becomes too thick. This should be a very light, somewhat thin cream sauce. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper and more sugar if needed.
Add the seafood into the pan and blend into the cream sauce. Cover and set aside.
Place pasta or rice on individual plates. Place a large handful of bean sprouts on the pasta. Spoon the Fruit de Mer Ginger Cream Sauce on tops and garnish with scallions, cilantro and habańero peppers, plus a squeeze of lime.