Delicious Homemade Bagels – Without The Machine

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Chewy homemade bagels smeared with cream cheese and an icy glass of cherry almond tea – a delicious lunch to enjoy while working from home. Next project? Making our own cheese spread for these tasty bagels.

We’ve discovered one place to purchase really good chewy bagels in Ulaanbaatar. We still prefer to make our own, even with the time it takes, instead of trekking out to the deli. Back in Alaska, I used a Zojirushi bread machine to create the dough for my bagels (see bagels three ways). We sold the machine when we left Alaska, and in our efforts to simplify our kitchen I did not replace it when we moved to Ulaanbaatar. That means taking my trusty bread machine bagel recipe and rewriting it to eliminate the machine. My adapted recipe’s results are just as tasty and chewy. You can still adorn the bagels with whatever your heart desires. Without the appliance, these bagels can be made in a galley or a tiny kitchen in a camper. Enjoy!

Homemade Chewy Bagels


  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (105 degrees F/40 degrees C)
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 qts water
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • toppings such as poppy seeds, toasted onions, sesame seeds, etc. (optional)


  1. In a large bowl, stir together yeast, 1 1/2 tbsp sugar and water. Let sit for about 5 minutes to make sure the yeast is good. (It will foam.)
  2. Stir in salt and the flour, 1/2 cup at a time. The last 1/2 cup, you will need to knead in by hand.
  3. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic.
  4. Coat the inside of a large bowl and place the dough inside.
  5. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise until doubled, about an hour.
  6. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Cut dough into 8 equal pieces.
  8. Roll pieces into balls.
  9. Flatten balls slightly.
  10. Poke your finger through center of ball and twirl dough around your finger to enlarge the hole.
  11. Place bagels on parchment-lined baking sheet to rest.
  12. Bring 3 qts water to boil in large pot. Stir in 3 tbsp sugar.
  13. Place 4 bagels in boiling water. Boil for 1 minute. Flip bagels and let boil for another minute.
  14. Place boiled bagels on clean, dry towel.
  15. Place remaining 4 bagels in boiling water. Repeat boiling process with these bagels.
  16. Take bagels from towel and place them on parchment-lined baking sheet.
  17. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  18. Brush bagels with beaten egg.
  19. Sprinkle desired toppings on bagels (poppy seeds, sesame seeds, charnushka, minced dried onion and minced dried garlic are some of our favorites).
  20. Bake in preheated oven for 20 – 25 minutes, until browned.


Cinnamon Toast Biscotti – A Light, Satisfying Small Batch

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Warning: the enticing aromas from baking this crunchy, cinnamon biscotti may cause neighbors to knock on your door. 

During our summer break, Jack and I don’t have as many little volunteers to help us eat our sweet creations. Being mindful of our waistlines, it is time to switch gears to confections that are either made in smaller batches, are lower in fat, or are just plain healthier. Curious what I’d discover, I searched for “lowfat cookie recipes” on the Internet. The top result, according to Google, was biscotti. Delicious and versatile, I could see how they would make the cut. I decided today’s creation would feature cinnamon, which always tricks my taste buds into thinking the cookie is sweeter than its sugar content would indicate. This small batch will be just right for the coming week.

So with all this, I give you a small batch of cinnamon biscotti that that is easy to whip up in about an hour’s time. This “two bake” recipe is especially galley and camper friendly, as it limits propane use.

Cinnamon Toast Biscotti


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract


Cinnamon topping (just mix ingredients together)

  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees Celsius).
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and sugar in a medium bowl.
  4. Stir melted butter, egg, and vanilla into flour mixture
  5. Form dough into a flat log shape on parchment-lined baking sheet. Log should be about 10 inches long and 1 ½ inches wide.
  6. Generously sprinkle top of log with about half of the cinnamon topping.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes in preheated oven. Log will be firm to the touch.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes.
  9. Cut log into 10 pieces using a serrated knife.
  10. Place pieces on their side, exposing a cut side.
  11. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon topping.
  12. Bake for 10 – 15 more minutes, until biscotti is nicely toasted.
  13. Cool completely on wire rack before serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container.

Matcha Adzuki Bean Glazed Rolls

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Sweet adzuki bean paste rolled into matcha-flavored dough with a dollop of buttery frosting… a confection you might expect to find in a trendy coffee shop in San Francisco’s Mission District.

My culinary love affair with matcha green tea is deepening. Cookie dough was an easy place to start with the distinctive flavor of this Japanese tea. In the midst of sampling my matcha butter cookies, my mind was already racing to the next possible recipes that could feature matcha… and then I remembered the bag of dried adzuki beans sitting on the shelf. What about sweet adzuki bean paste rolled into a matcha green tea dough – an Asian fusion cinnamon roll? Brilliant! All the fun of unrolling breakfast and enough tasty sweetness to satisfy without the gooey sugar overload of a traditional cinnamon roll.

Thinking ahead to life in a tiny home, I created a small batch version of these rolls that are made in a 6-muffin tin. I made the rolls the night before and placed them in a buttered muffin tin in the fridge overnight. They rose in the fridge and were ready for breakfast with minimal time and minimal oven energy. All good aspects for a tiny home recipe.

Matcha Adzuki Bean Glazed Rolls


  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp green matcha tea powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup adzuki bean paste*


  • 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp milk


  1.  Warm milk and butter in a small saucepan until it reaches about 110 degrees F (43 degrees C).
  2. Place yeast and granulated sugar into a large bowl. Pour warmed milk mixture into bowl. Whisk together.
  3. Whisk in egg and salt.
  4. Mix in matcha powder.
  5. Stir in flour, 1/2 cup at a time.
  6. When dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes.
  7. Let dough rest for about 10 minutes.
  8. Roll out dough to about a 6 x 9 inch rectangle.
  9. Spread adzuki bean paste evenly onto dough.
  10. Take the 6-inch side and roll dough, jelly roll style. Pinch seam to seal.
  11. Cut into 6 equal pieces.
  12. Place pieces into buttered 6-muffin tin. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  13. Bring rolls out 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190C).
  14. Bake rolls for 15 minutes. Top will be golden brown. Remove rolls from muffin tin to cool slightly.
  15. While rolls are baking, whisk together glaze ingredients until smooth.
  16. Dollop glaze onto slightly cooled rolls and enjoy. Leftovers are a good snack served at room temperature.

*I made adzuki bean paste using just dried adzuki beans, water and sugar following the excellent directions from Japanese Cooking 101.

Ginger Pear Cranberry Sauce: Delicious on Roasted Turkey or Duck

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Top row: pear butter, smoked salmon, cloudberry jam. Second row: Arctic blueberry jam, cranberry sauce, cloudberry jam. Third row: Arctic blueberry jam, pear butter, smoked salmon.

Small batch canning has become a perfect way to preserve many foods in our Arctic home. We anticipate that this skill will transfer nicely to our galley kitchen aboard the sailing vessel Bandon.

We recently read an article about items that are supposedly “not worth the time to make in your own kitchen.” The three items that topped this rather specious list were yogurt, pasta and jam. Of course, we heartily disagree on each count. The hands-on time for our delicious homemade yogurt is about 15 minutes, and while it takes a little longer to turn out a few servings of pasta, the time invested results in noodles that trump any store-bought variety. And jam can be made between dinnertime and bedtime – including the processing time in the water bath. Knowing where your hand-picked berries and self-harvested salmon come from: priceless. As those in-the-know can attest, the rewards go beyond even that. Our meals are infused with memories of mornings in berry fields as we dip into our jam and of days on water and of the friends we shared fishing experiences with as we open jars of beautifully cured salmon.

Just in time for the holidays, we’ve added ginger pear cranberry sauce to our home-canned collection. We adapted the recipe from Full Circle Farms, which was thoughtfully tucked into a box containing our order of organic cranberries and D’Anjou pears. The spicy ginger and sweet stewed fruit was the perfect complement to roasted turkey.

Ginger Pear Cranberry Sauce


  • 7 tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ tsp powdered ginger
  • pinch salt
  • 3 firm D’Anjou pears, seeded and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 6 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp dried lemon zest
  • 2 tsp dried orange zest
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • ¾ lb organic cranberries


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, vinegar, ginger, and salt.
  2. Bring to a boil over moderate heat.
  3. Add pears. Cover and cook until pears are crisp-tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove pears with slotted spoon and set aside, leaving liquid in pan.
  5. Add granulated sugar, zests, juices and cranberries to pan.
  6. Simmer over medium heat, stirring often, until cranberries pop.
  7. Reduce heat and add pears back to mixture.
  8. Cook for at least 5 minutes to allow flavors to mix. Cook longer if a thicker sauce is desired.

Makes about 4 cups of sauce.

Salt Encrusted Whole Fish Stuffed with Shrimp

Pesce al Sale – Whole fish baked in a salt crust.

I’d read about this simple yet dramatic presentation for many years, but only got around to trying it when a recipe appeared in the June issue of Field & Stream magazine, which I subscribe to. The basic cooking method is a breeze and could easily be prepared onboard a boat or at camp. It is a show stopper when placed on the dining table, both in terms of the beautiful presentation and in terms of the incredibly moist, flavorful fish that results.

Encased in salt and egg white paste, the fish is ready for the oven.

While I had on hand a two pound yelloweye rockfish (Sebastes ruberrimus) which was perfect for this recipe, there are many fish which would work as well. The first that comes to mind are the true porgies – fish in the genus Pagras and Acanthopagrus. In Britain, these fish are commonly known as sea bream. In Japan, they’re are known as tai, and I would love to place a whole salt-crusted madai or kurodai on the table for Japanese guests, who typically revere these fish. Snapper, walleye, striped bass, pompano, black sea bass and even a firm-fleshed Coho salmon would all work well. A halibut just small enough to fit on a large oven tray and served this way would surely draw oohs and aahs.

About a half an hour later, the fish is ready to serve. 

Keep in mind that the best fish dinners start with the freshest fish possible. Good fish should smell as fresh as the sea they came from. Sadly, most American grocers still haven’t figured this one out, so if you’re having trouble finding good fish, try to locate a Japanese grocery store or an Asian market that sells to Japanese customers. Whole Foods and specialty butcher shops also usually carry quality, fresh fish. Costco, too, sometimes carries whole fish and can generally be depended on for a fresh product.

Voila! The dull side of a knife is used to crack and remove the crust, revealing a succulent fish that wants only a drizzle of olive oil and a squirt of lemon.

Figure about one pound of cleaned, gutted whole fish for every two diners. Thus, a two-pound fish will serve four.

Salt-Crusted Whole Fish with Shrimp

Ingredients: Serves 4

All you really need are the first four ingredients. The others are optional and can be omitted entirely or substituted freely.

  • One 2-pound (.9 kilogram) fish, scaled, gilled and gutted but otherwise left whole
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 cups sea salt
  • a good-tasting extra virgin olive oil
  • parchment paper and baking sheet or baking platter
  • lemon wedges (preferably from Meyer lemons)
  • 1/4 pound shrimp, peeled (optional)
  • tarragon – either 1 or 2 sprigs fresh or 1 tsp dried & crushed (optional)
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram (optional)
  • 1 or 2 bay leaves, crushed (optional)
  • freshly ground pepper (optional)
  • additional sea salt (optional)


  1. Line a baking sheet or platter with parchment paper.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. (232 degrees Celsius)
  3. Use paper towels to pat the fish dry. Use a brush (a clean tooth brush works well) to remove all traces of viscera from the stomach and head cavity. Rub cavity with salt, pepper and crushed tarragon, if desired, or place a sprig or two of fresh tarragon in the cavity. Stuff with the shrimp. Set fish aside.
  4. Whip the egg whites until they from stiff peaks.
  5. Gently fold the salt (and the crushed bay leaves and marjoram, if desired) into the egg whites until a paste is formed.
  6. Spread about 1/3 of the salt paste on the parchment paper in a shape large enough to hold the entire fish.
  7. Place the fish on the salt paste and completely cover with remaining salt paste.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes. Turn oven off and continue baking for five minutes. Remove fish from oven, place on dining table and allow it to rest for another 5 to 10 minutes.
  9. Remove crust by cracking it open with the dull side of a knife. The crust can be lifted off with a spatula, large spoon or wide knife blade. The top layer of the fish will easily lift away from the bones.
  10. Serve with lemon wedges and drizzles of extra virgin olive oil.

We served the fish with oven-roasted potatoes and steamed vegetables. This dish would be fun with Margaritas.

Portabella Cap Stuffed with Yelloweye Rockfish

This summer’s fishing has brought us riches of our one of our favorite species, Sebastes ruberrimus, yelloweye rockfish. The collar meat of yelloweye, especially the smaller two to five pound fish, has a lobster-like texture and taste that we’ve enjoyed experimenting with and have even served as one would lobster with drawn butter. In this creation, we combined yelloweye with another favorite, Portabella mushroom caps, and paired it with a Willamette Valley Chardonnay for one of the easiest and best meals of the summer.

Ingredients for two servings:

  • ½ pound collar meat from yelloweye rockfish, chopped into small pieces. (Substitute similar fish such as red snapper, red porgy, striped bass or walleye)
  • 2 portabella mushroom caps, stems removed
  • 2 portabella mushroom stems (from above), chopped coarse
  • egg whites from 2 eggs
  • 2 or 3 cloves garlic, chopped fine, divided into equal parts
  • ½ cup rice crackers (sesame flavor is good) crumbled fairly fine
  • 2 tsp soy sauce, separated into 1 tsp each
  • 1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp finely chopped tarragon
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sherry
  • olive oil


  1. Add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a frying pan large enough to hold the 2 mushroom caps and heat over medium low heat.
  2. Add the mushrooms, gill side up, and cook for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add 1 tsp soy sauce and half the garlic. Turn the caps and move around so the gills absorb the soy sauce. Cook until mushroom is tender.
  4. Meanwhile, combine yelloweye meat, crackers, parmesan, tarragon, egg whites, chopped portabella stems, a healthy dollop of olive oil, a few grinds of pepper and the remaining garlic and soy sauce in a bowl, mixing ingredients together.
  5. Heat a frying pan over medium-high to high heat (you want enough heat to drive off moisture), add olive oil to cover the bottom, and add the yelloweye mixture, stirring frequently for about two minutes. Add sherry and continue cooking until browned, stirring frequently. Avoid overcooking.
  6. Place cooked yelloweye mixture on sautéed mushroom caps, garnish with a few tarragon leaves, (or, nori, or, better still, a shiso leaf, if available)

We served this dish with home fried potatoes, asparagus sautéed in butter and lemon, and a creamy Chardonnay with touch of oak, toasted almonds, and hints of fall fruit.

Afternoon Delight – Strawberries and Zabaglione

Cold, windy, rainy days are perfect days for making something special. This bowl of Strawberries and Zabaglione created with egg yolks, sugar and port wine took only about 15 minutes to prepare – and about two minutes to make disappear.

Some days on Resurrection Bay, glorious sunshine and turquoise waters allow us to imagine we are in the Bahamas rather than Alaska. But this afternoon’s dark skies, white-capped waters and steady drum of cold rain made it a good day to keep the companionway hatch closed and remain cozily tucked into our sailboat with a warm fire in our Dickinson fireplace.

With a few simple ingredients, I whipped up a lovely afternoon snack which had just enough warmth to it to keep the chill outside at bay.


  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp port wine


  1. Whisk all ingredients together over a double boiler until it is not quite as thick as pudding.
  2. Serve immediately over berries. Top with sliced almonds or a spring of fresh mint.

Five Layer Port Berry Tart – Enjoying Summer Berries and Living Larger (if you’re not careful)

A crunchy cookie crust coated with dark chocolate is the foundation for this delicious tart. Layer on sliced almonds and pastry cream. Then finish with port wine-marinated berries. Yum!

Summer has always meant berries to me. When I was young, we would pick buckets of blackberries in thickets behind our home. I have fond memories of hot, sun-drenched, juicy strawberries at a “you-pick” farm…one for the container, one for me. All throughout my summers…berries. I can never seem to get enough of them. Maybe it is because their season is so fleeting.

In their short growing season, wild berries grow abundantly in Alaska. In the past, we’ve picked salmonberries, raspberries, blueberries and currents here on the Kenai Peninsula. This summer, our departure will beat the arrival of these ripening berries. Sigh. Fortunately, the local Seward grocery store supplied me with strawberries and blueberries to meet my berry craving.

This galley-sized tart serves four and was prepared in a Denby pasta bowl. In a traditional kitchen, you might double this recipe and bake it in a fluted tart or a springform pan. A dash of almond or vanilla extract might also be a nice flavor in the pastry cream. These are not staples in Bandon’s galley. Any berries could be used in this recipe. I would imagine ripe peaches would also be delicious.

Five Layer Port Berry Tart



  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter (separated into 2 portions of 2 tbsp each)
  • 12 rectangles of dark chocolate bar
  • 1/3 cup of sliced almonds

Pastry Cream

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup semolina flour
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup low fat milk

Berry Topping

  • 1 cup of berries, I used sliced strawberries and whole blueberries
  • 2 tsp of brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp port wine
  • a few sliced almonds to garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Thoroughly mix together all-purpose flour and 2 tbsp brown sugar.
  3. Cut in unsalted butter.
  4. Mix to form dough ball (add drips of cold water if more moisture is needed to form dough).
  5. Press dough evenly into greased bakeware.
  6. Use tines of fork to prick dough all over the bottom and up the sides of the dough.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes.
  8. Let crust cool on wire rack in bakeware.
  9. On low heat, in a medium saucepan, melt chocolate and 2 tbsp of unsalted butter. Stir constantly.
  10. When chocolate mixture is thoroughly melted and mixed, spread evenly onto cooled crust, ensuring bottom and sides of crust are coated.
  11. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of sliced almonds onto melted chocolate. Press almonds into melted chocolate. Let cool and harden.
  12. In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks and 1/4 cup brown sugar until fully incorporated.
  13. Add semolina to egg mixture and whisk until fully incorporated. Set aside.
  14. Heat milk and cream in a medium saucepan on medium heat just until it boils.
  15. Whisk in heated milk mixture to egg mixture tablespoon by tablespoon, in order to avoid cooking eggs.
  16. Pour egg and milk mixture back into saucepan and stir constantly over medium heat until it thickens (should coat a wooden spoon).
  17. Continue cooking and stirring for two additional minutes. Cool pastry cream completely. Place plastic wrap over pastry cream to avoid developing a skin.
  18. Take remaining 2 tsp of brown sugar and mix with 2 tbsp of port wine.
  19. Pour port wine mixture over berries and let marinate while pastry cream is cooling.
  20. When ready to assemble, strain berries out of port wine mixture.
  21. Assemble tart by spreading cooled pastry cream evenly over chocolate coated crust and then placing strained berries atop pastry cream. Sprinkle a few sliced almonds on top of the berry layer and enjoy immediately.

The crust and pastry cream can be made ahead of time and will keep well in the fridge. Then you can easily assemble this delightful dessert right before you serve it. We did share two of the four servings with our dock neighbors to avoid living too “large!”

Rockfish Meunière on Whole Wheat Pasta

A fillet prepared à la meunière and served on pasta is one of our favorites when cooking with firm, delicately flavored white fish. We modify the traditional recipe, which means “miller’s wife” (descriptive of the flour this method employs) by using olive oil instead of butter and by skipping the lemon and butter finishing sauce.

Our three favorite methods for preparing fish, in no particular order, are as follows: sashimi – raw, thinly sliced fish dipped in a soy sauce and wasabi mixture; shioyaki – fish salted and then broiled or grilled; and à la meunière – dredged in seasoned flour and pan fried. These three preparation methods are the epitome of simplicity, emphasizing the freshness of the fish rather than sauces or seasonings, and can be accomplished in even the most bare-bones of kitchens. While they won’t adequately cover every species of fish (some species do well only when poached, and a few others shine best when deep fried), they are good methods to have in one’s repertoire.

A collar – the meat just behind the fish’s head, including the pectoral and ventral fins – is a good candidate for meunière. Pictured is the collar from a two to three pound yelloweye rockfish.

Each cooking method works particularly well with certain species of fish. Chinook salmon, for example, is a superb fish for shioyaki and a much underutilized sashimi fish. Yellowtail and other tuna are excellent served as sashimi. When you think of meunière, think of fish that is white, firm but not dense, and mildly or even delicately flavored. Some of the best candidates are sole, flounder, greenling and Pacific rockfish in the genus Sebastes such as black rockfish, copper rockfish, yelloweye and so forth.

Rockfish à la Meunière on Pasta for Two


  • two fish fillets 1/4 to 1/2 pounds each (110 to 230 grams), cleaned, skin removed, rinsed and patted dry with paper towels. Do not use a thick cut of fish for this. The fillets should be fairly thin – less than an inch thick (2.5 cm) as opposed to using part of a fillet from a large fish.
  • 1/3 cup semolina flour. (All-purpose or other flour is fine, but semolina will result in a very pleasant additional crunch and fuller texture to the finished fillet.)
  • 1/2 tablespoon herbs de Provence, plus 1 teaspoon herbs de Provence, separate
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
  • 3 to 6 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • olive oil for frying
  • enough pasta for two servings
  1. Cook pasta according to directions. Drain off water, return to pot and toss with about 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and 1 teaspoon herbs de Provence. Set aside. (Or do this simultaneously while cooking the fish.)
  2. In a plastic Ziplock bag, or in a mixing bowl or on a plate, mix together the flour, 1/2 tablespoons herbs de Provence, salt and freshly ground pepper.
  3. Thoroughly dredge the fillets in the flour mixture and set aside on a plate or cutting board. Left over flour can be used as a bed for the fillets.
  4. In a frying pan large enough to hold both fillets, add olive oil to about 1/8 inch depth. Heat over medium to medium-low until oil causes a pinch of flour to sizzle.
  5. Position fillets in pan making sure they do not touch. Cook uncovered over medium to medium-low heat for about 3 to 5 minutes.
  6. Carefully turn the fillets over. Add garlic slices and pine nuts and continue cooking for 3 to 5 minutes. The first few times you cook fish this way, you may have to break the fillets apart to check for doneness as it will vary depending on thickness, type of fish and cooking temperature.
  7. Place pasta on dinner plates. Remove fillets from pan and place on pasta. Use a slotted spoon to separate garlic and pine nuts from oil and sprinkle on fish and pasta.
  8. Serve hot with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

We served the pasta and fillet with a side of fish collars, also prepared à la meunière, and brussels sprouts sliced in half, seasoned with salt and pepper, and pan roasted. This is a simple yet elegant meal that can be prepared in a galley, on a camp stove, or in virtually any kitchen.

Most Excellent Nachos

A heavy skillet, a bag of your favorite tortilla chips, salsa spiced up with jalapenos, medium cheddar cheese and an already-roasted chicken from the supermarket are all you need for the best nachos you’ve ever had!

By the time we were finished cleaning fish yesterday, it was already close to five o’clock. Tired, hungry and in dire need of a beer (or three), we had J-Dock vacuum pack and flash freeze our fillets, absent-mindedly forgetting to set aside a piece of salmon for ourselves for dinner. We’d fished hard and filled our cooler, and neither one of us was keen to cook. “How about super nachos?” Barbra suggested. “We could get one of those roasted chickens at Safeway….”

“And a case of beer,” I added.

We already had everything else we needed: medium-aged Tillamook cheddar cheese, sliced jalapeno peppers, Newman’s Own salsa, and Mission tortilla chips. Here’s all there is to it.

Pick a heavy frying pan, one that heats evenly and won’t burn the chips. Pour in a little olive oil, turn the heat to low or medium low, and when it’s hot, put in a layer of chips followed by a layer of cheese, a few spoonfuls of salsa, a few jalapenos sliced thin or diced fine (cook’s choice), and a generous amount of chunks of roasted chicken. Lay down a second layer of chips, cheese, salsa jalapenos and chicken, cover the pan with a lid, and cook over low heat till all the cheese is melted. Add a couple dollops of sour cream or guacamole when it’s all done if you want, serve it right in the pan, and keep the beers coming. Pop in a movie and eat and drink more than you should.

I had a few black beans on hand and added those this time, but usually I make this with no beans. This dish is great without the chicken (or any other meat), too. Next time I make this, I’m going to use rockfish and see how that goes. Future experiments might include caribou, moose or ground black bear.