The Private Boat Chef Life

 View portside.

View portside.

Thought I'd share a post from about a year ago while doing a private chef gig in Alaska.

Thursday was El Capitan's birthday, so I thought that a few of his favorite things would be in order.

Years ago The Boss (his wife) entrusted me with a family recipe and asked if I could try and recreate. She can but doesn't feel like taking the time and El Capitan likes it quite a bit as it was one his mother made for him. The dish is a round steak in a creamy chicken sauce. Basically you slice 1/2 inch prices of round steak from a roast, dust in a secret blend of seasonings and flour, then pound to a uniform thinness, brown in oil and set aside. Once all pieces are browned, deglaze pan with water and a can of soup from a not to be mentioned red and white label. (This is an OLD recipe remember) Pour sauce over the meat. Meanwhile, make dumplings. Flour, baking powder, oil and more sercret seasonings, one of which is so obscure, I brought with me from PA as to be sure I'd not be screwed. Place rounded balls of batter over meat, dust with breadcrumbs and stud with butter. Bake for about 2 hours. There is a sauce that you serve with the dish, it consists of the aforementioned red and white can of soup, (yes, 2 cans per recipe!) and......wait for it......a PINT of sour cream! I 'made it healthier' and used light sour cream. Back to this in a minute.

HappyHour was his all-time fave, LemonPepper Chicken Wings with at least two Cutty and Water. The convection microwave on June boat work great, cooking wings crispy within 25 minutes.

Back to the entree. You need to understand that the largest sauté pan I have on the boat is about 10 inches across. This is not by choice, but the largest size that the TWO-burner stove will allow. Browning 2 pounds of earlier explained meat takes about an hour! Now the oven. Yes there is the convection microwave I used for wings, but that's just it, the WINGS are in the oven for happy hour and I need 2 hours for this meat dish to cook. So...I need to use the very slow and weak propane oven. Family recipe says 325 for 1-1/2 hours, translated to boat oven, 375 for at least 2 hours.

We're enroute to Three Saints Bay, the namesake for this yacht. It's beautiful, stunning, serene, etc. Thankfully, it being a birthday, happy hour lasted a couple of hours and was met with the dischard of firearms at floating targets in the otherwise pristine bay. Finally the crew was corralled to the sette and dinner was served. El Capitan was a-grin ear-to-ear when he saw his favorite recipe made on his boat on his birthday. Best compliment I could have asked for. The other being that 6 adults man-handled a 9x13 pan of protein and carbs that realistically should feed 10! Oh well...

No leftovers is a good thing on a yacht. Dessert is a simple ice cream with chocolate sauce.

I'm beat. I need to do the dishes yet, set up coffee and breakfast for the morning, convert my sleeping area into a berth and try to decompress. This yacht has a two-drawer dishwasher which is great, but not when the water tanks are at the level they currently sit. Guest showers in the morning trump clean dishes, so it's a quick hand wash to ensure clean stuff for the morning.

Friday we're starting early as we need to get some fish. Guests are up at 6am, fishing at anchor in 130 feet of water for halibut. Good thing I set up the coffee as to get a couple extra minutes of rest. Regardless, I'm vertical by 6:30 and making muffins and more coffee. Suddenly, Doc, one of the guests, rips into what must be a 'but. However, we're all skeptical as he is reeling in a very slow, methodical manner. About ten minutes later a 45# halibut is dancing about angrily on our back deck! I get to put my filet skills to the test, we vac pac and get the bags in the deep freeze as fast as possible. However, reality is that Doc won't be able to take the fish home because it won't be frozen solid. So guess what?!?! Yours truly gets to bring home salmon and halibut! Clear the freezer honey!

A very bumpy ride back to Kodiak in which I had to succumb to lying down to avoid an upheaval of breakfast. Safely in port and back in equilibrium I sautéed up some of our salmon catch from the other day, along with a slaw of what was in the fridge. I apologize that a photo does not follow, but perhaps Doc will send one soon and I will add to this entry. Here is the beginnings before pan sautéing.

Guests and The Boss safely en route to aero puerto, and all that is left is me, Captain Mark and El Capitan. A welcome long exhale and El Capitan proclaims that we're going out for dinner. Kewl! Well....we're going to the Kodiak Elks Club! Spaghetti and meatballs is on the menu tonight, but at least I don't have to cook or clean up. Tomorrow will be a crazy day of packing and preparing some meals for the next crew to enjoy. Captain Mark and I chill back at the boat, reflecting on the trip over a few beers and then watch a movie. Morning comes early on a boat, right Captain Ron!?