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The Sailaway Gourmet

September 24, 2020

Phew, it’s October already, we’re not out of the woods yet with COVID and the country is in turmoil. I long for the day when things are not so chaotic. I hope you all had a good summer and at this point I’m sure most of you have your boats stored for the winter, so back to the kitchen we go.
It’s the fall season and we are teeming with all these beautiful vegetables and the ever-versatile apple. There are many varieties and a lot of fun places on the East coast to go apple picking. In previous columns I have given you lots of information on apples and recipes for their use in desserts, but they can also be used for many savory dishes. I’m sure you have many recipes for chutneys and pork dishes, so below are two of my favorite old recipes that I dug up from my files. I hope you enjoy them…I think I might make that chicken hash this weekend - comfort food for a brisk fall day.
Winter Apple Salad
For the Balsamic Vinaigrette:
1/3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tb. of Balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. of salt
1/4 tsp. of freshly ground pepper
1 garlic clove, peeled and cut in half

For the Salad:
2 eating apples such as Fuji, or Cortland, unpeeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1 cup of thinly sliced fennel bulb
3 cups of romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
2 cups each of curly endive and butter lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup of gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

Combine the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake and let stand for at least 20 minutes or refrigerate for up to 2 days. When ready to use, remove the garlic clove.
Place the apples and fennel at the bottom of a large salad bowl, add the vinaigrette and toss. Layer the romaine, endive and butter lettuces on top. Refrigerate, covered with a damp paper towel for about 4 hours. To serve, sprinkle gorgonzola on top and toss the salad thoroughly. Serves 6-8.

Chicken and Apple Hash with Cider Cream -
a little involved but worth it!!
4 Tb. (1/2 stick) of unsalted butter
1 large red onion, chopped
1/2 cup of celery, diced
2 Granny Smith apples, cored, unpeeled and thinly sliced
4 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts, poached until just under-cooked
2 cups of cooked wild rice
Cider Cream:
4 Tb. (1/2 stick) of unsalted butter
2 Tb. of unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups of apple cider
3 Tb. of heavy or whipping cream
1 tsp. of ground coriander
1/2 tsp. of grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350° and butter a 9x12 inch casserole dish.

Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery and apple slices and sauté stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a mixing bowl.
Cut the cooked chicken into 1/2 to 1 inch chunks and add them to them to the bowl. Stir in the wild rice and blend.
To prepare the cider cream, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the cider 1/2 cup at a time, whisking until smooth and thickened after each addition. When all the cider has been added, whisk in the cream. Reduce the heat to low, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. The sauce should be the consistency of a medium bechamel. Season with the salt, pepper, nutmeg and coriander, then remove from the heat.
Combine the cider cream with the contents in the bowl and stir well. Pour the mix into the casserole dish and bake until the hash is just heated through, 20-25 minutes. Serve with your favorite bread. Serves 8.


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