A typical February day at The Kitchen Island consists of a steaming mug of herbal tea and a crackling fireplace. Not today. It’s 61 degrees and I’m sitting on the deck with a chocolate peanut butter smoothie reminiscing of one of our perfect sails last summer on the Chesapeake Bay.
When I first started sailing, I would rise with the sun and begin packing gourmet sandwiches, artisan cheeses, decadent chocolate concoctions and sundry beers, alcohols and mixers to satisfy the crew – even if the crew consisted of only me and Webster! We would motor out from the marina, into the Bay, kill the motor and hoist the sails. Unless the sea was in a passion, once we hit the Number 1 marker, the cooler was popped and the feast began. After a couple of hours of tasting this and devouring that, I would start to feel a bit queasy and despite all my efforts to maintain the status quo, I would beg Webster to start the motor and head back in.
All my life I have lived near the water and enjoyed boat rides, jet skis and kayaking without the fear of seasickness. Why was this happening now?!? Food! My feast was the culprit. Once I trimmed the larder and cut out the alcohol, my sailing stamina improved greatly. However, I realized one of the reasons I packed so much food for our sailing trips was that each sail yielded such a state of exhaustion that to even think about cooking upon our return, would make me reconsider the nautical adventure. Therefore, stuff the crew whilst on board and no one will even notice the empty soup pot at dinner time. So, I set forth to create small plates, tapas. Something we could throw together quickly but still feel like it was worthy of a spot on The Kitchen Island. I would still pack a few items to snack on but I definitely whittled down the menu to eliminate feeding the fishes from the back of the boat! YUCK! So, upon our return from a sail with Webster’s sainted mother and sister, who were visiting from New Jersey, I grabbed one of my beautiful nautical themed platters, unwrapped a store-bought fillet of smoked salmon and commenced chopping a couple of hard boiled eggs. I tend to keep a few hard boiled eggs in the fridge – they are a great protein source and perfect chopped up on a salad or sprinkled over smoked salmon, as in this dish. Add a little horseradish sauce, chopped onion and a few capers on a cracker of your choice and within 15 minutes, dinner is served. Well, I did pair it with a few other items…like potato salad and coleslaw I had picked up at the grocery and more importantly, The Matriarch Manhattan, The Tonic of The Earl, and the Gin Buck, the libations for the evening. Enjoy!
Smoked Salmon Platter
- 1 Smoked Salmon fillet
- 2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
- 2 tbsp capers
- 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup Zippy Horseradish Sauce (see recipe below)
- crackers or flat bread
Place the smoked salmon on one side of the platter. Arrange small bowls of chopped egg, capers, chopped red onion and horseradish sauce around the salmon leaving room for the crackers or flat bread.
Zippy Horseradish Sauce
- 1/3 cup of mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 tbsp prepared horseradish
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl.
- Stir well to incorporate the flavors. Chill until ready to serve.
The Matriarch Manhattan
Webster’s mother’s libation of choice
- 1 oz. Sweet Vermouth
- 1 oz. Dry Vermouth
- 2 oz. VO Canadian Whiskey
- Lemon twist
Prepare your glass: a martini glass is our preference:
- Rub the lemon twist around the rim of the glass.
- Reserve the lemon twist for use later and set the glass aside.
- Place a few cubes of ice in a cocktail shaker.
- Add the sweet vermouth, dry vermouth and VO Canadian Whiskey.
- Shake vigorously.
- Immediately pour the contents into the prepared martini glass.
- Float the reserved lemon twist in the drink.
Tonic of The Earl
Webster’s tribute to the Earl of Tanqueray
- 2 oz. Tanqueray gin
- Lime wedge
- Canada Dry Tonic Water
- Fill a short glass tumbler, otherwise known as a rock glass or old fashioned glass, two-thirds full with ice.
- Pour the gin over the ice.
- Squeeze the lime wedge over the gin and ice cubes. Reserve the lime wedge.
- Fill the glass to the rim with the tonic water.
- Drop in the reserved lime wedge for added flavor.
A hot weather cocktail to quench your thirst
- Ice cubes
- 1 1/2 oz. Tanqueray gin
- 1/2 a lemon
- 6 oz. Canada Dry Ginger Ale
- Lemon twist or wedge
- Fill a cocktail glass with ice.
- Pour the gin over the ice.
- Using a handheld citrus juicer, squeeze the lemon over the ice.
- Pour the ginger ale over the ice until it reaches the rim of the glass.
- Using a cocktail spoon or any long handled spoon, stir the drink carefully.
- If desired, garnish with a lemon twist or wedge.