Gourmet Food from the Glen Etive Galley

Some tips from Mike Weir, Chef aboard the Glen Etive, on how he provides gourmet food for our guests from a boat galley.

"On our vessels, there is obviously much less storage, refrigerator and freezer space than in a typical hotel or restaurant kitchen. To overcome the space problem, the answer is to use only the best and freshest ingredients so that I can keep my cooking simple, letting the flavour of the food speak for itself. 

I use only local suppliers, stocking up initially in Dunoon and Oban but because I use only fresh ingredients I know I will also need to stock up at suppliers en route. We often call in at favourite specialist suppliers, for example the mussel farm on Loch Spelve on Mull, and use the village grocers in the small communities we visit, bringing them valuable extra custom. Wherever possible I source lamb, pork and beef from local farms and venison from the hill - the taste is far superior.

Any chance we get, we’ll put some fishing lines over the side and we frequently catch mackerel which is utterly delicious when fresh.  We also can catch our own crab and even the occasional lobster by dropping our own pots overnight.  We often find we are moored up beside a prawn boat or fishing boat where the skipper will happily swap some of their catch for a bottle of whisky! This is island life at its very best.

One of the simplest, but most delicious lunch dishes is simply prepared, freshly caught mackerel and here is the recipe which serves two people.

Grilled freshly caught mackerel with rocket and parmesan salad

4 fillets of fresh mackerel
Scottish rape seed oil
One small bag of rocket leaves
Fresh parmesan shavings
Orange balsamic vinegar
Maldon salt flakes

Pre- heat the grill, put the fillets of mackerel on a baking sheet, skin side up.

Drizzle the rape seed oil and sprinkle a few flakes of salt over the mackerel, slide the fish under the grill and cook untill the skin is lightly coloured and starting to crisp up.

In a large bowl, mix the rocket and parmesan shavings, add a little salt and pepper and gently toss with a drizzle of rape seed oil and orange balsamic vinegar.

Place the rocket salad in a mound in the centre of the plates and arrange the mackerel on top.

Lightly drizzle a little orange balsamic vinegar over and around the plates and serve immediately.  Simple and delicious!

(Find out more about Mike and the rest of the Glen Etive crew here>)

Posted by Margaret Matthews
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