The dining room on board most cruises begin dinner with appetizers including a selection of crusty breads and rolls and chilled butter. Here is the secret to one of those classic breads…

Classic French Baguette

Windstar Cruises Executive Chef Nader shares his secrets for the best french baguette possible (Shhh! – It’s all in the timing)


  • 7.5 cups of all purpose flour
  • 3 cups of cold water
  • 4 oz fresh yeast 
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • egg wash (equal mix of egg white and water)

Mix everything except the flour first and then knead in the flour. Cut in portions, roll and rest, covered with dark plastic, in the fridge. (The Secret: the dough should rest for a minimum of three days)

After three days, stretch the dough, brush with egg wash, make some cuts on top for design or sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds, and bake at 325F for about 20 minutes. After baking, rest the bread for a minimum of one hour.

And here is a fantastic use for those baguettes:

appetizers - Sweet Cheese Crostini

Sweet Cheese Crostini

This recipe is from Oceania cruises and was created by legendary chef Jacques Pépin. But, don’t let that scare you off, it is easy and tasty.  Crusty baguette slices topped with cheese and a mixture of seeds, dried fruit, and honey – sweet and savory!


  • 1/2 pound assorted cheeses (such as feta, blue, Gouda, Gruyère, or Camembert), room temperature
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds (maybe some chopped nuts like walnuts, pecans, or piñon)
  • 1/3 cup dark raisins (soaked in port, if desired) (I think rum would be good too!)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Kosher or sea salt (optional)
  • 1 baguette, thinly sliced and toasted

Cut or crumble the cheeses into pieces about 1/4 to 1/2 inch in size. Place in a medium bowl.

In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the pumpkin seeds for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly and watching to ensure they do not burn.

Add the pumpkin seeds, raisins, honey, and lime juice to the cheeses. Stir to combine. Season to taste with pepper and salt, keeping in mind that salty cheeses may not need any additional salt.

Serve on top of toasted baguette slices with cranberry sauce or your favorite preserves.

South Pacific Recipe: Tahitian Poisson Cru


According to locals, one of the favorite dishes in French Polynesia is Tahitian Poisson Cru. A refreshing island-style mixture of tuna and fresh vegetables prepared with lime and coconut, the dish is a traditional and delicious taste of the French Polynesia. You’ll find plenty of local restaurants on the islands that serve it, and you can enjoy this dish on board at Terrace Café when you’re cruising the South Pacific. Try the recipe below to bring a taste of the islands to your home.

appetizers - tahitian poisson cru


1 pound fresh yellow fin tuna
2 small tomatoes peeled, seeded and diced
1 small cucumber peeled, cut in half, seeded and sliced
1 small white onion peeled, cut in half and sliced
1 small carrot peeled and hand shredded
Juice of 3 fresh limes
3 teaspoons fresh ginger (optional)
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk
1 green onion chopped

Serves 6


Cut the tuna in ½-inch-thick cubes. Combine tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, carrots, lime juice and ginger, if using, in a bowl. Place tuna in a separate bowl and season with salt and pepper and then combine with the vegetable mixture. Mix in just enough coconut milk to thoroughly coat all ingredients in the bowl. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, and garnish with chopped green onions. Best enjoyed with a Mai Tai!

Norwegian’s Macadamia Nut Hummus                                  With Roasted Pineapple Relish

appetizers - macadamia nut hummus
Haven’t tried this one yet but hope to on our upcoming Mediterranean cruise on Norwegian Epic.


For the hummus:

  • 2 1/2 cups chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts
  • 4 tsp cumin
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 6 tsp tahini
  • 8 tbsp olive oil

For the relish:

  • 1 lb pineapple, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 10 oz olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cup parsley, chopped
  • 4 oz onion, finely diced
  • 4 oz green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 4 oz red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2 oz cucumber, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp chili, finely diced
  • 4 oz lime juice


  1. Place all hummus ingredients in a food processor and blend to a smooth paste; season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Prepare relish: Pour 4 ounces of the olive oil, garlic and 1/2 cup of the parsley onto pineapple cubes. Mix and spread evenly onto baking trays.
  3. Roast at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool, reserving juices.
  4. Mix remaining 6 ounces of olive oil, 1/2 cup of parsley and all other ingredients in large bowl. Add chilled pineapple and juice; season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve pineapple relish and macadamia nut hummus, with toasted pita triangles, crudite or Terra Chips.


appetizers - gravlaks

Cruise ship recipe for GRAVLAKS

Chef Dirk Helsig, Executive Chef for Fred.Olsen Cruise Lines shares his secret with “Gravlaks”!

Scandinavian heritage displays great expertise in the arts of pickling, smoking and curing meats and fish. This dish – easy to prepare and made by Scandinavian housewives along with the pickling of herring – is now available world wide in gourmet restaurants. Salmon is the fish to use traditionally. The literal translation is “buried Salmon” and refers to the age old practice of salting and coating the fish with herbs and dried spices and then burying it as winter sets in. The ground freezes and in Spring the following year there is still a plentiful supply of food to be simply dug out of the semi-frozen ground.

The Curing Salt
½ lb sea or table salt
1 lb granulated sugar
3 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons juniper berries
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
3 tablespoons whole white peppercorns
1 large bunch of fresh dill, chopped.

Honey Mustard Sauce
4 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill
Ground pepper
Juice of one whole lemon

Method for Gravlaks
One side of salmon, skin on and all bones removed. Belly and fin base trimmed and any membranes removed. If you do not want to do this yourself, a good fishmonger will prepare it for you.

Warm the caraway seeds, juniper berries, coriander and peppercorns until hot.

With a pestle and mortar or grinder crush all the dried spices until roughly ground. Alternatively, place them in a food processor and grind them a little. You will find that the heating of all these spices allows the oils and aromas to be released more easily.

Add the spices to the sugar and salt, mix them evenly and if possible place covered overnight at room temperature.

Now take a shallow container and sprinkle an inch layer of the mixture on the bottom.

Place the fillet of Salmon skin side down on the mixture. Coat the remaining salmon with at least an inch of the mixture, making sure you cover all areas. Cover with a clean cloth or plastic wrap on top, place a weight on top and cure in the refrigerator for 36 hours.

You will see that a large amount of juices collect in the dish. Keep some of this and use a little to add more flavour to your accompanying mustard sauce.

Remove the salmon fillet from the tray, scrape off and discard the curing salt. Rub the flesh with some extra virgin olive oil and coat liberally with the chopped dill. Now it is ready to slice and serve.

For the sauce, simply mix all ingredients together and thin a little with the excess juice from the curing process.

You can serve the salmon cold as a starter, canapé or serve wafer thin over hot steamed new potatoes with a mustard dill hollandaise.

For more information about Fred Olsen Cruises visit :

appetizers - tacos al pastor
Tacos al Pastor – Middle Eastern Shepard’s Tacos – Photo by Holly Wilmeth








Tacos al Pastor

Recipe by Yesenia Ruiz

Read the full article by Francine Pros at


1½ pounds boneless pork tenderloin
1 clove garlic, halved
Salt and pepper
Achiote paste
Orange and lemon juice to cover
Corn oil
8 fresh corn tortillas
Fresh pineapple sliced into spears
Finely chopped cilantro and onion


1. Rub the pork with garlic, salt, pepper, and achiote paste, and then marinate it in the juices for at least two hours or overnight.
2. Two hours before making tacos, remove the pork from the marinade and freeze the meat to facilitate slicing.
3. When you’re ready to cook, cut the pork into the thinnest possible slices.
4. Coat a cast-iron skillet with a thin layer of corn oil, bring up the heat to high, and fry the meat until slightly crispy on the edges.
5. Warm the corn tortillas on a flat griddle, and then scoop a generous portion of the meat into the center of a single tortilla (or a stack of two). Top the filling with a slice of pineapple and a sprinkle of chopped cilantro and onion. Fold. Serve immediately, with salsa.

Crystal’s Smoked Salmon Quesadillas With Avocado and Jicama-Grapefruit Salsa

appetizers - salmon quesadilla


For the quesadillas:

  • 8 10-inch flour tortillas
  • 8 oz smoked salmon
  • 1 cup cream cheese, whipped
  • 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 2 tbsp chives, finely sliced
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 cups mesclun lettuce
  • 2 tbs sour cream

For the salsa:

  • 2 ruby red grapefruit segments (reserve juice)
  • 1 medium root jicama, peeled and diced (or substitute water chestnuts, radish or a crisp white turnip)
  • 1 tbs Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbs lime juice
  • 1 small red onion, minced
  • 1 Serrano chile, minced
  • 2 tbs fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbs fresh mint, finely sliced
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 pinch cumin, ground


  1. Make the salsa first; combine all ingredients, including grapefruit juice.
  2. Let sit for at least 20 minutes, then taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  3. To prepare the quesadillas, spread one tortilla with cream cheese; sprinkle with chives and add a layer of smoked salmon.
  4. Add shredded Monterey Jack and season with some cracked pepper. Top off with second tortilla round.
  5. Repeat three more times to create four quesadillas.
  6. Heat a nonstick skillet, large enough to fit a quesadilla, and lightly grease with some olive oil.
  7. Place tortilla in pan, and fry slowly until cheese is melted and tortilla is crisp and lightly golden.
  8. Repeat for remaining quesadillas.
  9. Serve quesadillas with salsa and avocado slices on the side.

Chef Angel Choez, Executive Chef aboard the M/Y Grace of Quasar Expeditions provided Prow’s Edge readers with this recipe for the Captain’s Table:

Galapagos Spiny Lobster Ceviche (Ceviche de Langostino de Galápagos)


Preparation time: 15 minutes to prepare, 3-4 hours to let sit.
Servings: 5
Note: Always use the freshest seafood possible. Make the ceviche the same day you purchase fresh seafood.

2 ½ lbs of Spiny Lobster tails (or regular lobster, shrimp or jumbo shrimp), cut into 1/2 inch pieces.
1/2 cup of fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 of fresh red onion, finely diced
1 cup of chopped fresh seeded tomatoes
1 serrano chili, seeded and finely diced
2 teaspoons of salt
A dash of ground oregano
A dash of tabasco or a light pinch of cayenne pepper
Fresh cilantro
1 fresh soft avocado
Toasted korn kernels

In a casserole dish, either Pyrex or ceramic, place the lobster, diced onion, tomatoes, chili, salt, tabasco, and oregano. Cover with lime and lemon juice and stir until all the ingredients are blended together.
Let sit covered in the refrigerator for an hour, then stir again, making sure more of the fish gets exposed to the acidic lime and lemon juices. Let sit for 2 to 3 more hours, giving time for the flavors to blend.

Note: During the marinating process the fish will change from pinkish and translucent, to whiter in color and opaque.

Serve with chopped cilantro on top and slices of avocado with toasted korn kernels on the side.

For more information about Quasar Expeditions visit:

German Potato Pancakes (aka Kartoffelpuffer)

German Potato pancakes

Credit: Erica –

A quintessential Oktoberfest snack… Perfect for soaking up some of the beer. Unfortunately, we have never made it to Oktoberfest.          We enjoyed these at several   Christkindlmarkt  (Christmas Markets) while on a river cruise on the Rhine. Served with sour cream and scallion or applesauce for dipping.



  • 3 -4 large russet potatoes; washed, peeled, & shredded
  • 2 shallots shredded
  • 1/2 cup green onion chopped
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • Sour cream for serving
  • Applesauce for serving



  1. Use a box grater or food processor to shred potatoes and shallots easily. Place shredded potatoes & shallots in a strainer set over a bowl and let drain, squeezing mixture until dry.
  2. Transfer to another bowl, then slowly pour off the potato water, leaving the milky starch at the bottom of the bowl. Pour this back in with the drained potato mixture.
  3. Mix in green onion, flour, and eggs, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Work the ingredients with your hands until well combined.
  4. Heat 1⁄4 cup oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, measure out ½ cup potato mixture and drop it into the oil, flattening it into pancake with the back of a metal spatula. Fry for 3-4 minutes per side, flipping once, until golden brown and cooked through.
  5. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate or baking sheet. Repeat with remaining potatoes, adding more oil to skillet if needed.
  6. Serve with sour cream or applesauce on the side.

The Germans are not the only culture with a traditional potato pancake…Here is an Irish Potato Cake known as a “Boxty”.

Boxty – Traditional Irish Potato Cakes

Boxty Irish potato cake
Delicious and simple style of potatoes dates back to the Irish famine and is now having a culinary revival. ISTOCK

Traditional Irish potato cakes, or boxty, are mostly associated with the north midlands of Ireland in Connacht and Ulster. The people of Mayo, Sligo, Donegal, Fermanagh, Longford, Leitrim and Cavan are particularly big fans of this delicious and simple style of potatoes.

It is thought that boxty dates back to the days of the Irish Famine, presumably to make the potatoes stretch further. There are a couple of different recipes, but all contain finely grated, raw potatoes served fried.

There are some variations on the classic recipe, such as boiling the patty like a dumpling or baking it like a loaf. With the demands of the modern palate being more diverse, some people add spices or vegetables into the mix. However, the plain old griddled style is the original and is wonderfully tasty.

Over the last couple of years, as the Irish have become more interested in their own cuisine, the popularity of boxty has risen. It’s now quite normal to see boxty on a menu in a restaurant in Ireland, whereas a decade ago it would have still been considered a ‘peasant dish.’ However, boxty has always been popular as part of Irish home cooking.

1 cup raw, grated potatoes
1 cup leftover mashed potatoes
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup (about) milk to mix
Butter or oil for frying
Sugar (optional)


  1. Place the grated raw potatoes in a clean cloth and twist to remove excess moisture.
  2. Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder.
  3. Combine flour mixture with the raw potatoes, the leftover mashed potatoes, and the eggs.
  4. Add enough milk to make a batter.
  5. Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat and add butter or oil.
  6. Drop potato batter by the tablespoon into the hot pan.
  7. Brown on both sides (about 4 minutes per side).
  8. Butter each boxty and serve hot with or without sugar and a dollop of sour cream.

Yield: about 4 servings