Sunday, March 4, 2018


Recently, I delivered a Viking 52 C from Palmas del Mar, Puerto Rico to Miami with Capt. Devon Tull as my co-captain. We pulled into Turtle Cove Marina in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos from Dominican Republic, at the start of four day blow. We enjoyed a nice post-bash dinner at Mango’s Reef, but the bill came to $114.00 for two! On crew pay, that’s nice after a hard 9 hour run in 15-20 knot head winds, but it’s a little too much on the per diem side to maintain during a weather delay.

Providenciales is a terrific layover. Most everything a transient boat would need can be found here.  A large DYI hardware and well stocked NAPA stores takes care of the boat needs. And the Graceway IGA is a modern supermarket that has everything I need for this dish, and more. This simple one skillet dish is super easy to make with just a couple of store bought items.

2 tbsp. Italian dressing (not the creamy kind)
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts  cut into cubes
10 oz. small/medium sized penne pasta
1 16 oz. jar of your favorite Alfredo sauce.
1 tbsp. dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
½ c. shredded mozzarella cheese
½ c. grated parmesan cheese
1 ½ c. sun dried tomatoes
Fresh chopped parsley as garnish

Heat chicken and Italian dressing in a large 12 inch skillet over medium high heat (If you don't own a large skillet, you can use a stock pot). Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste.
Cook chicken until browned and just cooked through, about 5 minutes depending on thickness of chicken.
Add the box of pasta and the entire jar of Alfredo. Add ½  the empty marinara jar with water and add to the skillet. If using a stockpot, use 2 cups water. Add the salt and pepper to taste and the dried oregano. Lightly stir the mixture to combine.

Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until pasta is tender to your liking. Stir in the sun dried tomatoes. Cover with grated parmesan and then shredded mozzarella. No need to stir. Continue to cook for 2-3 more minutes or until cheese is fully melted. You can also broil the entire skillet for about 4 minutes to make the cheese extra melty! Top with chopped parsley and serve! Enjoy, JW

Sunday, January 28, 2018


When was the last time you went to Clematis Street or Las Olas Boulevard with your friends for a night out dining on fine Canadian Cuisine? Okay, I know that Canadian Bacon doesn’t actually come from Canada. But, other than poutine (French fries with cheese curds and lamb gravy), what is Canada known for, food wise?

“Peter” is a Canadian who owns a 90 foot yacht that I captain, on call. Yesterday, he sent me a couple of links about a summer time treat that folks in Ontario go absolutely bonkers over- Butter Tarts! Sensing a hint, I delved into the story.

”Butter Tart Trail” is a 30km stretch of rural Highway 6, with 18 different bakeries, markets and stores. Kenilworth, a town of 11,500 people in the middle of “the trail,” sells thousands of tarts a week. Business is so good that there is a rural battle going on over butter tarts. When the town of Wellington North heard about Kawartha Lakes, a 3 hour drive to the east, had begun their own butter tart tour, cease-and-desist letters were sent and lawsuits contemplated. One can imagine The Great Canadian Butter Tart Wars coming to blows over this delicious confection.

The only request from Peter was, “not nuts or raisins.” He didn’t say anything about the rum and bacon, but then I didn’t tell him. The report back from Peter, “They were perfect!”
1 box readymade pie pastry (2 crusts)
5 slices bacon, cooked until crispy and chopped
2 stick soft butter
1 c. lightly packed brown sugar
2 c. corn syrup
½ tsp. salt
2 tbsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. dark rum

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Cover a cutting board with parchment or wax paper. Roll out the pie dough and cut with a 3 ½” round cookie cutter to make the pastry shells. Save the leftover dough for repairs or roll it out again to make more shells. Coat your 9 count 3” mini-muffin pans (x 4 for this recipe) with non-stick spray. Carefully line muffin tins with the pastry. Place pans on middle rack of oven and bake until the shells start to brown and remove from oven.

In bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar. Stir in corn syrup, rum, salt and vanilla. Combine until it is just blended.  Arrange cooked bacon in bottom of the shells. Add mixture into tart shells filling each to about 2/3 full (kitchen hack – use an empty plastic catsup bottle for filling shells). Bake for about 10 minutes. Do not allow filling to bubble over. Let cool before removing tarts. Yield: 36 tarts. Enjoy JW

Tuesday, January 2, 2018


This is a fun recipe that impresses charter guests and owners alike. This basic recipe is easily modified by the ingredients you choose. Add peppers/cilantro to the eggs and place a ramekin of pico de gallo in the middle of the ring for a fiesta breakfast. Simple to make yet looks like a million bucks. Personally,  I find that a pizza baking stone works best. 


½ lb. bulk breakfast sausage
8 slices bacon, thick
5 eggs, slightly beaten
Salt and pepper, if desired
½ c. chopped sweet onion
1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury™ refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 c. shredded colby-jack cheese
1 tbsp. cornmeal
Salt and pepper to taste


In a skillet, brown the sausage and onions over medium-high heat. Once cooked, add 4 beaten eggs and cook until eggs are firm and incorporated with the sausage/onion. Set aside.  In the microwave, cook the bacon until medium well done (not crispy). Drain and set aside. Unroll the crescent roll dough and cut along perforated lines. On the cooking stone, spread out the cornmeal.  Arrange the triangle dough into an 8 point star.  Place one strip of bacon, lengthwise, on each of the triangle dough. Trim the bacon at the pointy end so at least an inch of the dough extends past the bacon (this will be important later) Spoon the egg/sausage around the base of the dough. Cover with egg/sausage with the shredded cheese. Now carefully fold the dough over and tuck the pointy end under the base of the star. With the remaining beaten egg, brush it onto the dough. Bake at 375 or until golden brown. Serve and enjoy. JW


Wednesday, November 29, 2017


The color of springtime is in the flowers; the color of winter is in the imagination. For me, the palate seems to enjoy the unique flavors of the seasons. When it comes to winter, my taste buds seem to take a holiday. Spicy summer sriracha tacos and cool guacamole turns to a boreal, hearty beef stew to warm the body’s core. But once in a while, I like to kick it up a notch in the winter with this sweet-spicy glazed chicken creation.

4 skin-on, bone in chicken breast halves
½ c. ground Dijon mustard
½ c. pure maple syrup
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
1 tbsp. curry powder
¼ tsp. cayenne
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350°. Using a 9x13 inch Pyrex or ceramic baking dish, combine the maple syrup, mustard, curry powder, cayenne and butter.  Bake on the middle rack for about 5 minutes or until the butter is melted. Remove from oven and whisk ingredients together in the baking dish to make the sauce.

Next, season the chicken with salt and pepper and then roll breasts in the sauce. Be sure to spoon some sauce until the chicken skin. With the breast side up, bake for approximately 45 minutes, basting every 10 minutes, until chicken has a nice glaze and a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast reaches 165°.

Remove from oven. Transfer chicken breasts to a clean cutting surface and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut breasts from the bone. Place the breasts on a bed of greens and grapes. Whisk pan sauce again and drizzle over chicken breasts. Enjoy, JW

Tuesday, November 7, 2017


Lemongrass, Thai Basil and Lime Mojito

The many health benefits of lemongrass has been known by Asians for more than a millennia. Citral, the primary chemical component in lemongrass, has anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties. For instance, lemongrass tea can act as a diuretic and is highly effective in flushing toxins and waste out of the body; improving the function of many different organs including the liver, spleen and kidneys.
Lemongrass is a favorite ingredient in Asian soups, stir-fry and salads. Think Thai tom yum gai or nam sod. But as mentioned above, lemongrass can also be a delightful ingredient in tea as well as cocktails. It is in this vein that I offer up a mojito with Asian influences.
2 stalks lemongrass
1/4 cup + 2 teaspoons sugar
2 limes, sliced into 8 lime wedges
Large handful fresh Thai basil (also called pepper basil)
8 ounces white rum
Club soda, as required to top up
Ice, to serve
Lemongrass stalks, trimmed (optional, to use as stir sticks)

First, make a batch of simple syrup and lemongrass. Chop the lemongrass stalks into 1-inch pieces, and bruise using the back side of a chef knife or a mortar and pestle. Place them in a pot with 1 cup of water and 1/4 cup sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the syrup infuse for about 2 hours, or allow to cool and refrigerate for 24 hours. Before use, strain the syrup, pressing down on the lemongrass stalks to extract maximum flavor. Chill until ready to use. (once the syrup is strained, it will also keep in your fridge for a couple of weeks).

To build each cocktail, arrange 4 cocktail glasses on a work surface and place 1/2 teaspoon sugar in each glass. Add 1 lime slice into each glass along with a handful of Thai basil, and muddle together. Pour in 2 ounces rum and 2 ounces lemongrass syrup. Top with ice and club soda. If you desire a non-alcoholic drink, omit the rum and add a little extra lemongrass syrup. Stir and serve. Yield 4 cocktails.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Pumpkin - Grits Pie

When it comes to southern cooking, nothing says Dixie more than grits.  We serve up steaming pots of grits with butter and honey, cheese, salt, sugar, tomato gravy, shrimp – it is a versatile dish that only needs your imagination. Grits are not just for breakfast anymore!

Corn, one of our country’s most bountiful crops, has always had role on Southern tables. Grits originated from porridge made with stone ground cornmeal by the Native Americans.
Recently, I performed a 10 day cruise and learn on a voyage from New Smyrna, Fl. to Charleston, SC.  and return. At the Marina Restaurant at Charleston City Marina, I have always loved the grits that they serve. I asked the chef what brand they used and found that a local boutique grit mill made these grits. The yacht owners and guests wanted to spend a couple days in Charleston, so I rented car and drove an hour to visit Geechie Boy Mill and Country Store ( on Edisto Island. What I found was a family run stone mill that grinds locally grown varieties on white, yellow, red and blue corn. The country store has antique mill equipment and products are for sale or mail order. It was the personal tour of the main mill where I learned how temperature and spacing of the mill stones determines the quality of the end product. When in Charleston, be sure you make this wonderful side trip to Geechee Boy Mill.

2 c. milk, scalded
2 16 oz. cans pumpkin filling (not spiced pumpkin pie filling)
1 c. cooled cooked grits (see below)
1 ¼ c. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 eggs
2 - 9 in. (2 c. volume) ready-made pie crusts. 

Scaled the milk in a medium sauce pan and set aside. Preheat oven to 350°. In a food processor, blend grits and pumpkin until smooth. Add milk and remaining ingredients and blend again until smooth. Pour equal amounts into the pie crusts. Bake for 45-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted into middle of pie comes out clean. Let cool before serving, with whipped cream (optional).
 Enjoy – JW
Bring 4 c. water, seasoned with salt and butter to a rapid boil. Add grits until water boils again. Lower the heat to simmer, cover and cook (stirring occasionally) for 25 minutes.  That’s it!

Sunday, September 3, 2017



Back in the mid-2000’s I had taken a sabbatical from yachting and flew corporate jets and international air ambulance; often times taking me throughout South America. As a foodie, I of course enjoyed cuisine of the region, especially this month’s dish.

Brazil’s national dish, feijoada, is a sublime combination of pork and beans and is traditionally presented on a large platter with ham hocks in the middle, and meats on the side arranged in a symmetrical, decorative pattern. This dish is simple to make albeit a little time consuming because of preparation. Best advice, make a nice chilled caipirinha and have some fun in the galley.


1 (12 oz.) package dry black beans, soaked overnight
1 1/2 c. chopped onion, divided
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 smoked ham hocks (in the pork section of the supermarket)
8 oz. diced ham
½ lb. thickly sliced bacon, diced
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 bay leaves, crushed
tsp. ground coriander
½ C. chopped fresh cilantro (or parsley for a different taste, your choice)
Salt and pepper to taste


This dish starts the night before by soaking the dried beans. Follow the package instructions; but for the sake of this recipe, place dried beans in a bowl and add water until beans are covered. Let beans soak overnight and into the next day. You will know the beans are ready by the “pinch test.” Be sure to drain and rinse the beans before proceeding. While waiting for the beans to soak, this would be a good time to make mango chutney as a delicious condiment. See recipe below.

Now that the beans are ready to use, heat the oil in a skillet. Add ¾ cup of chopped onion, green onions, and garlic; stir until softened, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a large crockpot. Pour in the soaked beans and fill with enough water to cover beans by 3 inches and set to temperature to high. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, and simmer uncovered for 5 hours, or until tender.

While beans are cooking, place ham hocks in smaller pot with ¼ cup of the chopped onion. Cover with water and simmer, until meat pulls off of the bone easily, about 1 hour. Drain and add to the beans.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Place ham, bacon, and remaining onion in a baking dish. Bake 15 minutes or until mixture is crispy.

Drain the bacon and ham mixture, and add to the beans. Season with bay leaves, coriander, salt and pepper. Simmer uncovered 30 minutes more. Stir in chopped cilantro and parsley just before serving on rice. Bom apetite, JW


2 cups sugar
1 cup distilled white vinegar
6 cups mangoes (4 to 5), peeled and cut in 3/4-inch pieces (See How to Cut a Mango)
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon mustard seeds, whole
1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes (hot)
1. Combine sugar and vinegar in a 6 quart pot; bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.
2. Add remaining ingredients and simmer, uncovered, until syrupy and slightly thickened, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stir occasionally during cooking. 3 Pour into clean, hot jars leaving 1/2-inch headspace; close jars. (Do not over-tighten the jars.) Process in a water bath 15 minutes.
To process in a water bath, put a rack on the bottom of tall, large pot. Place the sealed jars on the rack. Fill the pot with water, covering the jars by 1 inch. Bring to a rolling boil. Boil for 15 minutes. Remove the jars from the pot and let sit at room temperature to cool.