Friday, August 19, 2011

Cooking with the "Splendid Galley"

The trick to good marine cooking is great ingredients, and lots of patience. Today's simple recipes feature a gorgeous roasted batteries au jus, with a tasty side dish of blackened air conditioning controller. You will find the spicy crunchiness of the blackened controller will harmonize beautifully with the savory acidic flavors of well cooked plump batteries. The mouth, and eye watering aroma while cooking is indescribably exquisite. I can hear your tummy growling in anticipation already. This recipe will feed a good sized crowd, so be sure to size the recipe proportions to fit your needs.


2 Plump 8D batteries (I like to squeeze the sides to make sure they're firm.)
1 Heavy duty battery charger.
1 Air conditioning system (the best ones are mounted high up on a bridge)
1 Undersized water hose to air conditioning system.
1 Galvanized iron pipe nipple
Salt and pepper to taste
Serve on a bed of lettuce for a little extra panache. 

Because of the longer cooking time, we will start first with the blackened AC controller. My little trick to speed up the cooking time, is to make sure that the water line provides just enough water to fool the pressure switch, but no more than that. This allows the heat to steadily build up while increasing the amperage at the same time. There is such a thing as too much water added to this dish, which will dramatically increase the cooking time. You will know this full flavored dish is done when the AC controller turns black, and just starts to smoke. It reminds me of making a roux.

My secret ingredient in this zesty dish is the iron nipple that gives this dish such a quaint, and piquant rustic flavor. You most likely won't find these iron nipples at your local marine grocer, but if you shop around at the specialty shops they can be found. I like to keep an extra one on board in case hungry guests show up.

My mother used to prepare roasted batteries on special occasions, especially if her mother in law's family was coming over for dinner. Now there are a number of ways you can prepare this scrumptious dish. One of the most common ways of cooking them is to just turn the voltage on the charger way up, and let them cook away. My mother always preferred to do it the slower, and more old fashioned way. She took the batteries out into the sun with the caps off, and let the water evaporate until the tops of the plates were showing. My little recipe shortcut is to take your handy basting syringe, and suck the water from the batteries until just the tops of the plates are showing, It's not as traditional, but it's faster, and it tastes just as good. 

You now turn on the battery charger, pour yourself a nice glass of wine, (A dry Shiraz goes best with with roasted batteries) and wait until the fume sensors go off on the boat. This tells you they are done to a T. Turn off the charger, and let the roasted batteries rest for 20 minutes to absorb all of those delectable flavors. You can wait for the boiling to stop, but roasted batteries are best if served piping hot.

Prepare a nice bed of lettuce, and cut the AC controller into nice toast point shapes. Scoop out a good portion of delicious roasted batteries, and add a little extra au jus to each serving. And lastly, don't forget to make sure each of the children get one of those very succulent battery caps on their plate. When I was a child, this was a very wonderful dinner treat I always looked forward to. I can tell you're now as hungry as I am now, and you can only imagine the wonderful aroma that comes from truly homemade roasted batteries. Next week we are preparing broken impellers served with a wonderful pesto sauce, my mouth is watering already. That's it for the Splendid Galley this week, Bon appetit. I'm going to sit down, pour a nice glass of wine, light the candl.......


  1. I almost had the same roast of AC controller one morning for breakfast. Thankfully a keen nose and sharp reflexes kept the damage to the capacitor terminal and 1" of wiring. Keep up the awesome Blog, I'm an avid follower.

  2. That's a pretty measly portion to call dinner. I prefer big beefy cracked engine blocks baked to perfection with a topping of raw water impeller sans fins cordon bleu. ;-)

  3. Air conditioners are so much fun. Ours was one month old when we were sitting at a dock and smelled burning and saw some smoke lingering in the air. We tracked it down to the AC controller (which was buried under our V-Berth) and ripped open the cover (after we shut off the power to it - in retrospect, the first thing I'll do in the future if I smell an electrical "fire" is to shut off power from the batteries for the whole boat). Anyway, it turns out one of the wires in the controller was too short so the manufacturer did a direct point to point route for it - right over a capacitor of some sort. Over the month, the capacitor heated up, melted through the wire sheathing and when things were just right - it shorted out the unit and started burning. Thank god we were aboard when it happened and not off hiking or something. While the contractor was replacing the unit under warranty he mentioned that this was not the first one he's worked on with the exact same issue.

  4. I am now hungry. You should start a TV cooking show.