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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Cruise: Food, Glorious Food!

Everything you've heard about food on a cruise ship is true... great food and lots of it. You could have a steak and potato or you could have something a wee bit different. You know me... if it was "different" I had to try it. After all, if I didn't like it I could order a different entrée.

Check out some of the better things I tried...

*Free-range Guinea Fowl Smitanne: Grandmother's Sunday Roast served with a wild mushroom cream sauce, Vichy carrots and chateau potatoes.

*Sea Scallops Mediterranean Fashion: Presented on a bed of eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, black olives, capers and fresh herbs.

*Lobster Tail and King Prawns with Tumeric-Fennel Emulsion: Wilted arugula and romaine lettuce, whipped potatoes.

*Royal Pheasant in Pan Juices: An oven roast with Brussels sprouts, caramelized shallots and Parisienne potatoes.

*Oven-Baked Spring Leg of Lamb, Aussie Style: slowly oven roast with aromatic herbs in a pungent apple cider, sweet mint baby peas and sliced potatoes with onions.

*Braised Lamb Shank Pirate's Style: slowly braised tender lamb, flavored with fenugreek and cardamom served with gratinated calabasa, corn bean casserole and fruitbread croquette.

*Risotto con Pollo e Asparagi: a combination of Italian rice with green asparagus tips and strips of chicken, finished with fresh herbs and parmesan cheese.

*London Mixed Grill: Beef Medallion, lamb chop, English banger, tomato with green beans and shoestring potatoes.

*Alaskan Salmon in Dill Sauce: broiled filet with garlic mashed potatoes and cucumber sauce.

*Vol-au-Vent a la Reine: creamed chicken, sweetbreads and mushrooms in a puff pastry case.

*Moroccan Orange Salad with Dates and Golden Raisins

*Chilled Yogurt and Tamarind Soup sprinkled with grated lemon rind.

*Chilled Banana and Strawberry Soup

We won't even talk about the desserts...

There are several dining options. First is the dining room, a formal served meal. This is where you get the best meals. But if you're tired and don't feel like dressing up, you can go up to the top deck for the buffet, which runs 24 hours. It will have a few things from the dining room menu but not the best stuff. There's also a pizza place and a grill where you can order a burger or hot dog. Finally there are several "upcharge" restaurants that you have to pay to eat at. The Italian restaurant is Sabatini's and they advertise a "20 course meal". We decided we had to check that out... 20 courses is a bit amazing even if it is tasting portions. Well... it wasn't 20 courses... it was 20 items. There was an appetizer course, antipasti, pizza, soup, salad, pasta, entrée and dessert courses. Eight courses... 20 items.

Have you ever seen the Food Network series "Iron Chef" where 2 chefs compete making a complete meal using just about anything and one select "secret ingredient"? Chef Ulrich must have dreams of going one-on-one with Bobby Flay because our Thanksgiving menu looked like it could be an episode of that TV series... Iron Chef Battle Pumpkin!


*Pumpkin Gnocchi Gratin: potato pillows with fresh tomato and truffle pumpkin coulis.

*Delicate Snow Crab Salpicon: sweet crab surrounded by pumpkin puree and crisp pumpkin straw.

Soup and Salad

*Roasted Pumpkin and charred Sweet Corn Chowder with Cumin Croutons

*Double Chicken Consommé with Pumpkin Quenelles

*Chilled Cream of Pumpkin & Chestnut Soup with Fried Pumpkin Seeds

*Winter Mesclun Greens Salad Tossed with a Pumpkin Seed Oil Vinaigrette


*Broiled Filet of Deep Sea Cod: served with pumpkin risotto and a cardamom cream.

*Slow Roasted Vermont Turkey: dressed with a traditional stuffing, oven roasted sweet potatoes, pumpkin polenta and warm cranberry chutney.

*Center Cut Pork Loin Chop: braised red cabbage and pumpkin spaetzle in a tarragon jus.

*Grilled Medallion of Aged Beef Tenderloin: with a sautéed pumpkin rosti and caramelized shallots on a rich bordelaise sauce.

*Pumpkin Crème Brule with Cinnamon Ice Cream

*Traditional Pumpkin Pie with Bourbon Crème Fraiche

*Caramelized Pumpkin and Apple Strudel

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