Attention all cruise ship recipe-seekers! We know that traveling and eating go hand in hand. Onboard today's cruise ships, there are buffets, coffee shops, traditional dining rooms and upscale restaurants offering gut-busting -- and, yes, even health-conscious -- choices. But you don't have to give up the good eats when you go home.
We asked our members which cruise dishes were their favorites and convinced a few cruise lines to share the secret ingredients with us. Below, you'll find recipes for entrees and desserts, as well as starters, sides and drinks, so you can re-create a cruise ship meal in your own kitchen. Dig in!
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- Norwegian's Macadamia Nut Hummus With Roasted Pineapple Relish
- Carnival's Pea Stew
- Crystal's Smoked Salmon Quesadillas With Mexican Guacamole and Jicama-Grapefruit Salsa
- The Tides' Steamed Bajan Flying Fish Seasoned and Braised in a Rich Tomato Creole Sauce
- Celebrity Xpedition's Blue-Footed Booby Cocktail
- Norwegian's Ice Chilled Banana Soup with Yogurt and Mango
- Norwegian's Sinful Chocolate Obsession
- Carnival's Warm Chocolate Melting Cake
- Holland America's Bread and Butter Pudding with Vanilla Sauce
- Windstar's Strawberry Short Cake
Norwegian's Macadamia Nut Hummus With Roasted Pineapple Relish
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.
Carnival's Pea Stew
1 lb frozen green peas
6 oz heavy cream
3 cups half and half
1.5 oz parmesan cheese
1.5 oz Swiss cheese, grated
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1. Sautee chopped onions and garlic in oil or butter.
2. Add cream and half and half.
3. Reduce to 1/4; add green peas, parmesan cheese and Swiss cheese.
4. Continue cooking until mixture thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Crystal's Smoked Salmon Quesadillas With Mexican Guacamole and Jicama-Grapefruit Salsa
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 guacamole on the side.
The Tides' Steamed Bajan Flying Fish Seasoned and Braised in a Rich Tomato Creole Sauce
12 flying fish (or any meaty white fish, such as cod)
4 cups tomato sauce
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup water
1 large lime
2 tbsp chopped seasoning
2 tomatoes, diced
1 onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 tbsp butter
"Chopped seasoning" in its fresh form is generally a trinity of onion, bell pepper and celery. A dried version might also include carrots, parsley and garlic. Another good substitute is Barbados' famous Bajan seasoning -- a somewhat wet rub of garlic, thyme, onion, marjoram and pepper -- or green seasoning.
1. Marinate fish in lime and salt for five minutes.
2. Rinse off fish and season with chopped seasoning.
3. Sautee the vegetables in a saucepan with butter for five minutes on a medium heat.
4. Add remaining ingredients; add salt to taste and simmer for six minutes.
5. Add fish and cook for three minutes or until cooked.
6. Serve with rice and peas. Serves 6.
Celebrity Xpedition's Blue-Footed Booby Cocktail
2 oz Cana Manabita, Cachaca or a good-quality rum
4 oz pineapple juice
0.5 oz Blue Curacao
1 oz cream
1. Combine all ingredients in a blender.
2. Pour into a cuvee glass, a wide-bowled white wine glass or Champagne flute.
3. For a variation on the theme, try the Red-Footed Booby, made with 2 ounces Finlandia vodka, 1/4 ounce Cointreau and 2 ounces pineapple juice. (Shake over ice and serve in a martini glass.)
Norwegian's Ice-Chilled Banana Soup with Yogurt and Mango
1/4 cup ripe bananas
1 3/4 cup banana ice cream
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp buttermilk
1 3/4 tbsp honey
1 1/2 cups yogurt
1/3 cup fresh diced mango
1. Blend the ripe bananas in buttermilk and honey.
2. Add the ice cream and yogurt and blend smooth.
3. Add more honey for taste if needed.
4. Ladle into soup cups and top with diced mango; serve immediately.
Norwegian's Sinful Chocolate Obsession
For the cakes:
2 lbs semisweet chocolate
4 1/2 oz butter
12 egg yolks
4 oz sugar, separated
4 egg whites
1 tbsp rum
8 oz heavy cream
2 oz almonds, toasted
2 oz pistachios, chopped
For the ganache:
2 lbs dark chocolate couvertures (or best-quality dark chocolate), finely chopped
32 fl oz heavy cream
1. Melt chocolate and butter together.
2. Whip yolks and 2 oz sugar together. Combine into chocolate butter mix.
3. Whip whites together with 2 oz sugar and rum to volume. Combine into chocolate butter yolk mix.
4. Whip the heavy cream and fold into mixture; fold in nuts.
5. Pipe or spoon into individual cake dishes or ramekins, and top with a cardboard disk to act as base once flipped out. Freeze. (This recipe makes enough batter for 10 individual cakes.)
6. Make ganache: Bring the heavy cream to a simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate; allow one minute before stirring to blend. Strain and cool.
7. Remove cakes from ramekins and plate with desired garnishes; Norwegian's chefs use raspberry sauce, vanilla sauce, mint sprigs, whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Top cake with ganache.
Carnival's Warm Chocolate Melting Cake
1 lb dark chocolate
1 lb butter
1/2 cup plus 4 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup less 4 tbsp flour
1. Melt the chocolate and butter together.
2. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs and sugar; whisk for a few minutes, then add the flour.
3. Add the egg mixture to the melted chocolate and mix.
4. Pour the mix into greased individual serving dishes. Bake in the oven between 375 and 400 Fahrenheit for 14 minutes.
5. Enjoy warm with ice cream.
Holland America's Bread and Butter Pudding With Vanilla Sauce
For the pudding:
1 quart milk
6 eggs, beaten
3 egg yolks, beaten
6 oz sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 lbs day-old bread
3 oz butter, melted
4 oz raisins
For the sauce:
1 pint milk
1 pint heavy cream
1 vanilla bean
8 oz sugar
9 oz egg yolks
If you don't have custard cups, serve it family style in a large casserole dish. This recipe yields 15 servings of bread pudding and three pints of sauce. To make a rum sauce, add 1/4 cup of rum per every pint of vanilla sauce.
1. To make the custard, combine milk, eggs, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla; mix well.
2. To prepare the bread, cut in cubes, drizzle with butter and toast in the oven.
3. Combine custard, bread and raisins; fill buttered custard cups.
4. Bake in a water bath in a 325-degree oven for 45 minutes or until custard is set.
5. To make the sauce, heat milk, heavy cream, vanilla bean (cut in half lengthwise) and half of the sugar until it boils. Remove the vanilla.
6. Combine egg yolks and the rest of the sugar, then temper with part of the boiling milk while stirring constantly.
7. Pour tempered mixture into the remaining milk and return to the heat.
8. Stirring constantly, cook to 180 degrees. Remove immediately from stove and strain into a bowl.
9. Cool using an ice bath -- simply place the bowl in a larger bowl filled with icy water, being careful not to let the sauce get wet.
Windstar's Strawberry Short Cake
For the cake:
10 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
Splash vanilla extract
For the filling:
1 1/2 cups of heavy cream (or 3 cups of whipped cream)
1 cup powdered sugar
6 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
Fresh whipped cream dresses up this dessert and is simple to make; 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream will yield 3 cups of whipped cream.
Windstar's recipe calls for making individual cakes. If you don't have a cookie cutter or cake ring, try cutting the sponge into squares of equal size, and construct the cake(s) freehand.
1. Mix eggs with sugar and whip until creamy; add flour and vanilla extract. Spread out onto lightly greased or parchment lined sheet pan and bake at 350 degrees until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
2. If you're making your own whipped cream, whip cream with a hand mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. (For the best results, be sure everything is cold, including your bowl and beaters -- we stick ours in the freezer five minutes beforehand.)
3. Cut cooled sponge cake into thin rounds using a 3-inch round cookie cutter or cake ring. Place layer of sponge cake in cake ring, and top with whipped cream and sliced strawberries. Add a second layer of sponge cake topped with whipped cream and sliced strawberries, followed by a final layer of sponge cake. Remove cake ring.
4. Continue making individual cakes with remaining cake layers.
5. Decorate cakes with remaining whipped cream. Garnish with fresh strawberries and powdered sugar.