Subscribe today
Get Cruise Critic in your inbox
Readers' Favorite Cruise Recipes
Home > Cruise Styles > Gourmet > Readers' Favorite Cruise Recipes


Holiday Eats & Treats

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. Ashore, one of the best (and, right now, trendiest) ways to experience local culture is to sample each island or country's signature dishes and drinks.

We wanted to know what cruises, places and meals left an impression on you -- and seek out those recipes so that we can all recreate the experience at home. We've taken your requests and broken them down into four categories: Cocktails, Entrees, Desserts and In-Port Eats & Drinks (some of our favorites are showcased below). Dig in!

--by Melissa Paloti

Cocktails Entrees Desserts In-Port Eats & Drinks


When we took your request for smoked salmon quesadillas to Crystal Cruises, we learned that this is also a favorite dish of the line's corporate executive chef, Gunter Lorenz.
............................................................................................................................................................


Ingredients
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

Jicama-Grapefruit Salsa
2 ruby red grapefruit
segments (reserve juice)
1 medium root jicama, peeled and diced
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
Smoked Salmon Quesadillas With Mexican Guacamole and Jicama-Grapefruit Salsa
Jicama is a root vegetable that resembles a turnip; it is often found in Mexican and Central American dishes. If you can't find jicama, subtitute water chestnuts, radish or a crisp white turnip.

Crystal calls for mashing up a homemade quacamole of two ripe Hass avocados (peeled, pitted and diced), two tomatoes (skinned, seeded and chopped), some finely minced onion and jalapeno, olive oil, lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste. If you wanted to just make the salsa, you could use your favorite store-bought variety of guacamole.

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.


We received over a dozen requests for this recipe, including this promise from Sheila: "I make a pretty good bread pudding, nothing to compare with the bread pudding on Holland America Line's Oosterdam. I will be forever in your debt if you can provide this recipe." Sheila, now that we've learned this scrumptious way to use day-old bread, you don't owe us anything.
............................................................................................................................................................


Ingredients
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

Vanilla Sauce
1 pint milk
1 pint heavy cream
1 vanilla bean
8 oz sugar
9 oz egg yolks
Bread and Butter Pudding With Vanilla Sauce
This bread pudding with its creamy, vanilla-bean-speckled sauce is a Holland America classic. 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 -- yum.

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.


"We ordered the macadamia nut hummus through room service on a Hawaiian NCL cruise. We thought it was very savvy for NCL to help promote a feel for the islands by using one of Hawaii's specialties in an onboard recipe -- and we were curious to see whether it would be any good. It was wonderful! We know there was a lot of garlic, but we are eager to find out what else was in this delicious spread. Hope you'll be able to find out and share." --Phyllis
............................................................................................................................................................


Ingredients
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

Pineapple 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
Macadamia Nut Hummus With Roasted Pineapple Relish
NCL delivers this garlicky hummus and sweet-and-spicy relish to passengers' cabins with chips (Terra Chips offers a variety made from taro, a traditional Hawaiian root vegetable). We think both are also delicious dips for toasted pita triangles or crudites.

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 with macadamia nut hummus.


When Cruise Critic Editor Carolyn Spencer Brown headed off to Barcelona to cruise on Windstar's Wind Surf earlier this summer, she vowed to spend more time in the ship's gym -- and less dawdling over dessert. Alas. This strawberry shortcake, served in the ship's alternative restaurant Degrees, was so sumptuous she (gulp) ordered another.
............................................................................................................................................................


Ingredients
10 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
Splash vanilla extract

Filling
3 cups whipped cream
1 cup powdered sugar
6 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
Strawberry Short Cake
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. Whip cream with a hand mixer on high speed until soft peaks form (if you overdo it, your whipped cream will start to taste buttery). For the best results, be sure everything is cold, including your bowl and beaters -- we stick ours in the freezer five minutes beforehand.

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 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. Cut cooled sponge cake into thin rounds using a 3" 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.

3. Continue making individual cakes with remaining cake layers.

4. Decorate cakes with remaining whipped cream. Garnish with fresh strawberries and powdered sugar.


"My husband and I just returned from a wonderful Galapagos cruise on the Celebrity Xpedition. Everything was fantastic and the crew was great. Since there were only 78 passengers on our sailing, we all got to know each other. One of our favorite activities was meeting in the lounge before dinner and enjoying cocktails while exchanging stories about the day's events. Our favorite cocktail by far was the Blue-Footed Booby. Could you please find out how it's made? It sure would bring back some great memories. Thanks a million." --Diana Dosmann
............................................................................................................................................................


Ingredients
2 oz Cana Manabita
4 oz pineapple juice
.5 oz Blue Curacao
1 oz cream
Blue-Footed Booby
This drink is named for the long-winged seabirds that breed off the Pacific Coast of South America, most famously in the Galapagos Islands. Cana Manabita is a sugar cane liquor produced in Ecuador; if you cannot find it, Cachaca, a Brazilian liquor made from distilled sugar cane juice, is a nice substitute -- as is your favorite good-quality rum!

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender.

2. Pour into a cuvee glass, or 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).


"My boyfriend and I love all things seafood, so we were in dining heaven on our first cruise to the Caribbean a few years ago. We had delicious fresh fish dishes every day. Our favorite was the flying fish at The Tides in Barbados, flavored deliciously with peppers and spices. I may not be able to recreate the beautiful on-the-water setting, but I'd love to try the recipe at home!" -- soliteyah
............................................................................................................................................................


Ingredients
12 flying fish
4 cups tomato sauce
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper
Salt
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
Steamed Bajan Flying Fish Seasoned and Braised in a Rich Tomato Creole Sauce
Steamed flying fish is Barbados' national dish. If you cannot find flying fish, any meaty white fish -- like cod -- will work nicely in The Tides' recipe.

"Chopped seasoning" in its fresh form is generally a trinity of onion, bell pepper and celery. Fiestaspices.com offers a dried version that also includes carrots, parsley and garlic. Another good substitute is the island's 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 fish is cooked.

6. Serve with rice and peas. Serves 6.


"Carnival Destiny had a side dish that seemed like creamed peas, or green peas in a creamy sauce that was absolutely delicious. My family thought it was so good that we ordered additional entrees just for the peas. We would love to have the recipe!" -- Leslie Foster
............................................................................................................................................................


Ingredients
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
Pea Stew
Leslie, Carnival's executive chef tells us it's pea stew you're after. This is another recipe we scaled down; the original required 16 pounds of peas, 3 pounds of cheese and 3 gallons of half and half!

1. Saute 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. Salt and pepper to taste.


"On a recent trans-Atlantic on Norwegian Jewel, we were absolutely taken in by the chilled fruit soups that were available in the Garden Cafe. We had a different soup each day! The two we seem to remember are a banana soup and a pineapple soup. We just steered toward the chilled soup and helped ourselves, helped ourselves.... Once we have the recipe for one of them, I'm sure DW will be able to go from there for other flavors, depending on what fruit is available at the moment." -- Ask4Jay
............................................................................................................................................................


Ingredients
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
Ice Chilled Banana Soup with Yogurt and Mango
Chilled soups are a favorite among Cruise Critic readers! This NCL recipe, for an icy banana soup that's really a smoothie in a bowl, yields 10 servings. A countertop or hand-held blender should do the trick.

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.


Still hungry? Visit our Cruise Foodies forum!


You May Also Like:
Cruise Deals
Cruise Reviews
Alternative Dining
Food & Wine Cruises
What's Cooking in Onboard Cuisine
Cruising with Dietary Restrictions
Chewing the Fat About Healthy Cruising
Royal Caribbean Cruises
Carnival Cruises
Princess Cruises
Norwegian Cruise Line
Celebrity Cruises
Oasis of the Seas


 
About UsAdvertisingEditorial DisclaimerPress
PrivacySite MapStoreSubscribe
X

Thank You For Signing Up!

Please Note: To ensure delivery of your free e-letters, please add news@cruisecritic.com to your address book.

We're committed to protecting your privacy and will not rent or sell your e-mail address. By proceeding, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.