Smokin' Beets! - Galley Notes: Cooking for $15 a day...on a sailboat! Blog at - 178055

Galley Notes: Cooking for $15 a day...on a sailboat!

Smokin' Beets! 
Jun. 1, 2010 6:16 am 
Updated: Jun. 6, 2010 11:26 pm
Well, my beets were smoking, and not in a good way! Confession: I have never prepared fresh beets. My impression was that they take forever to cook, and difficult to peel, and the canned ones are just fine!

A restaurant on the island used to serve a veggie burger with beets and goat cheese, but I didn't have a chance to try it before they took it off the menu...but it sounds so good I wanted to try at home, and with fresh beets. I looked at lots of recipes for roasted beets, and yes, they seemed to take forever. One recipe reviewer said she just did them in the microwave for 10 minutes, then ran them under water and the peel just rubs right off!

I had to give that a try. My beets were kind of small, so I put them in the microwave for only 8 minutes. The first couple minutes they smelled great- like beets! The next couple minutes they smelled like potatoes...and soon I was smelling burning popcorn. Hmmm, that's interesting.

Eight minutes up, I open the door and the paper plate I'd set them on was burned (popcorn smell) and my beets were shriveled and literally smoking. Black smoke was pouring out of the little holes I'd made so they wouldn't explode. Well. Luckily I had a few more beets! This time I put them on for less than 3 minutes, just until they smelled good (and on a glass plate this time), took them out and tented them with some foil til they were cool. I wasn't able to rub the skins off, so had to do it with a paring knife, which was a little tricky now that they were soft.

Instead of a veggie burger, I marinated 2 portobello mushrooms in balsamic and garlic, salt and pepper, then pan fried til golden. I had a taste for those little Hawaiian buns, so I made the sandwiches into sliders, stacking the beets, mushrooms, red onions, and goat cheese. WOW. Delicious! I have to say the fresh beets were tastier than canned (of course), and now that I have my method down I will try again!

I served these with what started as sweet potato fries, and ended up as a sweet potato hash brown. They never got crispy in the oven and were sticking and making a big mess, so I smushed them in a fry pan with some oil and cooked til crispy. Tasted great!

CameĀ $1 under budget this week (it's $105 for breakfast and dinner, food and drink) and this is what we ate:

Sunday: Crispy Rosemary Chicken with roasted red potatoes and asparagus
Monday: Portobello Beet Goat Cheese Sliders
Tuesday: Lobster Feast (see last post!)
Wednesday: Soup and Beef Springrolls
Thursday: Leftovers with Basmati Rice
Friday: Date Night (T took us out for pizza)
Saturday: Chicken with roasted green beans and carrots

Thanks for stopping by, hope everyone has a great week!
Photo Detail
Jun. 1, 2010 6:49 am
OMG, those sliders look DEADLY!! I will totally be stealing that recipe! yum yum yum!!
Jun. 1, 2010 7:20 am
I love fresh beets. I've always boiled them to get the skins off. Leave the root and some of the top on ( I've been told this is supposed to keep them from "bleeding" but mine always do anyway). You don't have to cook them all the way doing this just til they're good and HOT, then plunge them in COLD water to slip the skins, cut off the root and tops and cook however you'd like them cooked. Those sliders do look awesome. . . any leftovers??
Jun. 1, 2010 7:27 am
Oh, how I hated beets when I was a kid, you couldn't pay me enough to eat them. As an adult, I really like're one up on me...I sent my microwave back to storage and have never used it in the RV here! Curiosity many gallons of propane do you go through a week when you cook? If you do have a propane stove, I assume you do...I just wanted to compare!
Jun. 1, 2010 9:04 am
Thanks for the tip Lady Sparkle! And to witchwoman- I think we have a 10 pound's smaller than what you'd use for a bbq...we fill it once every 2 to 3 months!
Jun. 1, 2010 9:43 am
nice recipe Barbara, love beets, not sure about the goat cheese. I have pickled so many beets I am surprised that my hands are not permanently purple.
Jun. 1, 2010 11:18 am
Sounds excellent! Too funny about the beets, do you ever ask yourself, why didn't I get them out when they started to smell different? Every time I don't go with my gut and adjust the time/temp. I regret it. I'll have to try that way to do beets...the three minute way that is!
Jun. 1, 2010 12:03 pm
I am always envious of your life on a boat! Curious, though - do you plan to do this indefinitely?
Jun. 1, 2010 1:18 pm
Hi Barbara, I just read all your blogs this weekend and I am hooked!! I have never tried fresh beets before and now I am curious to try them. The sliders look delicious.
Jun. 1, 2010 4:01 pm
Thanks! I don't know about indefinitely on the boat, or in the islands...but we sure love it for now! I can't imagine a better life- we are very lucky!
Jun. 2, 2010 6:12 pm
yes, those beet sliders look awesome! thanks for sharing barb!
Jun. 2, 2010 8:26 pm
I love fresh beets. I learned at our farmer's market that if you pick small beets you can scrub them well and not need to peel them. I like to quarter them, toss with EVOO and roast. The greens are also edible, just saute quickly (I do it in bacon drippings) I put the roasted beets and a bit of goat cheese on the greens, serve a loaf of crusty bread and call it a meal.
Jun. 6, 2010 11:26 pm
So cute, yet deeply yummy looking. I did a charcoal'd version of a sweet potato once. Once is enough! The neighbor lady sweetly telephoned to ask (as black smoke poured out of my breakfast nook window), "Is everything alright over there this morning?" Very creative recreation of the sandwich no longer on THEIR menu, btw.
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Barbara K

Home Town
South Bend, Indiana, USA

Member Since
Apr. 2007

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Baking, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Mediterranean, Vegetarian, Quick & Easy, Gourmet

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About Me
I live on a sailboat in the Virgin Islands with a tiny fridge, so there is no room for leftovers. I love the ingredient search on this site...I never waste anything! It's very expensive to live here, so we do a menu challenge-trying to spend less than $15 a day on food.
My favorite things to cook
I am a jewelry designer and work for myself, so I have the flexibility to make time-consuming or complicated meals, but I usually end up making something quick and easy or using the slow cooker.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Oyster dressing is a must for Thanksgiving and Christmas! I keep Grandma's handwritten recipe and follow it exactly.
My cooking triumphs
My very first turkey for my husband! It's called a Black Turkey, and the best I've ever had!
My cooking tragedies
There was a Key Lime Pie that we do not talk about!
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