By Kirsten Corssen
Walking down the path from the ocean to the docks with beach chair in hand, you may smell the faint hint of charcoal in the air as you make you way down the dock. Your mouth begins to water as you walk by the grills with sizzling chicken rich with spices, wishing you could have just one bite. This is a normal occurrence at Atlantique. Just about every night you’ll find people grilling behind their boats to make their picnic dinner.
Not only is barbecuing great in the summer because you’re able to prepare an entire meal outside, it is truly a boater’s oven. Our tiny boat kitchens can be less than ideal, therefore grilling is the perfect solution. This in mind, here are some of Atlantique Boaters favorite cuisine offerings.
Chicken was sizzling as Joe Lafata flipped his wings. His boat “All Inclusive” really does have it all. He grills up a storm just about every weekend between chicken, steak or pork, but his best recipe, says his family, is his spicy chicken wings. Red-hot sauce marinated for a couple of hours, he throws it on the grill, but the real secret to his great wings is to constantly flip them, making them crispy but not burnt. His grill was a Father’s Day present this year. Well actually… every year the day after Father’s Day he drives around the neighborhoods looking for “gently used grills” that were replaced by wives and adoring families. This rescued grill is cleaned up a little then brought on the boat for full-time summer grilling.
Lisa has her own grill secret up her sleeve that tastes as if it’s from a five-star restaurant, or is it actually? Lisa from the boat “Sea Raider” stops at her favorite Chinese restaurant, Long River in West Islip, every Thursday after work to pick up dinner for the weekend. Instead of getting take-out she gets her favorite steak bits marinated but raw, making them easy to store and quick to cook when she craving her favorite Chinese dish – no marinating required.
Of course evening hours are not the only time to use the grill. Paul Torre from East Islip’s best meal on the grill is breakfast. No need to use the boat’s small galley ever when you can use the grill for every meal of the day. He has a griddle that takes up half the flame filled with eggs, and the rest has bacon, English muffins, and his favorite fried salami to spice up his morning routine. He even makes pancakes some days. The grill flame makes every meal more flavorful, and the salt air always adds some nice seasoning.
Although all these recipes are great ways to gather a crowd for a meal at the beach, we cannot forget about the other dishes that make up the picnic table dinner. There is nothing in the world like Sandra Brown’s fresh strawberry salad. On her boat “Sandra Won” she mixes up romaine lettuce, fresh strawberries, macadamia nuts, and her signature poppy seed dressing. It lightens up your meaty barbecue, and is the most refreshing summer salad to fall in love with.
Personally, being a vegetarian, my favorite grilled dish is vegetables. Anything from squash, peppers, zucchini, eggplant, and even some potato’s thrown right on the grill tastes amazing. Before you put them on, brush some olive oil, Italian seasoning, pepper, and some fresh herbs from the garden – then just place them on the grill. Food on Fire Island tastes that much better!
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