Flavorful Curry Mashed Potatoes

Flavorful Curry Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes! A side dish that doesn’t often grace my dinner table, but when it does I like to do it big! Fortunately for me, mashed potatoes are one of those side dishes that can be made in a multitude of ways, and lend themselves well to a variety of seasonings or mix-in.

This particular recipes elevates a simple mashed potato recipe, by utilizing a Trinidadian Curry Spice Blend I found at a local black-owned spice store called The Spice Rack . This spice gave this dish a powerful pack of flavor, and also adding a twinge of heat to each bite. It also gave it an appealing yellow color, that had my dinner guest salivating at first sight.

Although I purchased a premix blend (which I highly recommend and is included in this recipe). I spoke to a few of my West Indian friends (some of which are from Trinidad), and they gave me some insight on what makes the perfect spice blend for this type of dish. They informed me that when it comes to a traditional Trinidadian curry, two of the main ingredients are often cumin and coriander. The bright yellow coloring comes from tumeric (the more yellow the tumeric powder the better). Although there are different variations on this blend, a few also recommended cinnamon, cloves and cayenne pepper for a little bit of heat.

As a special note I added about two tablespoons of coconut milk to give a hint of the coconut flavor. I also cooked my potatoes in Chicken Broth with some water, for additional flavoring.

I hope you enjoy!

Curry Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Time: 30 Minutes | Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 -7 Yukon Gold Potatoes (Peeled and Halved)

  • 4 Cups of Chicken of Chicken Broth

  • 1 Stick Salted Butter

  • 3/4 Cup Evaporated Milk

  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Milk

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Spice Rack, Trinidadian Curry Spice (or any Curry Powder you can find that you like)

  • 2 Teaspoons of Salt

  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Instructions

  1. Fill a large pot with Chicken Broth and add potatoes. You may add water or additional chicken broth to ensure the potatoes are completely covered with water.

  2. Boil potatoes on medium heat until tender. Approximately 15-20 minutes. (Use a fork to test tenderness)

  3. Drain potatoes, and place in a large bowl. Add butter, evaporated milk, coconut milk and Trinidadian Curry Spice, and salt to bowl.

  4. Using a potato masher or standing mixer, mix ingredients together until thoroughly blended.

  5. Once done you may add additional salt or pepper to taste.

Flavorful Curry Mashed Potatoes Pin

Duck Neck Fried Rice

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There are times when a simple conversation can spark a wonderful spiral of ideas. That’s typically how conversation go with my friend, Sherrod. One of my favorite bloggers and an out of the box food artisan, Sherrod is that friend that casually introduces you to the hidden splendors of food you never imagined. It also helps that he is an excellent cook, and alongside his best friend, Danielle, runs a successful food blog - Slice and Torte.

In a causal conversation via Instagram, he mentioned his former life in New York and how one of his favorite comfort foods at the time was fried duck necks. Fried duck necks? I thought. It sounded interesting, however in my mind could not place the flavor, texture or consistency. Little did I know, almost serendipitously, I would meet a whole meat butcher the who carried duck, and elated about my interest in purchasing some duck necks.

I took a trip to her butcher shop, Primal Supply Meats. The shop, located in South Philadelphia, sources locally, sustainably raised meats. She greeted me with a smile, remembering me from the event. After a few moments of chit chat - I left with some fresh duck necks, ready to embark on a new culinary journey.

After scouring the internet for inspiration and a recent infatuation with fried rice - I was able to craft a recipe for Duck Neck Fried Rice that I am proud of. By seasoning the duck necks with crushed red pepper and salt, then roasting the necks in their own fat, I have been able to perfect the flavor. After shredding the meat in skin into fine pieces,  it became an easy companion to a simple fried rice recipe.

An instant favorite in our household, this is the perfect unconventional cold-weather dish  that packs a bit of heat. To top it off - duck necks tend to be an uncommon ingredient,  so using them creates a wow factor worthy of trying at your next dinner party! Check out the recipe below!

Duck Neck Fried Rice Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4-5 Raw Duck Necks

  • 1 tablespoon Salt

  • 1 Tablespoon Crushed Red Pepper

  • Cooking Spray

  • 2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil

  • 2 Cups Day Old Rice

  • 1 Large White Onion (Thinly Sliced)

  • 1/3 Cup Shredded Carrots

  • 1 Egg (Slightly Beaten)

  • 4 Tablespoons Soy Sauce

  • Chopped Green Onions (Optional)

For the Roasted Duck Necks

(Note: The shredded duck neck meat can be prepared in advanced, then used whenever you are ready to begin the Fried Rice. This roasting technique was adapted from another excellent recipe I found for Roasted Duck Neck Crostini on the blog What’s Cooking at Ray’s.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a baking dish with cooking oil, this will prevent the duck necks from sticking to the pan.

  2. Remove the skin from the duck necks and place them to the side (you will be using them in a moment). Season the de-skinned duck neck meat with salt and crushed red pepper.

  3. Line the duck necks in the baking dish, and place the removed skins on top of each neck. The skin will render copious amounts of fat, which will contribute to the cooking and overall flavor of the meat.

  4. Cover the pan with aluminum foil, and place in the oven. Cook for 1 hour covered, and then for an additional hour uncovered.

  5. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes. Using a fork (or in my case kitchen gloves and my fingers) shred the duck neck meat. You may also thinly slice the skins, which will be crispy and add some texture to your dish.

  6. Place the shredded meat in a bowl or refrigerate until you are ready to make the fried rice.

For the Fried Rice

  1. Preheat a wok or large skillet over medium heat and add sesame oil.

  2. Add onions and shredded carrots and begin frying to reach desired tenderness. As the onions and carrots are frying, push them to one side of the pan.

  3. Pour the slightly beaten egg into the side of the pan that is now clear. Using a spatula or chopsticks, scramble the egg until it is cooked thoroughly.

  4. Once the vegetables are tender and the egg is fully scrambled, add in the rice and the shredded duck neck meat (and skins).

  5. Pour soy sauce over top all ingredients, and mix together until coated evenly. Continue cooking until all the mixture is heated all the way through.

  6. Serve in bowl topped with green onions (optional).

  7. Enjoy!

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2019 Bucket List

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As far as years go, 2018 is certainly a tough act to follow. This was a year of life-changing milestones, among them getting married, relaunching Geo’s Table, and completing the first year of my doctoral program in Educational Technology. As the year progressed and my schedule became more open, I took a moment to breathe and reflect. For the first time in my life, I was seeing my dreams and goals actualized, and to be quite frank, it scared me. Instead of recognizing my abundance, I became anxious about the future and my plans. For a period, I spiraled into a state of distress about my life and where it was going.

Through the support and encouragement of my phenomenal husband, family, and friends, I spent the latter part of 2018 beginning a personal journey grounded in mental and physical well being. I recognized the power in sharing my story, and receiving others’ experience with an open heart and mind. I recognized now how honoring my fears has been a necessary step in moving forward and has helped me in making space for new opportunities and challenges.

As I move into 2019, I plan to use the self work of 2018 as a springboard. Geo’s Table has always been a therapeutic outlet for me, and this year will be no different. For 2019, instead of a bucket list of places to try, or travel adventures, my focus is on Geo’s Table, and following a simple mantra: Move forward.

2018 revealed to me that a year, a month and even a moment or experience can challenge you or take your life in new or more interesting directions. So in the spirit of moving forward, I present my 2019 bucket list. It is my hope that other bloggers and content creators might decide to join me in my conquest, as I check-off each bucket list item, and expand Geo’s Table into new territory.

2019 Bucket List

  1. Take course to enhance a skill.

2. Collaborate with at least 5 local content creators, business owners or brands.

3. Collaborate with at least 5 content creators, business owners or brands of color.

4. Pitch a story to at least 3 media outlets related to food or lifestyle.

5. Be a guest on a podcast.

6. Develop a three year plan for the blog with quarterly milestones.

7. Build a resource guide or course for the blog.

8. Attend a bloggers’ conference or retreat.

9. Complete a photography challenge (with my DSLR camera).

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Around Town: The Indian Grill

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Just a few weeks ago, The Indian Grill made its debut in Old City, Philadelphia and I got the opportunity to get up close and personal with several of their delectable dishes. The restaurant, which is a BYOB, specializes in North Indian cuisine as well as a collection of Indo-Chinese dining options.

Stop by to check out some of their daily specials and most popular items including Tandoori Chicken, Seekh Kabab, and Chicken Makhani. They also have a sizable list of options for vegetarians including Malai Kofta, Navratan Korma, and Palak Panir. My favorite, the Chicken Tikka Masala was spiced just right, leaving a lasting impression. In addition to this, I got to indulge most delicious Mango Lassi I’ve ever tasted. In addition to the food, the contemporary decor mixed with the sensational aromas make dining a fantastic experience! 

Visit The Indian Grill at 114 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia PA, 19106, or call (267) 519-8499 to make a reservation. For more information about The IndianGrill, visit their website and follow them on Facebook or Instagram.

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The Foodies Guide to Cherry Street Pier

One of my favorite sites in Philadelphia, is the Delaware River Waterfront. From comfort food and family fun at Spruce Street Harbor Park sustained by Univest and the Blue Cross River Rink to breathtaking views of the Ben Franklin Bridge from Race Street Pier or Cherry Street Pier, there is plenty to do, see, and explore. This October, a brand new space debuted to the public offering a fresh experience for art and food lovers a like! Formerly, Municipal Pier 9, Cherry Street Pier is a well-placed and much welcomed addition to the waterfront. As a public mixed-used space the pier is designed to provide space for artists, entrepreneurs and restaurants.

Recently, I got the chance to spend the afternoon at Cherry Street Pier and samples all of the wonderful food and beverages it offers. The space currently hosts an array of restaurants serving food from Vintage Trolleys, and an on-site bar featuring Philadelphia beer and cocktails made with local spirits.

With an empty belly in tote, I left satisfied, and excited to share my experiences!

The Foodies Guide to Cherry Street Pier

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Little Baby’s Ice Cream

A Philadelphia favorite, Little Baby’s Ice Cream is known for their out-of-the-box flavors as well as their dairy and non-dairy options. Grab a cup, cone, or a whole pint to share!

What to Try: Pumpkin Speculoos (Dairy) and the Chocolate Speculoos (Non-Dairy)

littlebabysic.com | Instagram: @littlebabysic

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Hardena

This was my first time trying authentic Indonesian cuisine, and I must say that I’m in love. Originally opened in 2001, Hardena is a small family-owned restaurant in South Philadelphia. For the pier, they have created a sizeable menu of traditional small bites ranging from chicken and lamb skewers to cooked salads and delicious corn and vegetable fritters.

What to Try: Satay Ayam (Chicken Skewers) and Bakwan (Mixed Veggie Corn Fritters)

hardenaphilly.com | Instagram: @hardenaphilly

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Cooperage

A Philly favorite for wine and whiskey, Cooperage also is known for their eclectic mix of new American fare. Their offerings at Cherry Street are no different. With a variety of options to choose from you can nom out on one of their many fresh sandwiches or salads. The best part, many of their menu items are packaged that make it easy to explore!

What to try: Old City Turkey Sandwich or the Broad Street Taco (with Salmon)

cooperagephilly.com | Instagram: @cooperagephl

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Drinks / Beverages

Boasting an assortment of local beers, wine and spirits evenings at Cherry Street Pier can be lit! With a fantastic list of curated cocktails made with spirits form Manatawny Still Works and Philadelphia Distilling, each cocktail pays homeage to best part of our city! If cocktails aren’t your thing, no worries, beer and wine is in abundance!

What to try: The Philly Phizz (made with Bluecoat Gin), or the Pier 9 Punch (made with Manatawney Whiskey)

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To learn more about Cherry Street Pier and the other attractions on the Delaware RIVER Waterfront, visit:

Delaware River WATERFront CORPORATION’s Website: delawareriverwaterfront.com