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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Dry Rub Chicken Pasta featuring SweeetHeat All Purpose Rub

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Proper and quality seasoning is the cornerstone to any stovetop recipe. So when I come across one that is a cut above the rest, my interest is immediately piqued. That was the case with SweeetHeat All Purpose Rub.

I was introduced to the owner of this fantastic product, Demond Mullen, via Facebook. A caterer, chef and creator of Sweeetheat brand, his passion and heartfelt belief in his product was resounding. He emphasized their versatility and how they were more than just spices, rubs and BBQ sauces, instead he presents them as an essential condiment to any kitchen dish. From using his BBQ sauces as a base on pizzas to giving his deviled eggs a savory pinch with his seafood spice, Demond was able to provide color to what differentiates his brand.

Allowing me to put his confidence to the test, he sent me his suite of sauces and rubs which included bottles of his Spicy Homey Honey, Sweeet St. Louis and Kansas City Classic BBQ sauces as well as his Savory Seafood Spice, Southern BBQ Blend and All Purpose Rub. The sauces and spices have become a quick go to for a number of dishes in my household, which have include using the Sweeet St. Louis sauce as a dressing for pasta salad, and seasoning my roasted vegetables with the Southern BBQ blend. Of all the SweeetHeat offerings, which will now be a mainstay in my kitchen, my go-to has been the All Purpose Rub.

 SweeetHeat’s All Purpose Rub includes a blend of sugar, Spanish paprika, sea salt, oregano and bells seasoning. Its hint of sweetness is what makes it extra special, and  Ihave found it pairs well with any meat, especially well ribs, steak and of course, chicken! Although I have made several dishes with this rub, one of my favorites was a one-pot chicken pasta made with a parmesan creme sauce.

As a child my mother would always add a little sugar to our pasta sauces, and as an adult, pasta just doesn’t seem right to me without a little sweetness. Using the SweeetHeat All Purpose Rub to season the chicken for this pasta took me back to my childhood, while getting to use these wonderful product in an unconventional way. Gathering a little inspiration from my good friend Quin, who made an awesome Cajun Chicken Pasta on her blog Butter Be Ready, certainly helped to bring this recipe to life!

Check out my recipe for Dry Rub Chicken Pasta below, and grab some SweeetHeat to upgrade your dishes!

Dry-Rub Chicken Pasta with SweeetHeat All Purpose Rub

Ingredients

  • 2 Large Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (Cubed)

  • 2 Tablespoons SweeetHeat All Purpose Rub

  • 1 Tblspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • 1 Tblspoon Minced Garlic

  • 2 Servings or 1/2 Box of Penne or Cavatappi Pasta (or any pasta of your choosing)

  • 1 Red and Green Bell Pepper

  • 1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream

  • 1 Cup Parmesan Cheese

  • 1 Teaspoon Crushed Red pepper

Instruction

  1. Cut the chicken breast into cubes, and season with SweeetHeat All Purpose Rub. Place in the refrigerator to marinade for up to 1 hour.

  2. In a cast iron skillet on high heat, heat the olive oil, add in red and green peppers and cook until they begin to soften (approximately 5 minutes).

  3. Reduce the heat to medium, and add marinated chicken and garlic to skillet and cook until it is brown.

  4. While the chicken is cooking prepare the pasta  (use package instructions) and parmesan sauce (use the package instructions).

  5. To prepare the parmesan sauce, pour heavy whipping cream into a medium sized saucepan and heat on medium heat until it come to a boil. Using a whisk, stir in the parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper until it thickens.

  6. Drain and place cooked pasta into the skillet.  Pour the parmesan cheese sauce overtop of all the pasta, cooked chicken and peppers. Mix together with a wooden spoon until all ingredients are well coated.

  7. Serve in a bowl topped with additional parmesan cheese.

Happy eating!

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Shrimp Boil Foil Packets

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This year while many of my friends and family members hosted or attended cookouts, my husband and I celebrated our holiday by preparing a meal together. Battling the mid-week blues this July 4th holiday brought us, we decided to continue an annual summertime tradition of curating a surf and turf feast.

In exploring ways to make our dinner a little less labor intensive (as it has been in the past), I came across a  simple recipe for  foil packets made with shrimp, potatoes, hot sausage and corn on the cob. I modified the recipe to add a little "Geo flare," adding some spice and minced garlic to give the packets a more savory punch. Fortunately, they were an instant hit with the hubs and will now be a staple in our household.

We paired these with medium-rare New York strip steak, and snow crabs legs to complete our surf and turf dinner. Check out the recipe below.

Shrimp Boil Foil Packets Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Raw Shrimp, Deveined
  • 2 Ears of Corn (Cut into 4 pieces each)
  • 1 pound Marble Mixed Potatoes
  • 1 Package Hot Italian Sausage (Sliced Thinly
  • 4 teaspoons Minced Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

For the seasoning (yields 4 tablespoons)

  • 4 Teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 4 Teaspoons Dried Parsley
  • 2 Teaspoons Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoons Paprika
  • 1 Teaspoons Chili Powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 Degrees. While the oven heats, cut four sheets a foil (about 1 foot long) and divide shrimp, corn, mixed marble potatoes, and hot Italian sausage evenly among the four packets
  2. In a small bowl blend together kosher salt, paprika, chili powder, dried parsley and crushed red pepper to make the seasoning. 
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of the seasoning, 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil, and 1 teaspoon of minced garlic to each packet. 
  4. Fold all sides of each packet, and securely seal. Shake packets to ensure even coating of seasoning and olive oil. Place foil packets in oven and bake for 20-22 minutes* (or until potatoes are cooked through).

Enjoy!

3 Summer Salads to Upgrade your BBQ

Although it's hard to believe, summer will be making a swift exit in the next few weeks to make way for the cool winds of Autumn.  Before we store away our grills, and cover up the patio furniture, there's still ample time to celebrate by planning an end of summer BBQ.

As  you peruse your grocery story for hotdogs and hamburgers, and check out your local farmers market for the most ripest seasonal fruit, remember that no summer soiree is complete without a summer salad! From old time favorites of the potato or pasta variety to salads that add some flare to the freshest fruits and veggies, everyone I know has their favorite they look forward to indulging in this time of year.

If you are feeling adventurous, and want to take a little excursion from your traditional summer salads,  here are three salad upgrades that are sure to win your heart.

Photo by Geo Darwin

Photo by Geo Darwin

Grilled Corn & BLACKBERRY SALAD WITH BALSAMIC VINAIGARETTE

( Recipe c/o Korena in the Kitchen )

Best when made with corn fresh off the cob, this unlikely pairing is the perfect marriage of sweet and savory. Tossed lightly in balsamic vinaigrette gives this salad and extra special punch!

Photo by Food Network

Photo by Food Network

 

 

Cous Cous Salad with Tomato and Mint

(Recipe c/o Food Network )

Pasta move to the side, Cous Cous may just be the new winner. A  simple Mediterranean salad complimented with some mint. 

 

 

 

 

Photo by My Recipes 

Photo by My Recipes 

GEORGIA Shrimp and Radish Salad

( Recipe c/o My Recipes )

For the seafood lovers looking for a bit a flare this is one to try. The radishes pairing perfectly with fresh shrimp creates an amazing texture and flavor to die for!