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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Fried Oreo Beignets

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When I started Geo’s Table in 2015, one of the first recipes I created for the blog were Fried Oreo Beignets. Nearly, 3 years later, and that post is the highest ranking recipe on the blog. During my trip to New Orleans, my eyes were opened to a new world of beignets that put my original recipe to shame. Getting the opportunity to partake in both savory beignets (during my Drake on Cake Demo with Joy the Baker) and classic beignets heavily coated with powdered sugar at Cafe Du Monde, I came to the realized quick that my recipe desperately needed an update.

Deciding to tackle true New Orleans Beignets was no small fete,This labor of love turned out splendidly. So much so, that my mother has made a special request to have them on the menu for Thanksgiving.

Scouring the internet for authentic recipes was a bit overwhelming (who knew there were so many ways to fry and beignet?). After pondering over a few, I found an excellent recipe from Sugar and Charm that seemed manageable and allowed me to get my feet wet with this fried delicacy.

Creating the dough from scratch, adding a hint of vanilla and folding in a “healthy” amount of crushed Oreos truly took this recipe to the next level. This recipe also gave me an excuse to christen the Chrome Gold Kitchen Aid, Mark and I got as a wedding gift (and to be honest, I don’t know how I ever baked without it).

Check out the new and improved recipe for the Fried Oreo Beignets below. Happy eating!

Fried Oreo Beignets Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water

  • 1/2 cup white sugar

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 cup evaporated milk

  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

  • 6 1/2 cups bread flour

  • 1/4 cup shortening

  • 2 cups crushed Oreos

  • Corn Oil for frying

  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, combine the warm water, sugar and yeast and stir. Let the mixture sit for at least 10  minutes.

  2. Using a stand-alone mixer, combine the eggs, evaporated milk, pure vanilla extract and salt. Beat well until all ingredients are combined.

  3. Setting the mixer speed to low, add in the yeast mixture to the egg mixture.

  4. While still on low, mix in 3 cups of bread flour.

  5. Add the shortening and continue to mix before adding the remaining 3 1/2 cups bread flour. Be sure not to over mix.

  6. Knead the dough until it is smooth (not stiff). Place the dough in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Set the bowl in a warm area and let it rise for 2 hours.

  7. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4″ thick.  Add 2 cups of crushed oreos on top of rolled out dough. Fold in the oreos, and reroll the dough out on the service (1/4# thick)

  8. Slice into 2″ squares with a pizza cutter. Using your hands roll the squares into perfectly round balls.

  9. Heat corn oil (a dutch oven works best) until the temperature reaches 350 degrees (or very hot)

  10. Place a few beignet balls in the oil, and watch them fry. Be sure to turn them so they fry evenly.

  11. Remove from heat and set on a plated covered by a paper towel. Once all beignets have been fried, add spread the confectioners sugar on a baking sheet, and have fun coating the beignets!

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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!

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Kebabs

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The deeper we dive into the warmer months, the more anxious I become about getting my tastebuds on some of my favorite summer-time cuisine. This list is quite exhaustive ranging from potato salad to cheeseburgers to fried oreos, and each year I seek out opportunities to get my a taste of each. This year is no different. 

Being a city dweller with limited access to grilling equipment - I’ve had to get a little creative when it comes to executing a few of the dishes on the list. Quick and easy, these sweet and spicy chicken kebabs were made in the oven, but would work well on a grill! Using Williams Sonoma’s BBQ spice, a little crushed red pepper and a hint of brown sugar - these babies  encompass all the flavors that make summer special.

You are bound to make these a staple on your summer bbq list! Check out the recipe below!!!!

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Kebabs

Ingredients

  • 2 Large Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts cut into two inch cubes
  • 2 Small Heads of Broccoli
  • 6 Campari Tomatoes
  • 1 Large White Onion
  • 3 tablespoons Williams Sonoma BBQ Spice
  • 1 tablespoon Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • Fresh Lime Wedges

Instructions

For this recipe I used metal skewers, which have been a life saver and much used addition to my kitchen. You can purchase some inexpensive ones here. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 12 hours before using them for this dish.

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. While the oven preheats, whisk together olive oil, Williams Sonoma's BBQ spice, crushed red pepper, brown sugar and salt in a bowl. Add the cubed chicken to the bowl and toss, ensuring all pieces are fully coated. Set aside to marinade for 10 - 15 minutes.
  2. Cut tomatoes, onions and broccoli into bite sized slices. Once complete, you can begin to build the skewers by using the tomatoes as bookends, and alternating the broccoli, onions and chicken cubes. Each skewer should have approximately 4 cubes of chicken, 3 pieces of broccoli, 3 onion slices, and 2-3 tomatoes.
  3. Lay the kebabs on a baking rack, leaving approximately 2 inches of space in  between each. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, flipping the kebabs about halfway through baking time. (Quick tip: Prior to baking, I typically spray a light coat of cooking spray on all sides of the kebab.)
  4. Remove the kebabs from the oven and let rest for approximately 5 minutes before serving. Serve with a wedge of fresh lime. 

Enjoy!