4th Annual Curry Cook-Off

If you’ve been a regular reader on Safari of the Mind, you’ll know that we usually host a Curry Cook-Off during the winter, just so we can get friends together, chase away the winter blahs and get a competition going.  Theme inspired parties are so much fun aren’t they?  We have friends who started a “Chilli Cook-Off” in the Fall, so I guess we thought why not get a Curry Cook-Off going in the winter, and that’s how this theme was born.  The first one was a huge success as were the succeeding ones, so the tradition is here to stay.

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Jamaican Curry Goat

Spring on the East Coast of the USA is sure taking its time making an entrance.  We’ve had a few “warm teaser days” and then a week later, we find ourselves still warming ourselves by the fire?  A few weeks ago we were enjoying the sun, sand and cuisine in Jamaica. I’m sure glad we went when we did, at least we got a taste of that warmth that we hope to experience here any day now (hint, hint).   If you haven’t yet read the post on Jamaica, I urge you to take a look at the previous post and be transported to that beautiful island in the sun.

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Turkey Taco Spaghetti Squash Boats

Why oh why is this winter dragging its heels?  We got a taste of spring a couple weeks ago that got me so excited about digging in the dirt again, but then it all changed lickety-split!  Just like that!   I’m so glad Bert and I escaped to Jamaica for 10 days last month to feel the warm sun and luxuriate on that tropical island.  We came back renewed and relaxed hoping that winter would be gone by the time we returned.  Surprise!!  Winter was still here and IS still here.    It’s just wonderful to be able to take a trip to sunny shores when winter is around don’t you?  I think from now on, since these old bones refuse to co-operate, I’ve advised my husband that we need more trips in the winter time.  He’s not a snowbird type, but going away in the winter is a good compromise – 2 weeks is all I need in the throes of winter.  Why go away in the summer when it’s sunny and hot everyday in our little corner of the world?  Well, I suppose being retired has its advantages 🙂  Well stay tuned my friends, the post on Jamaica should be up pretty soon.

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Goan-Style Mussels

This Goan-style delicacy is my all time favorite seafood dish.  Goa is the smallest state on the west coast of India known for its fresh seafood.  I may have said this before in various posts, but I’ll say it again – I could probably be quite content living on an island enjoying fish and vegetables on a banana leaf for the rest of my life :).

I’ve made this curry in two different ways in the past.  You could either use dry spices in a coconut broth or you could grind up a paste with shredded coconut and other spices to form a paste.  Today’s recipe calls for the first method.  These are without question, finger-lickin’ good!  You ought to have seen me, scooping up the delicious coconut broth with a shell and literally slurping it down.  I’m glad I was able to enjoy it all in the comfort of my own home 🙂

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Chicken Biryani Hyderabadi Style

If you were to ask me what my favorite Indian dish is, it would have to be Biryani.  This special one pot dish is a layered rice dish of the Indian subcontinent and it can include any types of meat, fish or vegetables.  India offers so many culinary wonders but most will agree that when it comes to biryanis, Indians unanimously love indulging in this mouth-watering dish. From start to finish, biryanis can be pretty time consuming, so mostly it is served up on special occasions.  Marinated in yogurt and a blend of different spices is key to making this dish moist and beyond flavorful.  On this particular day, there was absolutely no special occasion, just my tastebuds hankering for a good biryani.  So here it is.  Don’t let the long list of ingredients put you off.  Since there’s just my husband and myself, we were able to feast on the leftovers for weeks as I had portioned off meals and stored in the freezer.

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North African Fish Stew

If you’ve been reading my blog for the past few years, you will know that I love to dabble in all types of cuisines.  I mean gosh it’s all out there now isn’t it?  Even our wee state of Delaware has a lot going for it in the culinary department.  Mind you, when we first moved to Delaware from Texas in 1987, there were no Indian or Asian restaurants around, ethnic cuisine was hard to come by.   It was even hard to get Indian spices, but now they have mushroomed all over the place.   I will boldly take my taste buds where they haven’t ventured before, so what better way to taste test than to try it in your own home?  So with that, let’s just get to this delicious North African fish stew shall we?  Wow, it sure was a winner in our house.  I always tell my husband he is real fortunate to have a food blogger for a wife, I try and feature different recipes on the blog each week, and he gets to be the lucky recipient of it all.  🙂

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Roasted Cauliflower and Carrot Ziti

Cauliflower is the new ? Help me complete that sentence would you? 🙂  Start out with a blank canvas and the sky’s the limit on the variety of dishes you can cook with cauliflower.  I’ve riced cauliflower, made a pizza base, curried it, steamed it, made many vegetarian dishes with it, but had never cooked it with pasta.  Of course it defeats the purpose of adding pasta to a low-carb dish, but believe me on this one, it was absolutely amazing, probably a ton of calories in it too, but hey, one’s allowed to stray off the path sometimes eh?

One of its high nutritional aspects is the elevated daily value of vitamin C it produces in one sitting.  It’s also a good source of vitamin K, magnesium and fibre to name a few.  I liked roasting the cauliflower and carrots on high heat in the oven before adding it to the dish.  It gives it a nice caramelized finish.  You can use any kind of cheese instead of fontina mentioned in the recipe.  I had a sharp cheddar, but I’m sure fontina would take it up to a whole new level.

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Turkey chilli stuffed Delicata Squash

Has anyone tried Delicata Squash before?  When a friend recently handed me this squash, I had no idea what to do with it.  I had never cooked it before, but assumed it must come from the squash family.  I mean gosh, have you seen the varieties of squash that are available around Thanksgiving and Christmas time?  Many use the various types of squash to decorate around the holidays.  Well, I was certainly up for trying this unusual cylindrical looking vegetable.  They are cream colored with green stripes and are known to have good culinary qualities.  The best part?  The skin is delicate, so there’s no peeling involved, you just bake it, stuff it and eat it.  At least that’s what I did.  So read on.

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Vegetable Lasagne

I don’t typically make lasagne anymore as much as I used to.  I can’t explain why, I guess it’s just that I don’t like eating leftover lasagne for days as it would easily take my husband and I at least 3 days to finish that amount of lasagne.  But I did change my mind after eating this particular one.  I decided that this one could even be served when one is entertaining, it is that good.  Could the white wine have enhanced the flavors I wonder? 🙂

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Oven Cooked Beef Pot Roast

He must have had some brownie points stashed away somewhere for me to have even entertained the idea of a succulent and mouthwatering beef pot roast that particular evening.   If you have been an ardent follower of Safari of the Mind, you will know that I’m talking about my husband, Bert.  It’s not very often that I cook a beef pot roast these days, but don’t get me wrong, we both love it, but for health reasons I try to limit our beef intake.  You should have seen his expression when I pulled this out of the oven!  I can’t tell you how moist and flavorful this one pot wonder was.  The prep work didn’t take too long either, and then, wham, boom, bang in the oven it went with all those flavors, perfuming the entire house.  I literally threw splashes of red wine in the pot without measuring, and wow, this was a winner!  Inexpensive cuts of beef are best for pot roasts.

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Red Lentil (vegan), one pot curry

There’s just so many lentil recipes out there, there are also many varieties of lentils that line the shelves at the supermarket.  I don’t know anyone who has an aversion to lentils do you?  Red lentils in particular cook in no time and in under 20 minutes,  you’ve got comfort in a bowl.  Lentils are also inexpensive and a nutritional powerhouse offering plenty of essential nutrients that is beneficial to your health.

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