Author: Loretta

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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Island in the Sun

Anyone remember the song ‘Island in the Sun’ by Harry Belafonte?  I had this playing on my desktop computer as I wrote this post on Jamaica.   We had just returned from a beautiful 10 days on this fourth-largest Caribbean island surrounded by mountains, rain-forests and reef lined beaches.   I had always wanted to visit Jamaica ever since I lived in London which is home to probably the largest Jamaican population outside of Jamaica.  The reggae music, the food, the warmth of the people attracted me to this island in the sun. I was familiar with names such as Montego Bay and Kingston, but had never heard of Portland, the area we explored.

A local friend who lived in Portland Parish many years ago encouraged us to seek it out.  So in my usual fashion, I went about  researching the area, I asked around and jumped on the Trip Advisor forum, my faithful source for seeking information from travelers who have actually been there.  Portland Parish is on the northeast coast of the island.  When researching Portland, I found that it was a mixture of lush green countryside and beautiful beaches, rivers, caves, coves and waterfalls.  I’m so glad we checked it out, it was all that I had read and researched about and so much more.  We felt we had experienced the real Jamaica.   Below are just a few highlights of our trip to paradise.

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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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