A Multitude of Ways to Eat Mashed Potatoes

Every great meal needs a good base, usually the most popular bases are rice, pasta, potatoes or vegetables. Mashed potatoes are one of those dishes that whilst relatively easy to make it is also relatively easy to get wrong. There’s nothing worse than lumpy mashed potatoes so you have to take the time to make them correctly, with love and care, as you should with all your home cooked meals. Once you get it right it is a delicious compliment to any meal. Once in a while though you want that warming taste of a dish like mashed potatoes but you have limited time, the alternative solution is ready made mash which doesn’t taste as good as the real thing. That is until Idahoan launched it’s range of easy to prepare potato packs which include mash potatoes that can be made in a minute and oven bake meals of Creamy Dauphinouise and Cheesy Gratin. To celebrate the launch of their range of potato products I was invited to attend The Idahoan Challenge featuring a range of potato dishes cooked by Masterchef stars Billy and Jack in which myself and a group of fellow foodies had to guess the difference between Idahoan mash and actual mashed made from scratch.

Dine With Idahoan

The dishes were creative and unusual and although I guessed 4 out of the 7 courses on the menu correctly I have to admit that it was not always easy to spot the difference. I really enjoyed the Croquettes and pressed potato with three cheese sauce. The deconstructed cottage pie was delicious, the beef was so rich that the potato helped to cut through that depth of flavour. I didn’t enjoy the honey potato cake (who knew that you could make desserts with potatoes!?) although the honey comb was lovely and I didn’t even attempt the potato truffles as I don’t like white chocolate.

These products are definitely levels above the standard instant mash powders that some of you might be used. I can’t remember the last time I used instant mash, purely because I don’t like the artificial texture but these products have definitely changed my perspective.  It was also great to discover new and unusual ways to use mashed potatoes for dinner. The variety of flavours, aside from classic, as well as the bakes mean that there is something for everyone.

You can find the Idahoan bakes in ASDA, Tesco, Morrison’s and Ocado and the Idahoan mashes are in ASDA, Tesco, Morrison’s, Ocado and Sainsbury’s.

I was an invited guest to their launch event, no payment was received in the writing of this piece.

Ounjẹ: ‘This is New Africa’

Ounjẹ: A Gastronomical Foodie Experience

On Thursday September 14th 2017 Victor Okunowo invited me to attend a Private Menu Tasting in East London. The event was an opportunity for bloggers, influencers and food critics to sample some cuisine created by Victor in anticipation of his highly anticipated African SupperclubOunjẹ where participants will  have the opportunity to experience an Eight Course Menu boasting the flavours and cultures of distinct West African & Nigerian street cuisine.  At the private menu tasting event we had to taste the food that Chef Victor believes Nigerian cooking could be – but should be – stretching from the colours to flavours and delighting in meals from which infuse traditional Nigerian ingredients with modern gastronomical techniques. For example his use of Irú,  fermented locust beans, as a garnish base was ingenious, not to mention how he utilised suya spice to recreate a classic beef dish and the creative use of onion was an absolute delight.

Ounjẹ: ‘This is New Africa’

One of my absolute favourite dishes was the chicken breast made with negro pepper served with okra and corn, it was so succulent and spicy without being overpowering on the palate. I love chillis, to the detriment of my tastebuds but I realise that it not always necessary to use so much chilli that the flavours of the dish are overpowered, which is another thing that this experience reminded me. I loved the way in which akara, a nigerian bean cake was served, still full of the traditional essence with much less oil than its traditional form would take.

I absolutely adored the supermalt ice cream, as someone who is not a fan of desserts this was absolutely spot on. Sweet without being TOO sweet or too rich after 7 courses it would have been a shame if the dessert hadn’t complimented the experience and this dessert did. After 8 dishes for food one thing that occurred to me was that whilst I was full and satisfied, I did not feel heavy or stuffed and I think this boils down to the ingredients used and the techniques of cooking. By not using too much oil, salt and starchy bases (which Nigerian food is renowned for) this Ounjẹ experience will leave you feeling like you have had a true taste of Nigeria in a new and refreshing way.

Make sure you book your tickets to the October 8th event or add your name to the waiting list for the next event. It will be worth it. I promise.