“One cannot think well, love well or sleep well if one has not dined well.” Virginia Woolf

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Filtering by Tag: Dinner

Cornish Hen

Forgive me. I want to start this post off with a slew of "corny" jokes. I want to tell you how cornish hen isn't so corny but actually pairs well with roasted corn. I have to stop myself from laughing aloud when I recount how cornish hens are tiny little chickens and not yellow corn-colored hens.


Forgive me. 

None of those made you laugh, but I cackled as I typed each word and reach them aloud. I'm ok being cheesy. (Ahhhhh! Thought I was gonna say "corny" didn't you!??!)

Fine. Here's my recipe...

Here's what you need for the marinade:

  • 5 1-lb cornish hens
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed 
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 3/4 tbsp turmeric
  • 3/4 tbsp curry (I suggest from your fav farmer's market or African grocer)
  • the juice of one fresh-squeezed lemon
  • half one red onion diced
  • 1/2 tsp ground thyme
  • 1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • olive oil
  • fresh cracked pepper til it's pretty and salt evenly

Here's what you need to garnish:

  • 6 medium sized Yukon potatoes diced
  • 2 plantain sliced about 1/4 in.
  • 4-5 carrots chopped about an inch 


Here's how you make it:

  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees
  2. Wash, clean and pat each Cornish hen dry. 
  3. Slather hen in olive oil and place in baking dish
  4. Add chopped potatoes, plantain, carrots and onion spreading evenly between and around hen (do not put these under)
  5. Season with all spices listed above starting with garlic (make sure you meats and veggies are covered, add more if necessary)
  6. "seal" with lemon juice
  7. Bake in oven for 1 hr 15 min (YES)
  8. TEST for doneness (internal temp should be at least 165 degrees)

And that's it! 


I had plenty of roasted vegetables in the dish but decided to add roasted corn just because I'm extra and super corny. Go from here as you please, don't thank me later, thank me now. Try the recipe, share your results and tag @MangoEats on Instagram or Twitter! 

Happy Eating!



Instant Pot Indian

Folks, you know I love food. Nothing about my physical makeup can deny that. Nothing about how I plan my meetings (let's do lunch!) deny that. You are on a site that I get paid $0.00 to maintain that is focused 100% on FOOD. I also like, scratch that, LOVE variety. Mexican, Italian, and Indian being some of my favorites. What? Did you expect me to narrow it down to ONE?? 

Anyhow, because NO ONE else in my immediate household shares my affinity to food variation, I gotta get creative. There is no family night at my fav Zyka. There is no hanging out at the buffet at Cafe Bombay unless a foodie friend (hey Kimmie!) is down. But there is my blessed Instant Pot. 

I've raved about this bad boy before (see oxtails), and I'm back again to sing it to glory. 

I make Chicken Biryani. It was so. damn. good. I sat down to try it and, actually had to take a beat. I thought I hit the food jackpot (again). I thought surely THIS meal will convince the non-believers in my home. I just knew my guy would give over not having his food mix (I kid you not). Welp. I was wrong, but it was still DAMN GOOD!


Far less photos because I had NO INTENTION on blogging this recipe. Far less photos because I dare not make that much rice in my house again so soon. Far less photos honestly because I was hungry.

Full disclosure - THERE ARE A LOT OF INGREDIENTS AND STEPS. So's not necessarily the QUICKEST. 

Here's what you need for the marinade:

  • 10 Chicken legs or bone-in pieces, make gashes on the pieces (I used bone-in chicken thighs)
  • 1 tablespoon Ginger-Garlic paste (check your Publix market near the produce)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup yogurt beaten
  • 20 mint leaves roughly chopped
  • 2 handfuls cilantro roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Here's what you need to cook:

  • 4 tablespoons ghee (Trader Joes)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 Whole cardamom
  • 3 onions sliced thin
  • 2 teaspoons Ginger-Garlic paste optional
  • 2 cups Basmati rice soaked for 20 minutes
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 handfuls Mint leaves chopped (I used half)
  • 2 handfuls Cilantro chopped (I used half)
  • 2 pinches saffron soaked in 1 tablespoon water for 5 minutes
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt

Here's how you make it:

    1. In a large bowl, combine the chicken along with the above mentioned ingredients 'to marinate chicken'. Combine well and let marinate for 30 minutes (I marinaded the meat overnight).

    2. Just before you start sautéing the onion, soak the Basmati rice in 2 cups water separately for 20 minutes.

    3. Turn on the Instant Pot. Click Sauté Mode. Wait until the "Hot" sign is displayed.

    4. Add ghee, and add bay leaves and whole cardamom to the ghee, sauté for 2 seconds.

    5. Add onions, season with 1/4 tsp salt. Sauté for a few minutes till onions turn translucent.

    6. Add ginger- garlic paste and saute onions till they turn brown - takes about 15 minutes. It's important that the onions turn brown- enhances the taste of the biryani.

    7. Add the marinated chicken pieces and combine well. Click cancel to turn off sauté mode.

    8. Close the pot with the lid. Turn the knob to sealing and click Manual: high pressure, set time to 5 minutes.. Walk away. It will take 5 minutes for the pressure to build and 5 minutes to pressure cook.

    9. After the beep, turn the knob to venting and do a quick pressure release. Pressure will be released completely in a minute. Open the lid, there will be around 1 cup of chicken broth left in the pot.

    10. Drain the rice in a strainer and slightly rinse under running water.

    11. Add 2 cups of rice and add 1 cup regular water (for 2 cups basmati rice 2 cups liquid is required).*

    12. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon ghee (optional), mint leaves and chopped cilantro. Combine well.

    13. Add 2 pinches of saffron soaked in 1 tablespoon water, combine well.

    14. Close the pot with the lid. Turn the knob to sealing and click Manual: high pressure, set time to 5 minutes.. Walk away.

    15. After the beep, do a quick pressure release. Open the lid, fluff using a fork.

    *I used chicken broth. This is not a MangoEats original recipe, I did modify it quite a bit (I suggest you do too!). I went a half on the cilantro and the mint. I added red and yellow onions. I used bone-in chicken thighs. I used saffron satchets (not sure where I gotta from, do your googles). 

    So there ya have it! Enjoy your dinner and know that you'll have enough left over for lunch the next day!


    Oxtail Simplicity

    It's 2016 and I know people who have NEVER had oxtail before. NEVER. Not as a choice from previous experience, but simply because 1) they thought it was too difficult to prepare or 2) knew nothing about this cut of meat. I've even heard "I don't eat ox meat." 

    Yep. In 2016. 

    It's been a minute since I've made oxtail, or any home food for that matter, so I figured why not?? Plus - I have men to feed.

    Since I have 1.5 days per week that I get to work from home, marinating is now a lunchtime activity. Check out the ingredient list, stock up and get to work. 


    • 1-2 pounds oxtail - I'm a huge fan of the farmers market or my local Publix for choice cuts
    • 2-3 medium to large sized fresh garlic bulbs, minced
    • ½ c. low sodium soy sauce
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 4 medium carrots cut into 2 inch pieces
    • small red and gold potatoes, skin on washed and scrubbed
    • 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1 tbsp ground thyme
    • 1 tbsp kosher salt
    • enough fresh ground black pepper to cover each piece of meat
    • Slow Cooker or Instant Pot

    Seasoned oxtail - all fresh everything.


    • Set aside your slow cooker/Instant pot, clean and ready to go
    • Season and marinate your oxtail - salt, pepper, thyme, onion, garlic and soy sauce (at least 1 hr.)
    • Heat a medium-sized cast iron skillet, add a few tbsp of EVOO
    • Sear seasoned oxtail on both sides, suggested 5-10 min per side. You are looking for a crusty char.
    • While searing meat, clean and chop vegetables and add to slow cooker/Instant Pot
    • Combine seared meat, vegetables and remaining seasoning for pan to slow cooker - add a dash more salt and pepper 
    • Add 1 c water and cook on high pressure for 25 minutes (Instant Pot) or in slow cooker on high for 6 hours

    As you can see - that instant pot shaves tons of time off cooking and makes oxtail as a weeknight meal a real option. You can easily serve this with (a house fav) rice or as is with potatoes and carrots and perhaps a side salad. If you didn't achieve the char you wanted, stick your finished product in the broiler for 8-10 minutes for a perfected look. Regardless, enjoy the fall off the bone goodness!


    No grill? No problem!

    Our Fourth of July this year wasn't anywhere near what I'd had in mind. Instead of crashing a BBQ or throwing together some sides for a friend's shindig, I found myself in the gym and laying low. Unfortunately, my sweet Aunt Priscilla passed Sunday night and I was in no mood to cook nor entertain. I instead spent my evening with some of my favorite people which included my family.

    To make up for a day where the stove wasn't touched, I decided to cull together my holiday meal on Tuesday instead. I'd planned to enjoy Eid with my father and family, but I got that date wrong so I had a day off to be domestic and find my happy place. 

    A little background here. I live in a tiny yet spacious home. I don't have the luxury of owning a grill, therefore the smokey meats and charred fruits and veggies I like to enjoy manifest with plenty of  patience and creativity. My BBQ chicken is no exception. I went in blind when it came to making "BBQ" in the oven. Years ago I recall my sister hipping me to her technique of slowly baking ribs for some fall off the bone yumminess, but I didn't have the hours that her method required. 

    I did have a little hope though. Here's where it led me.

    Ingredients and Tools

    • 6-8 pieces of bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (easily my favorite cut of meat)
    • MangoEats' special spice blend for meats (more on this later)
    • 2-3 c. of your favorite BBQ sauce (I make my own, maybe I'll share that soon!)
    • ½ c. vegetable or olive oil
    • Silicone brush
    • Baking sheet
    • Tongs


    1. Clean and season chicken, leaving in fridge covered for 1-2 hours.
    2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
    3. Generously cover baking sheet in oil, you don't want a pool, but you definitely want it well oiled.
    4. Make sure you drain or pat dry any excess water from chicken before placing each piece skin side down on baking sheet.
    5. Bake for 25 minutes.
    6. With oven still on, remove and brush skinless side with BBQ sauce.
    7. Using tongs, flip each piece and brush the skin side with BBQ sauce and place in oven.
    8. Bake an additional 15 minutes, remove coat with BBQ sauce, flip an coat.
    9. Repeat step 8 making sure this is a GENEROUS coating of BBQ sauce.
    10. Once timer goes off your chicken is fall of the bone, sticky and tangy DONE!


    My spice blend is a concoction that I drummed up for my fried chicken. I eventually discovered that it is the PERFECT spice for almost any meat or fish. Fish is a meat right? Anywho, I make this blend in small batches and portion them out into cute jars that deserve the prettiest labels.

    One year later - still no logo. I promise I'm working on it. If you'd like to purchase a jar of my spice blend shoot me a message at and let's work something out.

    In the meantime, mix up your essential salt and pepper and whatever else you like on your chicken. Enjoy with your fav side dishes and you're good to go. FYI - this makes for GREAT and even ENVIABLE leftovers.