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Cover: A dish for all seasons

Recipes with mint

15Apr 12

Minty Jersey Royals with Chives and Lemon Butter

Minty Jersey Royals with Chives and Herby ButterJersey Royal Potatoes come into season in April.  They are chock-full of fibre and contain vitamin C, amongst other nutrients.  They are delicious cooked very simply in well-salted water to bring out their natural flavour, but today I’m going to share this minty Jersey Royals with chives and lemon recipe with you, which is just one of the ways of enjoying this distinctive seasonal gem.

Look out for potatoes with a papery-thin, flaky skin and try to buy them unwashed, washing them yourself quite carefully so as not to remove all of the skin, which has a lovely flavour and also contains many nutrientsJersey Royal new potatoes are best eaten within a few days of buying them.  Serve this herby salad dish warm or cold, at your spring barbeques, or to accompany grilled meat and fish like this grilled trout with tarragon and lemon butter.  And why not make some home-made lemonade to go with it?  Fresh tastes of spring!

What you need:

  • 1kg Jersey Royal new potatoes, washed gently to remove any dirt and left whole
  • 50g butter
  • 3 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped, plus a couple of sprigs for the cooking water
  • 2 tbsp fresh chives, cut into 1cm strands
  • The juice of 2 fresh lemons
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2-3 generous pinches of Malden sea salt flakes
  • Fresh ground black pepper to season
  • A little olive oil

What to do:

  1. Put the washed, whole Jersey Royals in a large heavy-based saucepan.  Put the large potatoes at the bottom of the pan, and the smaller ones on the top.
  2. Bring a kettle of water to the boil and pour the water over the potatoes, almost covering them.
  3. Season really well with a few pinches of sea salt, add a couple of mint sprigs and a swirl of olive oil before covering the pan with a well-fit lid and simmering the potatoes gently for around 20 minutes.
  4. Whilst the potatoes are cooking, take a mixing bowl, put the butter in, and then sprinkle over with all of the herbs, the lemon juice and zest.  Stir the ingredients together and leave to one side.
  5. Once the potatoes are cooked (check one or two for tenderness and firmness with a sharp knife – and try not to overcook them), drain them, mix in the herby butter to the pan, then season again with sea salt and grind over some black pepper before serving.

20 minutes to prepare, 20 minutes to cook

Makes: 4-6 servings

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11Apr 12

Home-made Lemonade

Home-made lemonadeHome-made lemonade is incredible stuff.  It’s so very tasty and is simply bursting with vitamin C.  Great for kids and grown-ups alike!  I make jug loads of it throughout the spring and summer, usually to enjoy with friends when they come round to share good food with us on the terrace, but also for us to enjoy as a family. (If you prefer a more adult drink, try this refreshing mint julep.)

You can keep it covered in a jug in the fridge for a couple of days, but it’s so refreshing, especially if you drink it really cold with plenty of ice, that you’ll find it won’t last that long.  My mum used to make this regularly for us as kids.  We loved it, and still do!  This recipe makes fairly sweet lemonade, so if you prefer it a little more tart, vary the sugar accordingly.  If once you’ve made it, you decide that it’s too sweet for your palate, you can simply add more lemon juice to correct the balance.

 

What you need:

  • 250g sugar
  • 250ml water (to make the syrup)
  • 250ml juice of fresh lemons (4-8 lemons)
  • 1 lemon to slice for serving
  • 700 – 950ml cold water (for diluting)
  • Plenty of ice for serving
  • Sprig of mint to garnish

What to do:

  1. First we are going to make simple sugar syrup.  Put the sugar in a large heavy-based saucepan, and add the 250ml of water.  Gently heat the contents of the pan until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  2. Whilst you are dissolving the sugar into the water, squeeze the juice of around 4-6 lemons to make up the 250ml that you need.  Lemons can vary enormously in the amount of fresh juice that you can squeeze out of them.  You may need more lemons if you are squeezing them manually, or less if you are using a mechanical juicer.
  3. Pour the sugar syrup mixture into a large jug and stir in the freshly squeezed lemon juice.  Add the cold diluting water to taste (between 700ml and 950ml).
  4. Pop the jug in the fridge until you are ready to serve the lemonade with plenty of ice, a sliced lemon and the sprig of mint, or serve it immediately in the same way.

15 minutes to prepare

Makes 6 servings

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