Tag Archives: mint

White Chocolate Mousse with Black Pepper and Fresh Mint

I’m not normally a fan of white chocolate but this recipe intrigued me – a dessert with black pepper? What a fabulous surprise it was! It’s spectacularly simple and fast to make: within 20 minutes, you have a truly fantastic dessert: the rich creaminess of the white chocolate is perfectly contrasted by the black pepper and the fresh mint – honestly I just had to keep digging in to marvel at the simplicity and deliciousness of this great and rather elegant dessert! Don’t hesitate – give it a go!

Serves 6

What you need…

280g good quality white chocolate, chunked

300ml double cream

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

12 fresh mint leaves (6 finely sliced and 6 reserved for decoration)

What to do…

Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl in a steamer over a pan of simmering water to melt (for some reason it takes waaaay longer than milk or dark chocolate but it WILL melt). Once melted, stand the bowl on a cold surface to cool down slightly (I stuck mine in the metal sink).

Using a handheld electric whisk, beat the cream until it forms soft peaks.

Put 2 tablespoons of the cream into the melted chocolate and use the whisk to gently beat them together. Use a spatula to scrape every last bit of the melted chocolate/cream mixture into the remaining double cream together with the pepper and mint and then, using a balloon whisk, very gently fold in the ingredients so they are thoroughly mixed together.

Spoon the mixture into 6 pretty glasses (tall Champagne flutes are particularly elegant but you need long handled spoons to go with them!).

Pop in the fridge for just 20 minutes or overnight if you’re preparing ahead. Just before serving, decorate with the remaining mint leaves. Serve to a dubious group whose faces will light up with joy! Gorgeous!

Inspired by…

Gino D’Acampo

How easy…

Couldn’t be any easier and you can prepare ahead!

Prawn, Strawberry and Mint Salad

 

Most unlikely bedfellows, prawns and strawberries snuggle up together happily in this vibrant salad that truly celebrates British summer time. A joy to eat on it’s own or as a side to barbecued fish: light, refreshing and simply yummy! Give it a go with beautifully ripe strawberries – you’ll be converted, I promise!

Serves 4 as a side salad

What you need…

350g jumbo king prawns, cooked

200g British strawberries, hulled and halved

A handful fresh mint leaves, torn

Handfuls of your favourite salad leaves. I use rocket, little gem and basil

for the dressing

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 dessertspoon white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon runny honey

A squeeze of lemon juice

Sea salt and black pepper

What to do…

In a screw top jar, chuck in the dressing ingredients, pop on the lid and shake like mad. Set aside.

Clean the salad leaves and tear if necessary.

Tip the salad leaves, strawberries, mint and prawns into a pretty salad bowl.

When you are ready to serve, shake the dressing again, pour over the salad and toss so that all the ingredients are evenly mixed together. Serve on it’s own or with barbecued fish and a lovely cold glass of white wine: totally delicious! Summer on a plate, right there!

Inspired by…

Don’t know – I think I made this one up.

How easy…

It’s salad so it’s not hard!

Prawn and Pomegranate Salad with Mint and Coriander

This is quite simply a really yummy salad: the delicate fishiness of prawns intermingled with citrusy, fresh coriander, the cool cucumber, the aromatic, sweet mint and then the tart piquancy of pomegranate seeds. All of those flavours rolling around together are just fabulous and the pomegranate seeds make the salad look like it’s bejeweled! Simply lovely served with barbecued fish! Try it – you’ll love it!

Serves 4 as a side dish or starter

What you need…

Seeds from ½ pomegranate (buy ready-prepared if you can – lot’s easier)

7cm length cucumber, peeled, sliced and then quartered

2 large handfuls coriander, chopped

Small handful mint leaves, torn

A selection of your favourite salad leaves (I like rocket, red chicory, baby gem, baby spinach, iceberg)

200g cooked prawns

for the dressing

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 dessertspoon white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon runny honey

A squeeze of lemon juice

Sea salt and black pepper

What to do…

Into a screw-topped jar, tip all the dressing ingredients, screw the lid on tightly and set aside.

In a large, roomy salad bowl, chuck in all your ingredients.

Just before you are ready to eat, shake your dressing like mad and then pour over the salad before tossing all the elements together so that everything is evenly mixed and coated with dressing.

Tips…

Sometimes, I buy raw prawns and cook them in a splash of oil and salt about 30 minutes before we eat this salad, adding them at the last minute. The slight warmth of the prawns seems to emphasise the other flavours – really lovely.

A variation on the pomegranate is strawberries, hulled and quartered. Less tart, they give the salad a gentler tone.

For extra crunch, include some sugar snap peas that have been sat in boiling water for 2 minutes before being refreshed in cold water and then drained.

Include basil and parsley to make up the leaves if you happen to have any in the fridge. There are no rules, just a mix of flavours you enjoy together.

Inspired by…

I’m not sure: I think I made it up!

How easy…

See, it’s just salad, which I’ve always viewed as something that should be dead simple but really tasty.

 

Baked Lamb with Rosemary and a Little Aside of Redcurrant & Mint Sauce

What can I tell you? Succulent, full of flavour, just falls off the bone – a real treat – and not just for Easter either – this recipe will be revisited on several spring and early summer Sundays – it is delicious, very moreish and cooks itself, allowing you to do other things! The redcurrant and mint sauce is simply the best and emphasises the lovely flavour of the lamb perfectly. If you haven’t tried this Delia-inspired recipe, give it a go – it’s an absolute winner!

What you need…

1 x 1.8 – 2kg leg of lamb

2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves plus 3-4 sprigs

1 clove garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon rock salt

Black pepper

for the sauce & the gravy

250ml jar redcurrant jelly

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

4 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Sea salt and black pepper

275 ml dry white wine

1 x lamb stock cube

A good shake of Bisto lamb gravy granules

Glug of milk/splash of double cream

What to do…

In a small food processor, whizz together the rosemary leaves, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. (Use a pestle and mortar to crush and the salt and rosemary if you don’t have a small food processor).

Spread a large sheet of foil in a roasting tin and place the lamb on it. Stab the fleshy parts of the joint with a skewer. Spread the rosemary mixture all over the upper surface of the lamb and tuck in the sprigs of rosemary.

Bring the edges of the foil up over the lamb, make a pleat in the top and scrunch the ends. This foil parcel should be fairly loose to allow the air to circulate. Bake the lamb for two hours, then open out the foil, baste the joint well with the juices and return it to the oven for a further 30 minutes to brown. (This cooking time should produce the lamb very slightly pink: you can cook for less or more time according to how you like the joint served).

Meanwhile, make the sauce by combining 3 tablespoons of the redcurrant jelly with the vinegar in a small saucepan over a gentle heat. Use a balloon whisk to help dissolve the jelly into the vinegar. Add the chopped mint and some seasoning and pour into a jug – the sauce doesn’t need to be served warm.

When the lamb is cooked, remove it from the oven and allow it to rest for 20 minutes before carving. Discard the foil, spoon off the fat and make some gravy with the juices left in the tin: in a saucepan, combine the juices with the white wine and the remaining redcurrant jelly from the jar. When the gravy is hot, crumble in the lamb stock cube to intensify the flavour. To create a lovely consistency, add gravy granules until it looks how you would like it to. Taste. Add milk and/or cream to tone down any slightly acidic flavours and to ensure the gravy becomes rich and silky.

Serving suggestion…

Rosemary-roasted root vegetables, John’s Yorkshire Puddings (both previously blogged) work well with spring greens, peas or broccoli.

Inspired by…

Delia Smith

How easy…

Dead easy: baste it, pop it in the oven and it cooks itself!