mint

All posts tagged mint

Mintspiration: Secrets to a life full of fragrance

Published October 16, 2013 by The Feminist

mint

I was sipping on a hot cup of fresh Moroccan mint tea the other day and I kept thinking to myself: “What is it about mint that makes it so damn tasty?”

The answer to that question is both elaborate and very straightforward at the same time. Of all the fresh herbs out there, mint is probably the herb most associated with cleanliness. One bite of a minty product and your mouth is immediately coated in a refreshing layer of mountain breeze. Chewing gum or tooth paste manufacturers know this but too well, but this doesn’t mean we should limit our mint intake to just the daily brush. On the contrary, mint can be enjoyed in so many different ways, it almost seems as if its uses are limitless.

There are the wonderful minty drinks, like fresh mint tea (so good on a cold winter evening) or mojito (so good on a hot summer day). And let’s not forget how beautiful mint tastes when rubbed on meat, fish or vegetables. And what about mint gravy! Mint yoghurt dip! Drop-dead outrageous mint desserts! (chocolate and mint is such a winning combination!)

So should you still be one of those people who prefer mint on their toothbrush and not in their food, please go away. I do not want to spend my time wasted on people like you who don’t appreciate the awesomeness that is mint.

You heard me.

get out

Move!

whatever

Glad I got rid of that! So dear mint-loving readers, shall we go on celebrating our love for the chosen herb?

The following two dishes are two flavour bombs. I believe the Mediterranean, African and Middle Eastern cuisines are not only among the best in the world, but I also adore how they all mix fresh mint in lots of dishes. Inspired by these cuisines, I conjured up these two beauties:

Mint crusted salmon with South African sweet potato and avocado mash with mint yoghurt sauce

Mint is practically everywhere in this dish! It’s in the crust, in the yoghurt sauce, in the mash,… And still it is not overpowering. It just lifts everything up to an unseen level of splendidness. The herb crust on the salmon is full of spices and flavour… the mash is smooth, comforting and delectably sweet and sour… and the mint yoghurt sauce gives that refreshing zing to make an already yummy meal absolutely delicious.

DSCN3350

Ingredients (serves 2)
• 2 salmon fillets, skinned
• 3 tbsp bread crumbs
• 1 tbsp za’atar
• ½ tsp sumac
• 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
• 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
• 2 tbsp olive oil

For the South African mash:
• 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into dices
• 1 avocado, peeled
• 2 spring onions, finely chopped
• 1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
• ¼ tsp cinnamon
• Juice of half a lime
• Lots of black pepper

For the mint yoghurt dip:
• 150ml of yoghurt
• 2 tbsp of fresh mint
• 1 tbsp coriander
• ½ tsp ground cumin
• Juice of half a lime
To serve: some mini green asparagus (perfect!)

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Make the crust by mixing all the ingredients together in a bowl. Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper and put them both in an oven-proof dish. Press the mint mixture on top of the salmon fillets and bake into the oven for 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile make the mash. Cook the sweet potatoes in some salted boiling water until tender. Drain and mash the potatoes together with the avocado flesh and the lime juice to stop the avocado from turning brown.
3. Season with cinnamon, salt and pepper and stir in the mint and spring onions.
4. Mix all the ingredients for the mint yoghurt dip together and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Sweet parsnip and dried fig stir fry with mint

I cannot express enough how much I absolutely loved this dish. The chilli gives a good boost of heat. The turmeric turns it into a fest of golden hues, the dried figs are so intensely sweet and blend so well with the earthy sweetness of the parsnip and then in the end the mint kicks in and balances out all those warm spices and sweetness. It is -in every possible way- perfection.( I served it with some store-bought falafels and although they were really good, I refused to put them in the picture since I didn’t make them myself. It’s a matter of principle.)

DSCN3356

Ingredients (serves 1)
• 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into cubes
• 4 dried figs, cut into small chunks
• ½ tbsp honey
• ½ tbsp turmeric
• ½ large chilli, finely sliced
• 1 tsp ground ginger
• 2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
• ¼ tsp cinnamon
• ½ tsp ground cumin

Method:
1. Cook the parsnips in salted water until they are almost soft.
2. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and add the drained parsnips, chilli, spices, honey, figs and a splash of water.
3. Stir-fry for a couple of minutes. Finally stir in the mint.
4. Be amazed!

Deliciously Decadent: Grasshopper Cheesecake Brownie

Published May 4, 2013 by The Feminist

DSCN2712
“Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.” Mae West was so right when she said these words. In fact, I think she had this magnificent Grasshopper Cheesecake Brownie in mind when she came up with her world famous one-liner.

This is a brownie… And a cheesecake… And a grasshopper pie… All rolled into one deliciously decadent treat. It is in-your-face grandeur and home-made comfort at the same time. It is heaven on a plate.

Everyone loves the incredibly intense chocolaty flavour of brownies (if you don’t, there is definitely something wrong with you…) Everyone loves the fresh and tangy palate-cleaving creaminess of the cheesecake (If you don’t, you may want to see a doctor…) And everyone loves the extraterrestrial green of the minty grasshopper pie. (If you don’t, frankly, you might want to book a room in the Cuckoo’s nest. )

Still not convinced? (Shame on you!) Then just try it out for yourself and you will realize that this is indeed baking perfection.

DSCN2714

Grasshopper Cheesecake Brownie

Ingredients:

For the brownie:
• 2 eggs
• 250gr caster sugar
• 60gr plain flour
• 50gr cocoa powder
• 125gr butter, melted

For the grasshopper cheesecake:
• 2 eggs
• 300gr cream cheese
• 70gr caster sugar
• 2 tbsp mint syrup
• 100gr white chocolate, melted
• Green food colouring

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C and line a 23cm loose-bottomed cake tin with baking parchment.
2. For the brownie, put the eggs and sugar in a bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Sift in the flour and the cocoa powder and beat until all the ingredients are well mixed. Pour in the melted butter and mix through. Spoon the mixture in the cake tin.
3. For the grasshopper cheesecake, put the cream cheese, mint syrup and sugar in a bowl and mix on low speed until smooth. Pour in the melted chocolate and stir well. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until everything is combined and your batter is smooth and glossy. Stir in the food colouring until you get a nice green hue. (grasshopper worthy 😉 )Pour the cheesecake mixture on to the brownie .
4. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the cheesecake is firm to the touch and light golden around the edges.
5. Leave to cool completely and refrigerate for at least one hour (this will intensify the flavours even more!)

Have your macaroon and wear it too: pretty pastels

Published January 18, 2013 by The Feminist

pastel1
Belgium may be covered in snow, somehow I still believe it is high time to start getting ready for warm weather. In my mind, spring has already begun! Pale hues were spotted in practically every designer’s spring-summer 2013 collection, and I simply swooned over all those sorbet coloured shades! Needless to say that this spring will be all about ultra-feminine candy-sweet colours.

To all the tough girls out there: there is indeed a risk of looking like a bridesmaid/ wannabe prom queen/ cupcake shop waitress. However, anyone with a bit of fashion sense can pull this off. (and we’ve got tons of style, ladies!) You just have to believe in yourself! So don’t be afraid to go for a head-to-toe sugary outfit! Too girly? Let me ask you something: what could be more ballsy than opting for a colourblock pastel outfit and totally rocking it? …

Ha! I thought so! 😉 (Being a tough girl isn’t about what you wear, but how you feel!)

Go for pale orange, framboise pink, mint, creamy pistachio, lavender or baby blue. Or mix them all together. Or combine it with nude colours to accentuate the delicate femininity of the outfit.

Spring will be super sweet this year, trust me!

Here’s Elie Saab’s baby blue:

pastel elie saab

Leighton Meester in mint:

pastel mint

Pale orange and framboise pink for Jemma Baines in Marie Claire:

pastel3pastel1

Peas please: the pesto project

Published October 15, 2012 by The Feminist

Warning: If you’re Italian, this post might give you a heart attack

I decided to give the classic Italian pesto a makeover by adding a British twist.

(I’ll give you some time to process this…)

Instead of pine nuts, I used peas!

Instead of olive oil, I used cream!

And instead of basil, I used basil AND mint!

(Again, I’ll give you some time to envision the outcome…)

And tada! Here is my rigatoni with pea, basil and mint pesto and grilled mushrooms!

To all the Italians: Are you still alive?