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Mint: Uses & Storage


tommy
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Mix feta cheese with chopped mint and oregano and use it on homemade pizza. Also, fresh mint and basil leaves are wonderful on salads -- just had some for lunch on greens with cucumber, red pepper and a mustardy balsamic vinaigrette.

I've had great success drying herbs in the microwave. Rinse the herbs, shake them off and place in microwave on a paper towel. Use high heat for a couple of minutes. I use the smell test to gauge doneness: when the kitchen smells herby, they're done. The herbs maintain a pleasant green color (freezing usually makes my herbs turn brown).

tommy, let us know what wonderful mint-pasta dishes you create.

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Blue Heron's fruit salad sounds good, doesn't it?

I eternally have a lot of mint and assiduously intend not to take it for granted.

Fresh mint tea, if such a thing might possibly revolve in the Tommy Universe, is lovely any time of day or night.

Infused a bunch into simple syrup I made for iced tea, also pressed into use for drinkies later, doubly earning its keep.

Doesn't use a tremendous lot at a time, but making marinara according to the method I outlined in that Red Sauce Thread now receding into the mists of history and using mint as the green herb is very very delicious.

Of course everybody knows about the delights of tabouli, with lots of exceedingly finely minced mint in combination with the similarly-prepared parsley, right?

Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

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Always known about the mint/tomato thing...but Ive usually done with with chicken/tomato soup with pasta.

For some reason though I never saw it extending to pasta...but *light bulb over head* it DOES sound good.

Only I have dried leaves..can that be used reasonably well? Is there a conversion table for amounts dried to amounts fresh with herbs and such?

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  • 5 months later...
Jinmyo...in regard to freezing herbs...which ones do you freeze and how do you do it...just bag them and freeze them or is there a trick to it? Do they retain their color?

I think this question went unanswered. I'd love to get some advice on freezing herbs. I have worked out that I can get many of them much cheaper and usually fresher in Chinatown, but the quantities are invariably massive.

Also, how much difference is there in use once they've been frozen, and do you defrost or use straight?

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Kiku, I usually stem, blanch, shock and chop. Then into ziploc bags, press out air (or use vacuum seal bags), flatten, label, store in the freezer flat. Once frozen, stand the bags up sorted by type and date in cardboard boxes that are cut with the sides low at the front and ascending towards the back. (This is for an upright freezer, of course.)

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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If it's something you are going to want to use in a dish with olive oil (like basil), stem, blanch, shock and chop (like Jin said), mix with a little olive oil, and roll in logs in plastic wrap. The oil makes it so that it is easy to cut off a little or a lot when still frozen. Or, wrap small quantities in square of plastic wrap, toss the wrapped parcels in a zip lock, date and toss in the freezer. I use the latter technique with canned tomatoe paste, as well. Freeze in 1 T. quantities.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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  • 1 year later...

Fresh mint is fairly cheap, i know. But i'm so frustrated with trying to keep it long enough to use an entire bunch. The restaurant kitchen is hot and humid (big surprise). I've tried keeping it bare, keeping it in a plastic bag, keeping it in a paper bag. I've tried cutting the stems and keeping it in water. The best method i've found is cutting the tops and floating them in a bowl of ice water, but that only works for one service - after that, the little suckers get waterlogged. Anywhere really cold i try to keep it (like near the exhaust in the cooler) turns it black almost immediately.

A bunch of mint only lasts me one to one-and-a-half services before i consider it unsuitable for garnish.

How do you guys hold your mint?

Marsha Lynch aka "zilla369"

Has anyone ever actually seen a bandit making out?

Uh-huh: just as I thought. Stereotyping.

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I grow my own herbs....so I know a little bit about mint.

The best way to hold it is to keep it in a cool dry place. Not cold, because as you've seen it turns black. Now I know a hot humid kitchen is by no means a cool dry place!

I would suggest wrapping your mint loosely in paper towels, and finding the coolest place you can to keep it....maybe near the door of your walk-in or reach-in fridge, which is the "warmest" part of either.

Of course, the BEST way is to have mint plants in pots and just snip the leaves as you need them. But I know.....NOT practical!

Hope this helps.....a little.....

but like you said, mint is cheap.....thank god!

:wub: Annie

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I've used all of the above (except floating it in a bowl of water), but I then kept it in the cooler.....which works depending upon just how fresh the mint really was when it came in. Sometimes my mint would last for a week in a baggie in the cooler, sometimes it looked bad the same day it was delivered. I've never succeeded holding it out of the cooler.

To be honest, I avoid it. I haven't used mint in years, I really don't like it on the plate unless your doing a mint dessert....and I avoid using items not designed to be eaten on my plates. I find it much easier to just make a nice garnish myself, that eliminates the hassle of it not holding thru service and beyond. But thats just my opinion.........

If I had to use real mint, I might consider sugaring and drying it. Or just chopping it and using as a sprinkle. Deep fried? Suspended in liquid and frozen? Baked into a tuile?

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I never understood the whole fried herb thing. They all seem to get bitter, and fatty. But then i guess that i have not eaten that many varieties. I like to turn the mint to a syrup and get it on the plate that way. I don't have a problem with herbs on a plate, but like wendy said... they have to at least go with the dish.

Don't you just love how we get away from the subject.

I will agree that it depends on the quality of the mint that is on hand. Though i have had quite a bit of sucess with leaving the mint on the stalk, and leaving it submerged in water in the cooler. I have held it for up to four days this way. But i thing that the worst thing that you can do to the herb is expose it to frequent temperature changes. Just think of herbs that are growing outside, when it gets cold they get crappy.

But then again I don't have much of a green thumb.

Edited by cbarre02 (log)

Cory Barrett

Pastry Chef

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As a consumer of pastries, I enjoy the fresh mint or fresh fruit that is used as a garnish, if it's of high quality. How to keep it? That's your problem, not mine. :laugh:

(Yeah, I know that was mean. But seriously, I won't miss the mint if the pastry is delicious. :biggrin: )

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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IIRC, Aton Brown recommends washing the herbs, wrapping in a few sheets of paper towel and then that in a plastic bag in the fridge.

I've done that with some dill and it's still good after a week. It's been two weeks, now - I gotta check on it! :shock:

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Yep, I also do the washing herbs, then wrapping them in a paper towel (don't dry them before wrapping), then in a plastic bag in the fridge. My mint easily lasts a month that way.

But when I have no room in my fridge, I've actually just stuck the mint into my moist soil of my indoor plants and it stays fresh for a really long time. I've actually had some of my mint root that way too. One time, I had a huge batch and just filled up a huge pot with soil and "planted" the mint in there until I was ready to use it. Just make sure you keep the soil moist.

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Here's how we were taught to wash and store mint to keep it fresh longer. Worked for us:

Soak mint for 5 minutes in bath of 5000 g water with 1g of bleach added. Rinse, then soak 10 minutes in 5000 g water with 1 gram white vinegar added. Drain well, but do not rinse. Store in cooler in an airtight container with paper towel in bottom.

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I second (or third) the use of paper towels...line a six pan's bottom with paper towels, put in the washed and dried mint (well dried) and cover with a paper towel too...

Another way is to just float them in cold water...the dessert guy at one of my jobs does that and it seems to keep pretty well...

"Make me some mignardises, &*%$@!" -Mateo

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Here's how we were taught to wash and store mint to keep it fresh longer. Worked for us:

Soak mint for 5 minutes in bath of 5000 g water with 1g of bleach added. Rinse, then soak 10 minutes in 5000 g water with 1 gram white vinegar added. Drain well, but do not rinse. Store in cooler in an airtight container with paper towel in bottom.

Aha! maybe what i'm looking for.

neil - soak whole stalks of mint, or the trimmed tops?

Marsha Lynch aka "zilla369"

Has anyone ever actually seen a bandit making out?

Uh-huh: just as I thought. Stereotyping.

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Here's how we were taught to wash and store mint to keep it fresh longer. Worked for us:

Soak mint for 5 minutes in bath of 5000 g water with 1g of bleach added. Rinse, then soak 10 minutes in 5000 g water with 1 gram white vinegar added. Drain well, but do not rinse. Store in cooler in an airtight container with paper towel in bottom.

Aha! maybe what i'm looking for.

neil - soak whole stalks of mint, or the trimmed tops?

I think it will stay in better shape if you keep the mint as intact as possible, but probably not a big difference as long as you don't chop it first.

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I also only like mint as garnish if it is part of the dessert- and then I would be more inclined to use a chiffonade, so that I wasn't a big leaf. I am of the school that garnishes that are on the plate are meant to be eaten.

I remember in particular being served once pumpkin creme brulee in a (raw) mini pumpkin. On the plate was a cinnamon stick and a few cloves (uhm..., no thank's).

Fried sage leaves (salted) are really good!

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At work, I used to keep the pluches in a quart plastic container, in water, tightly covered, in the lowboy. They would keep a couple of days, especially if I changed the water after each lunch and dinner service.

At home, I stand the whole bunch up in a jar of water, drape with a sheet of paper towel, and then loosely cover the whole thing with a plastic bag. In the coldest part of the fridge, it keeps about a week (by which time I've used it up, anyway).

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The little sprigs you break off to use for garnish. You know, like when there's a tiny set of leaves perched on top of the dish -- that's a pluche. At least, that's what I've always heard them called.

Sorry to be confusing. :blush:

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So, my husband helped a friend with her yard this weekend, and now we have a metric ton of fresh mint. He came away with three huge "yard waste" bags full of the stuff.

Any suggestions for how best to preserve the stuff?

Does anyone have a good mint jelly recipe that does not call for food coloring?

All responses are very welcome.

Thanks!

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Do this if you have an ice cream rig or know someone you can borrow one from

1)Soak a good handful of the stuff in a tupperware container with 2 cups orange juice for about an hour.

2) Boil 2 cups water with 2 cups sugar for 5 min.

3) Remove mint from orange juice and add juice of 2 lemons and 2 limes

5) Blend all ingredients and cool to almost freezing

6) Just before freezing, in a blender, take 6 large mint leaves and whiz up with a little of the liquid

7) Combine all ingredients and put in ice cream freezer

8) When liquid starts to gel add 2 egg whites whipped to stiff peaks and 1 cup heavy cream-finish freezing

9) Remove to freezer in a plastic airtight container and finish hardening.

10) Serve and impress your friends.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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