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Mint: Uses & Storage


tommy
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Okay, made the most incredible:

Pea and mint puree

last week for a party!

Boy, did they love it!

I took fresh peas from our CSA, shelled them.

Fresh mint from our garden.

Blanched the peas. Ice bath.

Put both in the blender with a small amount of cream (or use yoghurt).

Salt.

That's it.

Spread on thin slices of baguette.

Friends went mad, MAD for this!

Philly Francophiles

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I just remembered a wonderful drink I had in France years ago. It was a long, refreshing drink and our hostess called it a Tom Collins, which I don't think it was. Mix gin, tonic water and freshly squeezed grapefruit juice. Serve in a long glass with loads of ice and a large sprig of mint to stir. The mint plays way more than a supporting role in this wonderful concoction.

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  • 1 year later...

I just had the bright idea to throw some mint leaves into some hot oil and see what happened. I was pleasantly surprised. I found, after a bit of experimentation, that a mint leaf cooked in hot oil for about 5-10 seconds becomes delicately crispy, almost flaky, and loses the "punch" of mint flavor, leaving behind a nice, mellow, minty, earthy flavor.

I'm going to use them to garnish some ceviche. We'll see how that turns out.

"Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit." -- Anthony Bourdain

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Oil temp?

Good question. I have no idea. It was vegetable oil in a shallow fry pan. I didn't have a thermometer, I just kinda eyeballed it. My guess would be about 350-360, based on past experience with hot oils.

"Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit." -- Anthony Bourdain

Promote skepticism and critical thinking. www.randi.org

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Once deep-fried, leaves should stay crispy because they have little water left in them. Tempura'ed perilla leaves will stay crispy while other tempura'ed food items will eventually lose their crispness due to the moisture contained in them. I think that low temperatures around 160 C (320 F) should be appropriate for deep-frying leaves. When deep-fried at higher temperatures, they tend to turn bitter and brown.

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Once deep-fried, leaves should stay crispy because they have little water left in them.  Tempura'ed perilla leaves will stay crispy while other tempura'ed food items will eventually lose their crispness due to the moisture contained in them.  I think that low temperatures around 160 C (320 F) should be appropriate for deep-frying leaves.  When deep-fried at higher temperatures, they tend to turn bitter and brown.

Would you say that the process is similar to frying curly parsley?

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Once deep-fried, leaves should stay crispy because they have little water left in them.  Tempura'ed perilla leaves will stay crispy while other tempura'ed food items will eventually lose their crispness due to the moisture contained in them.  I think that low temperatures around 160 C (320 F) should be appropriate for deep-frying leaves.  When deep-fried at higher temperatures, they tend to turn bitter and brown.

Would you say that the process is similar to frying curly parsley?

I, for one, have never deep-fried parsely, but a lot of Japanese have tempura'ed it. Recipes are similar in that they say that the right temperature is around 160 to 170 C. One example (Japanese only).

In Japan, tempura-ing is known to be an effective way to remove "aku" (harshness) from certain food items like "fukinoto" (butterbur sprouts), "yomogi" (mugwort leaves), and other "sansai" (edible wild plants).

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Update: I broke up the mint leaves and sprinkled them over some monkfish ceviche.

Verdict: Yummy! :biggrin:

"Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit." -- Anthony Bourdain

Promote skepticism and critical thinking. www.randi.org

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I like mint in my carbonara, so I bet some would be great on a simple fried egg or poached egg.

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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  • 2 months later...

Hi everyone, as a longtime lurker, I have a question I haven't found an answer for in the archives.

Last night I made a lamb blade braise (no, not another braising question!), replacing fennel for celery in the mirepoix and using mint as the aromatic with apple juice for a liquid. I thought mint and apple would be great together, with a little anise in the background.

During the first half hour of cooking, the kitchen filled with the wonderful smell of mint, but then it...went away.

Is mint, like cilantro, one of those herbs that don't take well to cooking? The sauce lost most of the flavor of it.

Thanks for the collective knowledge of eGullet! tim

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for me a hard and fast rule with herbs is the more woody a herb is, the earlier I add it into cooking. Herbs like mint, dill, basil, and chives dont stand up to long cooking as their structure breaks down and the volatile aromas are lost. the exception to this rule seems to be parsley (curly, not so much flat leaf) which stands a long cook and weaves its falvours through the dish. mmmmm

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What the other folks said.

As an alternative to adding the mint leaves themselves, perhaps you can infuse some of the apple juice with mint then add just the juice at the end.

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What the other folks said.

As an alternative to adding the mint leaves themselves, perhaps you can infuse some of the apple juice with mint then add just the juice at the end.

That all makes sense. One thing I didn't admit, even though the apple juice was unsweetened, the sauce came out very sweet and overpowering of any subtlety. If I do it again, I think infusing the mint and adding it at the end would make for more control over concentration and flavor. thanks for the input! tim

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^This sounds like a very interesting approach.

I once bought a spice jar of dried mint not knowing exactly what I would use it for. I think it might be used in Middle Eastern cuisines. In any case, I've added it into simmering liquids sometimes and it adds a pretty strong flavor. I like the ideas suggested above, but experimenting with dried mint may also be interesting in some applications. (Sorry I can 't be more specific; I haven't experimented with dry mint that much yet.)

For preparations that might be enhanced with the use of some butter to make a sauce, perhaps one could make a fresh mint compound butter and swirl that in at the end?

Nice to see you "de-lurk" madtowner; welcome to the eGullet forums. :smile:

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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  • 3 months later...

I'm left today with two large bunches of mint and a large bunch of coriander. And I mean big. More of a bushel than a bunch. It's a common occurrence as they don't seem to sell less than a field's worth at a time here (Barcelona).

So I'm looking for suggestions of ways of using them to make something that will keep, that I don't have to eat straight away (as whatever it is, there'll be a load of it). Something along the lines of chutney or pickle. Instructions would be fab, detailed if poss. I'm a pickle novice.

Other ideas greatly appreciated too. Also suggestions of the best ways to store these herbs in their fresh state. My current thinking is coriander in water under a plastic bag in the fridge; mint in a dampish tea towel in the fridge. Any comments on these techniques or other suggestions?

Thanks in advance

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Do what I did last night a throw a dinner party. I went through three bunches of mint, cilantro (coriander to our Euro friends) and thai sweet basil.

Sometimes it's just more fun to share than preserve....

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Usually I just make an chutney (the saucy kind). I unfortunately don't measure, but ingredients that go in for my version are:

I start by blending:

lemon juice

fresh green chili (seeded so there's the chili flavor but not excessive heat)

salt

black pepper

Fresh herbs- mint and cilantro are 2 of my favorites, though I've never put the 2 together)

a little water

After that, I add in a few spoonfuls of nice extra-virgin olive oil and blend just to emulsify. I find if I add it at the beginning the olive oil sometimes tastes bitter for some reason.

Ater tasting, sometimes I find a little drizzle of honey will round out the flavor and balance it all out.

This keeps in the fridge for about 2 weeks. I use it:

-as a meat marinade

-on its own or mixed with yogurt and fresh chopped garlic for a dressing/topping (I don't add the garlic initally because it tends to get too strong-tasting)

-tossed with vegetables or pasta

-combined with mayo as a sandwich spread

It's fresh-tasting and versatile. Sorry I don't have more specific measurements....

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You could make Pesto with the Coriander. It's a nice change to Basil.

Coriander Pesto:

I bunch fresh coriander leaves, washed, including stalks

4 large garlic cloves

60g pinenuts

3 tbsp olive oil

salt and black pepper

Directions - Same as you make regular Pesto! :raz:

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You could make Pesto with the Coriander. It's a nice change to Basil.

Coriander Pesto:

I bunch fresh coriander leaves, washed, including stalks

4 large garlic cloves

60g pinenuts

3 tbsp olive oil

salt and black pepper

Directions - Same as you make regular Pesto! :raz:

You could also make a Mint Pesto and serve it with lamb. The above recipe should be fine, substituting mint for cilantro; just add a touch of red wine vinegar, too.

My favorite go-to book when I have extra leftover herbs is Jerry Traunfeld's The Herb Farm Cookbook. http://www.amazon.com/Herbfarm-Cookbook-Je...81961689&sr=8-1 The index lists the herbs in a recipe, so it's easy to find something that can use up your excess herbs.

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Other ideas greatly appreciated too. Also suggestions of the best ways to store these herbs in their fresh state. My current thinking is coriander in water under a plastic bag in the fridge; mint in a dampish tea towel in the fridge. Any comments on these techniques or other suggestions?

Thanks in advance

The coriander, yes, upright, stems in the water as you would store asparagus spears.

The mint, while more resilient, goes black and mushy when there's lots of moisture. Instead, I'd stick a dry piece of paper towel in the bag and stick it in the vegetable bin if it's not going to get crushed. It could keep for a couple of weeks that way.

Nigel Slater has a few innovative recipes for salads. I just made a brilliant one with little nobby chunks of seeded cucumber, quartered French radishes, Italian parsley, lots of mint, all tossed with feta and dressed with strong red wine vinegar and drizzled olive oil. S & P as needed. Another is a take on tabboulleh w fine bulgur, parsley, mint and diced mango.

Mint's in a lot of pasta dishes. Quite yummy. Visit the Italian forum for maro and more ideas (just do a search on google since this board's search engine doesn't recognize 4-letter words.)

I've got a bag of mint that is threatening to go soon and I plan to use up most of what remains by making a mint syrup. It keeps for a while. Here's the first recipe that comes up: Emeril's. Good for drinks, iced tea, drizzled over ripe melon and berries...

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The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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I sometimes make a batch of mint sauce (mint, sugar, vinegar, hot water) and store it in the fridge for our next lamb roast.

I regularly buy fresh mint at the market and just roll it up in a plastic bag and put it in the vegetable crisper in the fridge. That often works with the coriander/cilantro though I find the stuff with the roots still on tends to last longer.

Someone mentioned coriander pesto - well worth the effort. It tastes gorgeous. I prefer it to the ubiquitous basil version. It's great with roasted hazelnuts instead of pinenuts.

I make a great salad with broad beans and mint that I first encountered in a tapas bar. You can use frozen broad beans if you can't find fresh.

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I agree with the pesto idea, but I usually make a cilantro-mint pesto. Here's the approximate recipe - I'm afraid I don't really measure, I just wing it.

1 cup cilantro leaves

1 cup mint leaves

1/3 cup unsalted peanuts

1 jalapeno, seeded

1 green onion

juice and zest of one lime

2 tbsp fish sauce

1/3 cup peanut or canola oil (approximately)

sugar or splenda to taste

I freeze it in cubes and serve over grilled chicken or fish, or it's great on peas and cauliflower.

Marcia.

Edited by purplewiz (log)

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