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Small but mighty!

  • 21 Apr 2016

Despite living in Yorkshire, I am a true Jersey girl; born and breed, so when it hits April, i get immensely excited as it’s the Jersey Royal season, these little gems of potato heaven are one of my biggest vices – we’re talking excess luggage payments to bring some home to Yorkshire with me!! So yes, I am probably biased but they are in my mind the best potatoes around and so I wanted to spread the love! Personally I am always looking for healthy inspiring recipes to feed my family – my Instagram feed is filled with posts from lots of inspiring foodie bloggers. The ever-prominent message is to eat produce in season and so being the passionate Jersey girl that I am I wanted to highlight the scrumptious Jersey Royal potato. Whether you eat these small but mighty spuds simply boiled with butter and mint or you try one of the recipes below, these flavoursome potatoes are divine.

Being a small island (9miles by 5 miles) we like to shout about the things we are famous for; the Jersey Royal potato, the Jersey cow (and Bergerac)! The Jersey Royal is Jersey’s biggest exported crop, and yet they actually came about by chance and were in fact originally called The Jersey Fluke! Back in 1880 a Jersey farmer, Hugh de la Haye, spotted two enormous potatoes displayed on the counter in a local store, so impressed with their size (had to be a man to spot the size!), he immediately bought them. That evening he invited some friends over for dinner to show off his huge potatoes, one of which had 15 ‘eyes’ (from which new plants sprout). The friends cut this particular potato into sixteen pieces which they took and planted on a ‘côtil'(a very steep sloping field often overlooking the sea). The following spring, they produced a large and early crop of which most were a uniquely kidney-shape with very thin skin, totally different to the standard potatoes it was a fluke – hence the Jersey Fluke aka, the Jersey Royal was born!

Loved by locals, chefs and food aficionados a like, they are a real luxury.
“It’d be a waste not to indulge in Jersey Royals as often as you can. Their distinctive sweet and summery flavour turns a mediocre dish into something much more memorable.” GOOD HOUSEKEEPING

So to inspire you I thought I would share some of my favourite but easy Jersey Royal recipes:

Instead of fish & chips, a slightly healthy take on this classic is Bacon crushed Jersey Royals and cod:

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

4 x 150g thick cod fillets
1 tbsp olive oil
300gJerseyRoyal Potatoes
300ml hot vegetable stock
25g/1oz butter
1 tbsp oil
3 rashers un-smoked bacon, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
2 tsp clear honey
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
4 tbsp olive oil

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/Gas 4
For the roasted cod, heat the oil in an ovenproof frying pan and fry the cod for 2-3 minutes skin side down. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 5 – 7 minutes, or until completely cooked through
For the bacon crushed potatoes, place the potatoes into a pan with the vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and cook for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Drain, then return the potatoes to the pan and lightly crush
Heat the oil in a pan and add the bacon. Cook until the bacon is crispy. Remove about 3 tbsp of the bacon. Add the crushed potatoes to the remaining bacon and toss until mixed with the bacon and juices. Season well
For the dressing, mix together the vinegar, honey and mustard, whisk in the oil, taste and season
Pile the crushed potatoes and top with the cod and a pile of the reserved bacon. Pour over the dressing and serve
Tip: If you want to serve this for dinner parties replace the cod with sea bass and serve with asparagus

Another great everyday dish is Warm Jersey Royals and chicken with Salmoriglio:

Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

For the salmoriglio:
4 garlic cloves, crushed into a paste with a little salt
zest and juice of 1 large lemon
6tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
6 long stems of small-leaved oregano (4 if large-leaved)

Main Ingredients:
800g Jersey Royal potatoes, scraped or scrubbed
500g mini chicken fillets, each cut in half lengthways
2tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
To serve
4 handfuls of wild rocket

For the salmoriglio, whisk the garlic, zest and juice of the lemon with the oil in a small bowl. Finely chop the oregano and set aside until ready to use. Put a pan of water onto boil and, when bubbling, add salt and the potatoes and boil for 12-15 minutes until tender. Drain and keep warm.

Meanwhile, season the chicken with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and toss in oil. Put a large frying pan on a medium-high heat until smoking hot and cook the fillets for 4 minutes on one side and 3 minutes the other (adjust the heat to avoid burning).

When the fillets are golden, add the warm potatoes and turn off the heat. Pour in the salmoriglio (including the oregano) and toss everything together.

Garnish with the rocket on top or serve the rocket separately in a bowl.

So there you have it, the Jersey Royal Potato – they may be small but they are mighty! Make sure you try some this Spring!


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Wardrobe Basics…

  • 4 Apr 2016

Wardrobe basics? Essentials? Staples? However you want to term them, we all have them, those items in your wardrobe that are easy to throw on, make you feel confident, can go with so many different looks and are pieces you just can’t do without; fail safe pieces.

Trends come and go but the basics are forever. You can rest assured that these key pieces will never go out of style or lose their street-chic appeal. Simply put: they’re the building blocks to the perfect wardrobe.

Personally my wardrobe basics are:

A white t-shirt,

A crew neck jumper

A pair of skinny blue denim jeans,

A white shirt

A Breton top,

A classic blazer

A pair of ankle boots

And a pair of black trousers

These 8 items are the building blocks to my wardrobe, I like to update them every so often but I always have those key pieces in my wardrobe.

The Perfect White Tee
It doesn’t get any more classic than a white t-shirt, the starting point of countless looks. The best styles are super soft and have a relaxed, lived-in fit, well-cut cotton jersey is an absolute must. Uniqlo’s linen blend has a flattering slub fit and open neckline that works for all body types and Hush’s Sheer Crew Tee is loose fitting, semi-sheer with short sleeves and a low crew neck, a solid base for many outfits. In my opinion its not worth splashing out on designer white-t-shirts, they can become unwearable after a time so definitely opt for more affordable ones that can be replaced as needed!

Crewneck sweater

A fine knit crewneck is one of your best friends all year round! You can layer it up with a shirt underneath or come that mid spring summer season wear with a pair of boyfriend jeans or under your dungarees at a weekend.  Personally I opt for thin knits in cotton or merino wool that layer easily. For this Spring Summer, we at Needle HQ felt we needed to have our very own basic crewneck, so no more introduction needed; meet the EMMA jumper. Even if we say so ourselves she is the perfect crewneck.  She is so versatile; this spring I have been wearing my ice blue Emma jumper tucked in to a pair of ankle skimming patterned trousers or on a smarter work day tucked into a pencil skirt.  For an easy Parisian chic look I love a crewneck jumper under a classic navy blazer, layered with a big chunky necklace or equally just on its own with a pair of jeans turned up at the ankles and a pair of fun flats. The Emma jumper comes in 3 colours; Stone (your classic neutral, Petrol or ice blue; my advice would be to grab one in every colour!  AND to further entice you we are offering a 15% discount on our basics until the end of April; (15% off the Emma and the Ella jumpers)  Just enter BASICS15 at the checkout!


Fit and wash are everything here, I think a classic true blue wash that will go with everything is the way forward and if you go for a slightly high-rise style it will give the illusion of longer, slim legs and who doesn’t want that? It’s worth paying extra for jeans that actually fit and flatter, so whether they are flared, cropped, skinny, or bootcut, every woman needs a pair of jeans that makes their butt look good!!

White Shirt

A fitted one will get the most use because it’s easier to tuck in and looks neater when left out. A crisp white shirt will add polish to both your work and off-duty uniform. And if you want to cheat a little bit and just want to see the collar and cuffs, then the MeandEm, Essential layering shirt is fab for under jumpers!

Suede Ankle boot

The suede ankle boot has been a must-have ever since Isabel Marant released the now infamous Dicker boot. With countless versions available, finding a heel height, cut, and colour that suits your style is easy. In fact I have numerous versions in my wardrobe, a flat Chelsea boot is so easy to pull on.  A really useful beige (neutral) suede pair with a block heel and a pair of black high heels. They all get a lot of use and take me through Autumn, Winter and early Spring.  Currently still wearing my Chelsea boots as struggling to flash the ankles only on really lovely spring days

Black trousers

These are a chic alternative to jeans whenever you need to look a bit more dressed up. There are so many different types you can go for, bootcut, culottes, skinny. Personally, I like a cigarette pant as they can be worn with flat brogues for a cool day look and then swap in a pair of killer heels to take you to an evening look. Like jeans, its important to get a pair that fit really well to ensure they are as flattering as possible.

Breton Top

This off-duty failsafe works with everything from boyfriend jeans to smart skirts for a timelessly chic look. Every girl needs one in their wardrobe no matter what their look as it’s a piece that transcends all styles; from classic (a la the Duchess of Cambridge) to edgy (like [Cara Delavigne]).

Whilst the original blue and white one is always a winner, like Needle’s Ella, I also like one in a different colour such as this one from Jigsaw in Khaki or the Ella in Coral. Don’t forget we are offering a 15% discount on the Ella and the Emma, just enter BASICS15 at the checkout!

Classic Blazer

Perfect to throw on and it pretty much goes with absolutely anything, making you look instantly chic! It’s important to find a blazer that fits well and has some structure, a textured fabric adds interest and alternatively, Jersey or ponte fabrics are more casual and move well with the body. In terms of colour, a grey or a lighter navy tends to be more flattering for most skin tones. The blazer will never be dated, it will never lose its versatility.

I hope thats given you some food for thought, enjoy adding to your wardrobe…


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