Needle It

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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