It was terrific to finally get back to Jersey for the start of potato season, I have been a few times before, but every trip is special.
This time we did a live broadcast from a different field further around the island, but nevertheless stunning, and thankfully the rain stayed away.
This year’s crop looks really good, with the right weather at the right time, and as we harvested the crop, the soil was really dry, making the task so much easier. I’m still amazed that these beautiful spuds were only planted in January, and here we are in mid-April with a fully developed potato some 12 weeks later.
It was nice to have a chat with three generations of the family all, yes, all called Phil! Seeing their 2-year-old grandson Phil tucking into the potatoes I cooked for the show was lovely. I even got to ride the small plough/harvester. They winch up the steep banks or ‘Cotils’ as they are known here. Not sure I’d like to harvest them without this great bit of kit; it would be back-breaking stuff!!
What variety of potatoes were harvested?What variety of potatoes were harvested during this season?
On to the cook, and as I always say, the less you do, the better, so I gently scraped away the loose skin and simmered them in salted water. Once cooked, strain in a colander, drain well, then leave in the colander, cover with cling film, and leave to cool for 20 minutes minimum. If you do this, the flavour and certainly the texture are vastly improved. So go on, try it. You won’t be disappointed, trust me. Once cooked, I serve mine with a baconaise and a garlic mayo with raw wild garlic leaves. The only thing I was going to try was to add a little dried seaweed (nori) to the mayo. This was a nod to the fact that lots of seaweed is added to the young potatoes as fertilizer. I reckon it will work; I must crack on with that idea.
The slot went well, and everybody seemed happy, and thanks to all the help getting that six minutes to air. Suffice it to say, I did bring back a huge bag (hand luggage) on EasyJet, but no one noticed.
A few Jersey Royal recipe ideas
The Moorings Hotel
The night before, I stayed at the Moorings Hotel super comfy and had a lovely feel to it. The croissants are some of the best I have eaten in a long time. Worth a trip to this beautiful island just for those. Dinner at the Crab Shack just up the hill from the hotel was nice. Lovely local oysters, crab poutine, plus Jersey Royals hit the mark perfectly.
Lunch the next day before we flew back was at the fabulous Green Island Restaurant. I have eaten here before, and it’s excellent, don’t be put off by the fact it looks like an ice cream parlour; it’s a serious restaurant. Keith, the owner, tells me he only opens from Wednesday to Saturday and only for lunch. There are no menus, just what he buys locally and what’s in season. Again, I had local oysters, a lovely fish soup and a dish of local lemon sole, scallops and broad beans, washed down with my first rose of the year; well, it was 26C.