8 quick ways with Green Peas
July August 2016
by Chris Halpin
Green peas are wonderful when they're freshly shucked and lightly steamed. But to be honest, I find this a little too labour intensive and usually opt for the frozen baby peas or enjoy them as young sugar peas, snow peas and also the shoots. Peas are rarely seen as a vegetable worthy of taking centre stage. Here are eight recipes that honour the humble pea.
chilled green pea soup
Mint and green peas enhance each other in quite an amazing way. In a blender, put 4 c. frozen peas, thawed, 2 c. chicken stock, 1/2 c. chopped green onions,
1/4 c. mint leaves, 2 T. dill fronds, 1/2 t. Sriracha sauce and salt to taste and blend until very smooth. Serve chilled or warmed, both are so satisfying. Garnish with crumbled chèvre and chopped dill.
snow pea, jicama and watermelon salad
Jicama is a funny vegetable that a lot of us don't know quite what to do with – it tastes like fresh green peas. This is a very refreshing salad. Trim 2 handsful of snow peas. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil and blanch the snow peas only until they turn shiny, about 30 seconds. Drain and cover with cold water to cool. Drain and blot dry, place in a bowl with 1 medium jicama, peeled and cut into thin julienne and 3 c. diced watermelon. Toss with 1/2 c. olive oil, 1/4 c. champagne vinegar and 2 T. each chopped parsley and tarragon. Salt to taste and toss. Serves 4.
stir-fried sugar peas, red pepper and cashews with ginger sesame oil
Stir-fries don't have to be complicated – this one is a snap. Sesame oil should never be used in high temperature cooking; it burns at a very low heat and will taste bitter. Core and slice 1 red pepper, grate 1 garlic clove and 1/2 t. fresh ginger. In a pan over high heat, put 2 T. canola oil. When it's hot, add 2 handsful of sugar peas and the red peppers; sauté about 2 minutes before adding the garlic, ginger and salt to taste. Stir to evenly coat. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 T. toasted sesame oil to coat and serve. Serves 4.
pea and potato pakoras with 5-spice marmalade
Pakoras are much simpler then people think. They are traditionally fried, but I bake them. Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 c. chickpea flour, 1 T. garam masala, 1/2 t. chile flakes and 1/2 t. baking powder and set aside. In a larger bowl, put 1 c. green peas, fresh or, if frozen, thawed, 1 large peeled and grated potato, 2 minced garlic cloves, the juice of 1 orange, and mix together well. Add the dry mix and stir to incorporate. Make the pakoras about the size of a loonie and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Generously brush each with canola oil. Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they're a deep golden brown. While the pakoras are baking, make the dip. Put 1/2 c. orange marmalade, 1/4 c. rice wine vinegar and 1 t. Chinese five-spice powder into a blender and purée until smooth. When the pakoras are done, remove them from the oven and blot the excess oil with paper towels. Serve warm with the 5-spice marmalade. Makes about 24.
pan-seared salmon with creamy green peas and bacon
This is a good old-fashioned maritime recipe. The bacon brings the creamy peas to a whole new level. In a pan over medium heat, put 4 bacon strips, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, 1 shallot, finely diced, pepper to taste and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 t. dried savoury and 2 T. flour; stir until the flour has evenly coated everything. Slowly stir in 2 c. milk, increase the heat to medium and stir until it has come to a boil and has thickened. Stir in 1 c. fresh or thawed peas, reduce the heat and simmer while you fry the fish. Lightly salt and pepper 4 salmon steaks and dredge them in 1/2 c. ornstarch. In another pan over high heat, put 2 T. bacon fat and 1/4 c. canola oil. When the pan is very hot, add the salmon steaks and brown on each side, then reduce the heat and continue to cook to preferred doneness, but don't overcook. Adjust the seasoning for the sauce. Spoon some of the sauce into the centre of a plate and plate a salmon steak on top. Serves 4.
pesto cheese tortellini with snow pea tips, sun-dried tomato and pine nuts
Snow pea tips are tougher than pea shoots, which makes them more suitable for sautéing or steaming. I get them at Superstore, Community Natural and T&T. This dish also works well as a salad. Just cool and drain the pasta, then add all the ingredients to a bowl and toss. Great both ways, here is the hot version.
In a large pot of boiling water, cook 1 small package of cheese tortellini. When the pasta is finished, drain it and place it in a large pan over medium heat with 1/4 c. olive oil, 6 sun-dried tomatoes, finely sliced, and 2 T. pesto. Stir to evenly coat. Add salt to taste, 4 c. snow pea tips and sauté until they are wilted. Add the juice of 1 lemon and stir to coat. Remove from the heat, spoon into bowls and sprinkle with pine nuts and crumbled feta. Serves 4.
pork with curried peas and cauliflower
People often think curry is something that has to take a long time to prepare. Not so; this one comes together very quickly. In a skillet over high heat put 2 T. butter and 1 pork tenderloin, cut into medallions. Sprinkle with salt and sear on all sides. Sprinkle 2 T. curry powder over the pork, add 1 onion, thinly sliced, and sauté until the onion is soft, about 3 minutes. Add 12 cauliflower florets, 1 c. green peas, fresh or frozen, 2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped and stir to combine. Cover with a lid, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Adjust the seasoning and serve over rice. Serves 4.
lamb chops with herbed mushy peas
Lightly salt 8 lamb chops and grill on a hot barbecue to preferred doneness. Remove from the heat and brush with sweet chili sauce. While the chops are grilling, make the mushy peas. In a food processor or a blender pulse 3 c. frozen peas, thawed, to a coarse consistency. In a pan over medium heat, put 1 T. butter and a pinch of wasabi. When the butter has melted and is bubbling, add the peas, 2 T. each chopped chives and cilantro, 1 t. ground coriander, 1/4 c. white wine and salt to taste. Sauté until heated through and serve with the lamb. Serves 4.