Spicy Pea Mush

Although I will be making corned beef and cabbage tomorrow, (Pioneer Woman’s recipe. I’m so excited. I usually make it boiled and it’s a big fail. I never cook it long enough and it’s chewy and interesting…So I came across her recipe and it looked excitingly different compared to my sad, boiled down square of chewy meat.) Where was I? That’s right – although I will be making corned beef and cabbage tomorrow, I remember my vegetarian days and though my husbands impromptu recipe would help a vegetarian out on St. Patty’s day. It’s festive, being green and all and can be served with potatoes and roasted or sauteed cabbage. Or if you are in a hurry, on a bed of rice. My husband made this, in what seemed to be a flash and it was so good and I’ve never quite had anything like this before. Enjoy and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

  • 1 pound dried split green peas
  • 2 cubes vegetable bouillon
  • about 4-6 cups water
  • generous tablespoon curry powder
  • 3-4 allspice berries
  • 1/2 teaspoon anise seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Combine everything in a heavy bottomed pot, bring to a boil on high heat. You want to cover the peas by about an inch of water. Once it comes to a boil, allow to simmer for about half an hour or more. Stir occasionally. Add more water as needed and the peas dry out. And if you want more of a soup, add more water. Once the peas are tender, bring out that immersion blend and blend your little heart away. (The cooking time varies as it depends on the freshness of the dried peas. I’ve had peas done pretty quickly and I’ve had a batch that took a looong time to get soft.) Serves about 4.

*non-vegetarians can use chicken bouillon cubes

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Fettuccine with Creamy Gravlax & Peas

So, you’ve made enough gravlax to impress yourself and your friends, you’ve had it with toast and eggs on Saturday, bagels and cream cheese on Saturday, tossed into your salad for lunch on Monday…and you still have some leftovers. I’ve got the recipe for you that will put a new spin on that gravlax. This recipe is creamy, a little salty, a little sweet and a touch, zesty. A perfect meal to share for two, on a blistery, snowy day, such as today. Enjoy!

  • 6 oz. fettuccine
  • 3 oz. thinly sliced gravlax
  • 1 cup frozen petite peas
  • 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • freshly ground course black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon country dijon mustard

Bring the fettuccine to a boil and add in the peas for the last 2-3 minutes of the remaining cooking time. In the meantime, melt the butter on low heat, increase the heat to high adding in the heavy cream, until the whole pan is filled with creamy bubbles, add in the gravlax and mustard until warmed through. Season with lots of freshly ground black pepper. Set aside. Drain the fettuccine, reserving some of the cooking water. Add the fettuccine to the creamy salmon and pea mixture and give it a good toss. Add in a small ladle or two of pasta water to thin, if needed. Serves 2.

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Linguine & Smashed Tarragon Peas with Pistachio-Panko Crumbs

Happy Earth Day! What a great day to renew some vows to take care of the earth, whether it be to recycle more, shop at the local farmer’s market, start a composting bin or to make more veggie meals. Here’s a great veggie meal that is tasty and doesn’t take a lot of time. The smashed peas adds the creaminess of this dish, so you won’t even miss the cream and what I love about making pistachio-Panko crumbs is they are a great substitute for grated cheese. And the best part, you have a great meal on the table in no time, which is great on a day like today, so you can spend some time outdoors. Enjoy!

  • 4 oz. linguine, cooked al dente
  • 1 heaping cup petite peas, cooked and roughly smashed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon julienned sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons plain Panko crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon raw pistachios, minced to the texture of Panko
  • a few leaves of fresh tarragon, roughly chopped
  • sea salt

First, start off by making your pistachio-Panko crumbs. They can easily burn, so they require a little extra attention. In a heavy bottomed pan, heat a tablespoon of the olive oil on low heat, when the oil is not quite sizzling toss in the Panko crumbs, give it a good stir and add in the pistachio crumbs and a nice amount of sea salt. Keep stirring the crumbs allowing them to lightly brown. Once they are golden, allow them to dry and drain on a paper towel. While you cook the linguine, in a heavy bottomed pan on low heat, heat a tablespoon of the olive oil and the sun-dried tomatoes until the oil is sizzling, add in the smashed peas until heated through. Toss in the tarragon and season with sea salt and keep warm, until the linguine is cooked. Once the linguine is done, drain, reserving a tablespoon or more of the pasta water. Toss the linguine and water with the peas. Divide among plates, or share from one and top with the crumbs. Serves 2, double or triple, as needed.

Creamy Beet, Potato & Petite Pea Salad

Don’t limit your potato salads to summer barbecues, add in seasonal peas and beets and it puts a nice spin on the humble tuber salad. Yukon Gold potatoes are my favorite potato, golden in color and just deliciously creamy. Last night, I had one right out of the pot, sliced and steamy hot with a little butter and salt. It was so satisfying that I didn’t even need anything else. Sometimes, I just love simple dinners. But today is another day and it’s a salad day! Enjoy your creamy beet, potato and petite pea salad with anything from sauteed portabella mushrooms to grilled fish on the side. Enjoy!

  • a little more than half a pound beets, (about 1 large), cooked until fork tender
  • a little more than half a pound of Yukon Gold potatoes, (about 1 large), cooked until fork tender
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh petite peas, cooked until tender
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • small handful fresh dill, finely chopped and a little extra reserved for garnish
  • sea salt
  • ground black pepper

Cool all of your ingredients. (I cooked them the night before and let them cool so they are easier to handle.) Cube your beets and potatoes and add in the egg, mayonnaise, heavy cream, dill and seasonings. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. Makes 3-4 side salads.

Spaghetti Korma

Going out for Indian food is such a treat for me because the nearest Indian restaurant is a about an hour away. So when I go, I savor all of the intense gorgeous flavors. I love the heat of the tandoori, the creaminess of a korma sauce, the crunch of poppadoms, refreshing raita sauce and a cooling mango lassi. I could have a mango lassi for dessert and be a happy girl. But when I want that Indian flavor at home, I make a pretty easy spaghetti korma. You can always serve the korma over basmati rice or have a nice bowl served with naan bread for a more traditional Indian meal but the spaghetti korma is fun and unexpected! This isn’t a hot and spicy curry sauce, more of a spice infused sauce but if you want more heat, you can always add Sriracha sauce!  A touch of Sriracha sauce does wonders to this dish! And I love taking a bite of naan bread and coming across a coriander seed, so I added a little more of them to the sauce, so adjust the seasonings to your liking! Enjoy!

  • 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 head cauliflower, trimmed, using only the florets, reserving the stalks for another use
  • 1 10 oz box frozen peas
  • 1 small Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cups water, as needed
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3/4 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon five spice powder
  • 2 cardamon pods, left whole
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1 pound spaghetti, cooked al dente
  • crushed pistachio nuts, for garnish

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and add the sliced onion. Saute on low heat until translucent then add all of your spices. You can always add a little bit and then add more as you need. Stir your spices until fragrant, then stir in the tomato sauce and 2 cups of water. Let this come to a boil and simmer for about half an hour, until the liquids reduce. Add in your cauliflower florets and 1 cup of water, if needed. Only add the water if your sauce is too thick, if the sauce begins sticking on the bottom, add more water. Simmer your sauce until the cauliflower is cooked through, about half an hour. Stir in the frozen peas and simmer for a few minutes. Next, stir in the heavy cream and the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, let it simmer for a few minutes until it thickens again. Discard the cardamon pods and toss the spaghetti with the sauce, topping more of the korma sauce on top and garnish with pistachio nuts. This serves 6-8 people. Great for leftovers too!

Bacon with Chocolate & Wasabi Peas

I know, it feels wrong but tastes right, in a wrong sort of way, lol. But that’s bacon for you. It’s Friday night and this is perfect for a little indulgence. Hoping you have all the ingredients in your kitchen. :)

  • 1 pound thick cut bacon
  • about 4 ounces of milk chocolate
  • 1/4 cup wasabi peas, crushed
  • lightly salted peanuts, chopped

Cut your bacon slices in half and fry them up so they are crisp or to your liking. Drain them on paper towels, so they are dry. In a double broiler melt your chocolate. Now the dipping begins! Dip your bacon slices into the chocolate, and sprinkle with the crushed wasabi peas and some with the chopped peanuts. Put your little bacon bites in the fridge so they set, but serve at room temperature for the best flavor. The peanuts were an afterthought, so I only did a few, but it’s a relief for anyone that isn’t crazy about wasabi peas. Enjoy and happy weekend! :)

Split-Pea Soup with Celery Leaves

Mmm…my favorite recipe to make the days following Easter is a nice split pea soup. I hope that everyone saved their ham drippings! It’s a cold evening on the east coast and I can’t wait to have a hot steamy bowl! Gather all your ingredients, so you can join me…

 

  • a ham bone, with about 3 cups of ham chopped or shredded
  • pan drippings from ham
  • 1 pound dried split peas
  • 2 celery stalks and a few smaller inner stalks with leaves diced, save some celery leaves for garnish
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 or more cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 12 cups water
  • half a leek, the lighter part, diced
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour  

Bring the ham bone, split-peas, bay leaf and water to a boil, then simmer on low heat for half an hour. Skim off the foam as it cooks. Carefully remove the ham bone and let it cool. Add the chopped vegetables and ham and bring to a boil then simmer on low for an hour. Make the roux, which is super easy, it just sounds complicated. On low heat, melt the butter, you don’t want the butter browning, then add the flour. Stir until there are no lumps and it browns lightly. Add the roux to your soup, bring to a boil, then drop the heat to low. At this point you can season your soup with the reserved pan drippings, adding a little at a time. You can add any meat that you can get off your ham bone and remove the bay leaf. Really take this last half an hour of cooking time to adjust the seasonings. In my opinion, the best pan drippings come from spiral cut hams with sweet glazes. I used, I almost hate to admit it, 8 tablespoons of pan drippings. It’s worth all of the calorie overload! I only make this once a year, really. In my dreams more, lol. Then top with (my latest food obsession) celery leaves and enjoy!