Showing posts with label peas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label peas. Show all posts

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Pea and Japanese pumpkin soup

Sopa de abóbora e ervilha / Pea and Japanese pumpkin soup

Do you ever get tired of your own food?

That has not happened to me yet – not only during the pandemic, because before that I already took my own food for lunch at the office – but I must confess that there are days that I eat and think “it could have been better”, or “this does not go with that”.

Cooking with whatever we have at hand can yield good surprises, like the risotto I posted the other day, but it can go terribly wrong, too, like when I made rice and beans - the staple of Brazilian food - with pumpkin and carrots cooked together (because I didn’t have much of each) and a radish salad on the side: I felt that the salad did not agree with the other components, maybe because it was a cold day, maybe because the radishes were too peppery… I usually roast pumpkin because it tastes so much better that way, but I was baking bread and could not use the oven. The whole meal was not bad, but it lacked something… There was no “yum” factor. I filed that lunch under “I tried, but it didn’t work”. :)

But now I will talk about something good: there was also the day I made a soup using some of that same Japanese pumpkin, 1 lonely potato and frozen peas. It turned out delicious and with a beautiful, vibrant, almost fluorescent color.
Since both the pumpkin and the peas are sweet, the acidity of the lime (or lemon) juice and the saltiness of the bacon balance the sweetness perfectly.

Pea and Japanese pumpkin soup
own recipe

2 slices of bacon, chopped
½ tablespoon olive oil
½ large onion, finely diced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 medium potato (150g), peeled and diced
200g peeled and diced Japanese pumpkin (about 1 2/3 cups already diced in 2cm cubes)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 ½ cups (840ml) boiling water
1 bay leaf
2 ½ cups (325g) frozen peas, straight from the freezer
juice of ½ lime (or lemon)

Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp – remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the olive oil to the pan and mix with the rendered fat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and starting to brown. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute – do not let it burn or it will turn bitter.
Add wine and scrape the bottom of the pan, cooking until wine has evaporated. Add potato and pumpkin, stir to combine and season with salt and pepper. Add the water and the bay leaf, stir, and let it come to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 15-17 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add the peas and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, discard the bay leaf and blitz with a handheld mixer.
Stir in the lime juice and serve topped with the crunchy bits of bacon.

Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as an entrée

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Vegetable tagine and some planning in the kitchen

Vegetable tagine / Tagine de legumes

There are times when work is pretty intense (like last week, for instance), and something I have been doing for those times is to have ready or almost ready meals in the fridge or freezer – it makes a huge difference. Planning is, indeed, everything.

Meatballs, tomato sauce, pesto sauce, soups, beef stews – these have been my usual suspects lately. Now I will add one more dish to my list: this vegetable tagine. It is delicious and freezes really well – just do not add the cilantro leaves in the end (do it right before serving it). I have made this tagine a couple of times already and sometimes I added green olives to it – it adds a nice saltiness to the tagine. I did not have any in the fridge on the day of the photo, but if you like olives like I do please consider my suggestion.

Vegetable tagine
own recipe, inspired for several around the web

1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
½ yellow pepper, finely diced
½ large onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon hot paprika – use the sweet kind if you don’t like spicy food
1 teaspoon Baharat
¼ cup dry white wine
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into ½cm (¼in) slices (the ones in the photo are too thick, they take too long to cook)
1 sweet potato (about 250g/8oz), peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
200g (7oz) butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
1 400g (14oz) can peeled chopped tomatoes
2 cups boiling water, plus more if needed
2 bay leaves
1 small eggplant (about 250g/8oz), cut into 2cm cubes
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup frozen peas, unthawed
handful of fresh cilantro leaves

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over high heat – a deep frying pan works well here. Add the yellow pepper and the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the spices and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the wine and scrape the brown bits around the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the carrot, sweet potato and butternut squash and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the peeled tomatoes and crush them with the back of the spoon. Add the water, bay leaves, stir in the eggplant, season with salt and pepper and cook, partially covered, for 30-35 minutes or until vegetables are tender, checking eventually - if the tagine starts to get dry, add more water. Stir in the peas, cover, remove from the heat and set aside for 5 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and serve.

Serves 4-5

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Pea pancakes

Pea pancakes / Panquequinhas de ervilha

I’ve realized that I’ve been craving vegetables more and more each day, instead of meat: the more I eat vegetables, the more I want to eat them, in all sorts of ways – every time I see a great vegetarian recipe around I want to try it immediately.

(That said, I’ll cook Jamie Oliver’s roast beef tomorrow for lunch. :D My husband saw a bit of the show days ago while I was watching it and has been craving that dish ever since, with all the trimmings, including the Yorkshire puddings – I have made Jamie’s yorkies and they’re oh, so good).

Back to the vegetables, I saw these pea pancakes on Valli Little’s stunning cookbook and right away thought that they would be great for a snack – I had everything in my fridge and pantry to make them, and on top of it all it would take me moments to put them together, even making the ricotta from scratch, which is super easy and I highly recommend you try – I doubt you’ll ever buy ricotta again.

The pancakes turned out delicious, light and fluffy, and I ate them with sweet chili sauce, as per the author’s suggestion – she also suggests the pancakes to be served with bacon, but even though I’m crazy about it I don’t think it was necessary here.

Pea pancakes
slightly adapted from the über beautiful Delicious. Love to Cook

120g frozen peas
2 eggs
200g fresh ricotta – I highly recommend using homemade
¼ cup finely grated parmesan
1 teaspoon olive oil + more for frying the pancakes
¼ cup (45g) all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 spring onions, white part only, finely chopped

Cook the peas in boiling salted water for 5 minutes, drain and refresh under cold water. Drain well and set aside.
Place eggs, parmesan, ricotta, 1 teaspoon olive oil, flour, baking powder, salt and pepper in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Stir in the peas and spring onions, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Heat ½ tablespoon of olive oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Scoop two tablespoons of mixture per pancakes and place onto the pan, pressing each to 1cm (½ in) thickness. Cook for 3 minutes each side or until golden.
Serve immediately.

Makes 6

Monday, October 6, 2014

Sweet pea salmon pie - turning a piece of fish into something delicious

Sweet pea salmon pie / Torta de salmão e ervilha

Talking to my husband the other day about food, we once again came to the conclusion that we don’t eat fish as often as we should, which is such a shame.

I did not make any promises, for breaking them makes me frustrated and that is something I really don’t need right now – instead, I decided to make roasted salmon for lunch: seasoned with lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper, baked over a layer of sliced leeks – very simple yet very delicious.

I did have left about 200g of salmon, and I did not want to eat it cooked in the same way, so I used it to make Jamie Oliver’s fish pie – he uses a combination of white fish, shrimp and salmon, but I made it with salmon only for it was what I had around. I also reduced the recipe considerably for the original serves 8 people.

It was my first fish pie ever and as I placed it in the oven it looked and smelled really good. My husband was at work, so I texted my sister and asked what she felt about having fish pie for lunch – I know she’d never had fish pie before, so I described the dish for her, and her reply was: “I have never have that, but I love everything in it – I’m coming over!”. :D

The pie tasted delicious and despite the mashed potatoes on top it is such a light dish – we devoured it but it never felt like we’d eaten a lot.

Sweet pea salmon pie
slightly adapted from the delicious Save with Jamie: Shop Smart, Cook Clever, Waste Less

250g potatoes
½ lemon
10g unsalted butter
100g frozen peas
1 small carrot
½ onions
olive oil
1 cup (240ml) whole milk
200g salmon
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
25g frozen spinach
pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.

Peel the potatoes and cut into small chunks, then put them into a small saucepan of boiling salted water for 10-15 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain and mash with a pinch of salt and pepper, the zest from the lemon and the butter.
Place the frozen peas in a colander, pour over some boiling water to defrost them, then drain well and pulse a few times in a food processor. Fold them through the mashed potato to create a rippled effect, then leave to one side.

Peel and chop the carrot and onion and cook them in a wide 2 ½ cup-capacity ovenproof dish with a drizzle of oil for 15 minutes, or until softened but not colored, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan on a medium heat. Once simmering, add the salmon and cook for around 10 minutes, or until cooked through, then use a slotted spoon to remove them to a plate, taking the pan off the heat. Remove the skin from the salmon.

Stir the flour into the carrots and onions, then gradually add half the milk, a tablespoon at a time, stirring continuously (discard the remaining milk). Stir in the spinach until broken down, then season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Flake in the salmon and the juice from ¼ of the lemon and stir gently to combine.

Top with the pea-spiked mash and smooth out, scuffing it up slightly with a fork or a spoon to give it great texture. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until golden and the filling is bubbling.

Serves 2

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Beef kofta curry with fluffy rice and peas and going crazy over cookbooks

Beef kofta curry with fluffy rice and peas / Curry de kofta bovino com arroz e ervilha

September is a lovely month: spring comes our way, bringing flowers to make the city prettier and, in Sao Paulo’s case, it also brings the much needed rain. But it is also the time of the year when a bunch of cookbooks are released, which makes me tense for as much as I keep telling myself that “I have too many cookbooks” or “I don’t need new cookbooks” I know I don’t sound very convincing. :)

I’ve had my eye on several new releases for a long time and I was already in trouble because I couldn’t make up my mind about which ones to buy, and now to make things worse for me Jamie Oliver has a new cookbook, too. Oh, crap. :S

While I decide whether or not to buy Comfort Food, I’ll use the Jamie’s cookbooks I already own, because they’re really good. This beef kofta comes from the delicious Jamie's 15-Minute Meals, a book I should definitely use more often for it’s packed with tasty recipes.

I adapted the recipe ever so slightly to use curry powder for I did not have any curry paste at hand and also to use brown lentils instead of the super expensive (at least here) puy lentils called for in the original recipe. These “adaptations” saved me some money, I used ingredients I already had at home, and at the end the food turned out delicious – and I even got the husband to eat lentils, which was the real victory here. :D

Beef kofta curry with fluffy rice and peas
slightly adapted from the wonderful Jamie's 15-Minute Meals

100g cooked lentils
300g quality lean beef mince
1 fat garlic clove, minced
1 heaped teaspoon garam masala
generous ½ teaspoon table salt
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
2 ripe tomatoes
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
2 spring onions, white part only
½ fresh red chilli
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon runny honey
2 teaspoons curry powder
100ml coconut milk
handful parsley

For the rice:
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ onion, finely diced
1 mug basmati rice
2 cardamom pods
150g frozen peas

In a bowl, combine the lentils, mince, garlic, garam masala, salt and pepper then mix and scrunch together with clean hands. Divide the mixture in half, then with wet hands quickly squeeze and mold each half into 8 fat fingers. Put them into a nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat, drizzle with ½ tablespoon of oil, and cook, turning occasionally until golden all around.

Squash the tomatoes into the liquidizer, add the peeled ginger, spring onions, chilli, turmeric, honey, curry and coconut milk, then blitz until combined. Pour into the kofta pan, bring to the boil, then simmer and season to taste.

Rice: heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the rice and stir to combine. Add the salt and the cardamom, followed by 2 mugs of boiling water. Cover, lower the heat and cook until rice is cooked and fluffy. Take the lid off the rice, add the peas, mix it all up with a fork, cover and give it just 2-3 more minutes so the peas are cooked. Remove from the heat.

Sprinkle the koftas with the parsley and serve with the rice.

Serves 4

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Pea soup, my sister's high school graduation and too many caipirinhas

Pea soup / Sopa de ervilha

I wish I could say that I made this soup for a noble reason, but the truth is that I made it for lunch because of a massive hangover. :S

It all started the night before: we’d all gone to my sister’s high school graduation prom and had a lot of fun there (I shed a few tears during the ceremony, too, I’ll admit it). Then my brother told me that I “had to try” the caipirinhas that were being served. I tried a traditional one, made with lime. That was good. Then he told me that the strawberry caipirinha was delicious, too. And the kiwi one. And the passion fruit one. And, of course, the pineapple caipirinha as well. On the following morning I was a mess: my head was about to explode, Joao had gone to work (I was on vacation) and there was nothing in the fridge. My salvation was a bag of frozen peas and a couple of slices of bread.

Nevertheless, the soup was delicious and very easy to make – that’s why I’ll share it with you today.

Pea soup
from the always beautiful and delicious Donna Hay magazine

½ tablespoon olive oil
½ onion, finely diced
2 ½ cups frozen peas
2 ½ cups (600ml) chicken or vegetable stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup sour cream*

Heat a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the oil and onion and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the onion is tender. Add the peas, stock, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes or until the peas are tender. Remove from heat and blitz with a handheld mixer until smooth (or use a food processor) - be careful because you are dealing with hot liquid. Make sure you hold the cap down on the top of the blender while puréeing. Ladle into bowls and top with the sour cream. Sprinkle with some extra pepper and serve.

* homemade sour cream: mix ¼ cup (60ml) heavy cream with 1 teaspoon lemon juice in a bowl. Whisk until it starts to thicken. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in room temperature for 1 hour or until it thickens

Serves 2

Monday, January 24, 2011

Linguine with peas and lemon - and our 6th anniversary

Linguine with peas and lemon / Linguine com ervilhas e limão siciliano

Joao and I celebrated our sixth anniversary last Saturday with a magnificent dinner – great food, some wine... Just beautiful. But all that indulgence called for a simple lunch on the following day – and this recipe instantly popped in to my mind: it’s so good – and quick – I’ve made it three times already.

Linguine with peas and lemon
from Holiday

1½ tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons (28g) butter
2 garlic cloves, crushed
¾ cup (180ml) white wine
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
½ cup (120ml) heavy cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper
400g linguine
2 cups fresh shelled peas – I used frozen
freshly grated parmesan, to serve

Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute.
Pour in the white wine and simmer until reduced by half. Stir in the lemon zest and cream and simmer for a further 3-4 minutes until slightly reduced; season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pan of slightly boiling water according to the packet instructions or until al dente, adding the peas for the last 3 minutes of the cooking time. Drain well and toss the hot pasta with the sauce.
Serve immediately with grated parmesan.

Serves 4

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