Posts Tagged ‘peas’

Herb roast chicken

This is an easy solution for feeding a crowd and almost everyone likes roast chicken. All you need is some new potatoes or creamy mash on the side. We love the fresh tarragon with the peas but you could use mint if you prefer. The combination of the peas, shallots, herbs and pancetta really add extra depth to the chicken and lift even ordinary chickens to feast-like levels. Of course, if the budget allows, get a good, free-range one as the extra flavour is really worth it.

Wine Suggestion: As this dish is a bit richer than your standard roast chicken it demands more than most white wines can deliver. We find Pinot Noir a good choice. This time we chose the Justin Girardin Santenay 1er Clos Rousseau and the earthy flavours danced with the salty, crispy pancetta and sweet peas. The tarragon made it all the more reminiscent of holidays in France.

Herb-Roast Chicken – serves 8-10 (easily halved)

  • 200g cubetti di pancetta
  • 800g shallots, trimmed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 chickens (about 1.5kg each)
  • 500ml hot chicken stock
  • 800g peas (frozen will be fine)
  • small pack tarragon, roughly chopped

Heat oven to 190C/170C/gas 5.

Fry the pancetta gently in a heavy frying pan until crisp – if you start with a cold pan you shouldn’t need to add any oil. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the shallots to the pan and fry in the pancetta fat for 10-15 minutes or until golden and starting to soften. Tip the shallots into a very large roasting tin.

Rub the olive oil over the chickens and season well with salt and pepper, then place the chickens into the roasting tin with the shallots. Roast for about 1 hour 20 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Remove the chickens from the tin and cover with foil.

Put the roasting tin directly onto the hob and stir in the stock. Bubble for a few minutes and scrape any sticky bits off the bottom of the tin with a wooden spoon. Add the peas, pancetta and most of the tarragon to the stock and bubble for a few minutes or until the peas are cooked, then season.

Meanwhile carve the chicken into large pieces. Transfer the peas to a warm serving platter and serve the chicken on top with the rest of the tarragon sprinkled over.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food Magazine, April 2010.)


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Summer risotto

On a balmy summer evening we podded local broad beans and picked some french beans from the vines in our back yard. We used a stock made from a previously roasted chicken which was subsequently used to poach chicken fillets for a Coronation Chicken. The only thing out of place were the frozen peas, but we think unless you pick the pods fresh and eat them almost immediately, frozen is often best. This is based on a risotto primavera or Spring risotto which usually contains asparagus.

Wine Suggestion: a fresh, summery Godello caught our eye. The La Sonrisa de Tares from Bierzo had enough weight to balance the starchy creaminess and depth of the Parmesan while a lovely textural freshness and summery zing made the beans and peas sing with all their fresh flavours.

Summer Risotto – serves 4

  • 200g shelled broad beans (you will need about 800g of broad beans in their pods to get this quantity or you can use frozen broad beans, defrosted)
  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 250g green beans, trimmed and cut into short lengths
  • 1.5 litres home-made chicken stock (you might not need it all)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 80g butter
  • 350g Carnaroli or other risotto rice
  • 100ml dry white wine
  • 140g frozen peas
  • 100g Parmesan, finely grated

Start by double podding the broad beans so you are left with bright green beans. To do this just blanch them in boiling water for 2 minutes, then drain and squeeze to remove the papery skin. If you’re using frozen beans you might be able to remove the skins when defrosted without having to blanch first.

Put the stock into a large pot and bring to a simmer.

Heat the oil and 40g butter in a wide heavy pan with a lid. Cook the shallot, scallions & garlic for a few minutes until soft and transparent but don’t let them brown. Add the rice and keep stirring for a few minutes until the rice is hot and starting to sizzle, then pour in the wine. Continue to stir until the wine has evaporated.

Now start gradually adding the stock, a ladleful at a time. Only add another ladleful when the previous one has been absorbed by the rice. Continue stirring and adding the stock for 14 minutes, then add the broad beans and peas with some salt and black pepper. Meanwhile, cook the green beans in the simmering stock for 6 minutes or until soft, then add these to the rice too. Continue stirring and adding stock until the risotto has a creamy texture and the rice is soft but retains a little bite.

Remove the pan from the heat and add half the parmesan, the rest of the butter and one last splash of stock to retain the moisture. Put the lid on the pan and leave to rest for a few minutes off the heat. Serve with the rest of the Parmesan sprinkled over the top.

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Gnocchi with peas

Gnocchi – where have you been all our lives? So much easier than we anticipated!

Wine suggestion: We tried a delicious Langhe Nebbiolo by Luigi Pira from Piedmont in Italy which had a great balance between light weight, depth of flavour, dancing acidity and a characterful earthiness. Gnocchi is refined and elegant but also earthy and rustic and the food-wine combo matched really well.

Gnocchi – serves 4

  • 2 large floury potatoes
  • 50g ricotta cheese
  • 90g plain flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 thyme sprig, leaves only
  • sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • Grated Parmesan – to serve

For the Sauce: 

  • olive oil
  • black pepper
  • 150g frozen peas, defrosted
  • butter
  • 1 thyme sprig, leaves only
  • zest of 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6.

Bake the potatoes for 1-1¼ hours until tender. While the potatoes are still warm, remove the flesh from the skin and mash until smooth (use a potato ricer if you have one).

Mix in the ricotta, a pinch of salt and white pepper and the flour. Make a well in the middle, add the beaten egg and start to combine the mixture with floured hands. Work in the thyme leaves and continue until you have a smooth dough but don’t overwork or it will become too dense .

Cut the dough in half and shape each piece into a long cigar shape about 1.5 cm thick. Use the back of a floured table knife to cut each length into 2cm pieces to make ‘pillows’ of gnocchi.

Gently press each gnocchi in the middle with a floured finger.

Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add the gnocchi, tilting the pan from side to side briefly to stop them sticking together, them simmer for just 1½-2 minutes or until they start to float.

Drain the gnocchi and leave to steam dry for a couple of minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over a medium heat and add a bit of olive oil. Add the gnocchi to the hot pan with a pinch of salt and black pepper and sauté for a minute or two on each side until coloured.

Add the peas to the pan with a knob of butter and the thyme leaves. Toss to heat through, then add the lemon zest. Serve with the grated Parmesan.

(Original recipe from Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course, Hodder & Stoughton, 2012.)

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Keema with Peas

Keema with peas

This is a simple and cheap curry to whip up and it’s full of flavour. Grab some naan breads from your local takeaway and serve with some mango chutney and extra yogurt.

Keema with Peas – to serve 4

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4cm piece ginger, grated
  • 2 green chillies
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 500g lamb mince
  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 200g chopped tomatoes (from a can or use 2 medium fresh tomatoes)
  • 2 tbsp natural yogurt
  • 200g frozen peas
  • 1 small bunch coriander, chopped

Chop the onion, garlic, ginger and chillies in a food processor.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the mixture until very fragrant. Add the mince and fry until starting to brown, stirring to break up the lumps.

Add the spices and fry for a minute before adding the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer, cook for a minute, then stir in the yogurt and some salt and pepper. Add a splash of water if the mixture looks dry, then cook for half an hour.

Add the frozen peas and cook for 5 minutes, then stir in the coriander.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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The combination of flavours and textures made this a delicious Wednesday night feast. It’s also really healthy and low in calories (305 to be exact, so you can even squeeze it in if you’re on the 5:2 diet). You could use haddock or cod but whiting is much cheaper and tastes just as good.

Zesty Whiting with Crushed Potatoes & Peas – to serve 4

  • 600g potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks – we used Nicola which gave an interesting texture but floury mashing ones would be good too
  • 140g frozen peas
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • juice and zest of ½ a lemon
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 2 tbsp snipped chives
  • 4 fillets of chunky white fish (about 120g each)
  • 2 tbsp flour

Boil the potatoes until tender, adding the peas for the final minute of cooking. Drain and roughly crush together, adding lots of salt and pepper and about a tablespoon of the oil.

To make the dressing mix 1 tbsp of the oil with the lemon juice and zest, the capers, the chives and some seasoning.

Dust the fish in the flour, tapping off any excess, and season. Heat a small splash of oil in non-stick frying pan and fry the fish for a couple of minutes on each side, or until cooked, then add the dressing to the pan to warm through.

Serve with some steamed broccoli if you like.

Wine Suggestion: Picpoul de Pinet from the Languedoc is good value and has a nice, refreshing zesty flavour that is a great match for fish. Despite coming from a warm area, this wine maintains good acidity and minerality and is well worth seeking out.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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These are super-simple and a hundred times better than the frozen variety. You can use any firm, skinless, white fish – we used hake.

Home-made fish fingers with mushy peas – to serve 4

  • 600g firm, skinless white fish
  • 50g plain flour, seasoned
  • 1 large egg, lightly whisked
  • 200g fine fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 400g frozen peas
  • knob of butter
  • zest 1 lemon, then cut into wedges
  • mint

Cut the fish into 12 fingers, about 3cm thick. Put the seasoned flour, egg, and breadcrumbs into three separate bowls. Dust the fish pieces in the flour first, then coat with the egg and finally a good coating of breadcrumbs. Put on a plate and chill for 15 minutes before cooking.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Fry the fish fingers for about 8 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Meanwhile, cook the peas in a small pan of boiling water until really tender, about 4 minutes. Drain then tip into a bowl with the butter, zest and mint and roughly mash. Season and keep warm.

Serve the fish fingers with a dollop of peas and some lemon wedges.

Wine Suggestion: Try a light Sauvignon Blanc, such as from the Touraine in France’s Loire Valley, which should be fresh and fruity with a slight grassiness.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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A bit of a celebration of peas. The original recipe also suggested topping it off with pea shoots at the end but unfortunately we couldn’t find any today. Not as tasty as some of our richer risottos (with much more butter and cheese) but very nice all the same.

Pea risotto – to serve 4

  • 50g butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 300g cooked fresh peas
  • 1.7 litres hot vegetable stock (you might not need it all)
  • 350g risotto rice
  • 200ml white wine
  • 25g Parmesan, grated

Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the onion and cook gently for about 10 minutes until very soft but not coloured.

Whizz about a third of the peas in food processor with a ladle of stock to make a purée.

Stir the rice into the onion, turn up the heat, then sizzle and stir for about a minute. Add the wine and bubble until it has all be absorbed, stirring the whole time. Continue cooking this way, adding a ladle of stock at a time and stirring continuously until the rice is tender and creamy. It should take between 20 and 30 minutes.

Stir in the pea purée, the remaining peas, Parmesan and seasoning, then turn off the heat and leave to stand for a few minutes. Drizzle with a splash of good olive oil before serving if you like.

Wine Suggestion: A Sauvignon Blanc should complement the fresh green pea flavour you can often find similar characteristics in the wine. We prefer the more subtle versions from the Loire Valley but there are some excellent examples from Marlborough in New Zealand that don’t go too over the top, like Morton Estate.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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