Sunday, 6 March 2011

Braised Peas

Another one from my Dad. In fact I don't even know why I say that as it's a given that 95% of the stuff I cook I learnt to cook from him.

I was lucky enough to be at home again this weekend. My Dad enticed me with the offer of roast chicken and let me choose what I'd want with it. The obvious answer for me is peas. They're my favourite vegetable to have with a roast chicken, in fact I think I look forward to the peas more than the actual roast.

Whenever I invite people over for food I always like to ask them if there's anything they don't eat. A surprising number of people say peas. Unfortunately this is like a red rag to a bull for me... as soon as they say it I see it as a challenge. I automatically decide I'm cooking them these braised peas... or "magic peas" as I named them while at uni.

So far they've converted 6/6 pea haters. I'm spreading the pea love...

Ingredients (serves 4... or more or less... depends how much you like peas)
Bag of frozen petits pois (I only use birds eye)
Smoked bacon
Half an onion
Clove of garlic
Chicken stock
Little gem lettuce
Knob of butter

How to...

1. Finely chop onions and soften in a pan with a generous knob of butter.
2. Add chopped bacon and a smushed clove of garlic and gently fry until the bacon is cooked.
3. Throw in frozen peas. I use about half of one of the small bags at a time. Use a bit more or a bit less depending how many people you're cooking for.
4. Add enough chicken stock to not quite cover the peas. Also bung in a generous amount of thyme. (Stock from a good cube is fine, contrary to popular belief not always making your own stock is not a crime. If you have homemade stock, well done, you're doing better than me.)
5. Simmer for 10 mins.
6. Add chopped baby gem lettuce and simmer for another 5 minutes.
Serve... preferably with roast chicken and home-made gravy.

Whilst cooking I was listening to... The sound of my own voice talking to my Dad.