Saturday, July 21, 2012

Crushed peas with toasted parmesan

I was scrounging through the freezer recently, looking at food to use up, when I realized it had been a long time since I had eaten peas. Which is weird, because I really like peas. So I decided I needed to create a new recipe that would highlight peas.

The most awkward part about peas is that, properly cooked, peas roll around on the plate and avoid the tines of a fork like nobody's business. So, inspired by my introduction to mashed beans, I thought mashing the peas would be a great way to solve this. So far, so good.

It proved to be a little difficult to figure out what food to match texturally with the mashed peas, and it took a while before I realized I needed crunch with it, and went with a rich flavor in toasted parmesan cheese.

I took it from a side dish to main course by adding a light meat. My first choice was chicken strips sauteed in white wine (and I recommend it if you have those handy), but since what I usually have in the freezer is turkey burgers, I will eat it more often with that — making it an exciting meal I can whip up even when I don't have anything fresh left in the fridge.

Ingredients (serves 2):
1 tbsp butter
3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese

3 cup frozen peas
2 tbsp jarred Bearnaise sauce (or Garlic-Herb Lemonaise)
sprinkle of salt

2 turkey burger patties (or 8 oz chicken-breast strips)
2 tbsp white wine
sprinkle of salt

1) Knead butter into parmesan cheese until it is thoroughly incorporated, then crumble into pan over medium heat.

2) Keep stirring and breaking apart the pieces until you have crispy crumbs. Set aside and let cool.

3) Boil peas, in enough water to cover, for 5 minutes, then drain.

4) At the same time, start cooking the frozen turkey burgers (or chicken) in white wine and a sprinkling of salt over medium-high heat, cutting them into strips as they soften.

5) Separate peas onto two plates, then crush with a fork. Mix in the Bearnaise sauce and a sprinkle of salt.

6) To be fancy, then form the crushed peas into a square. Add the toasted parmesan, then the turkey strips, and serve warm.

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