Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Easy Peas-y Summer Snap Peas

Here's a little gem of a recipe that my Dad recently gave me.  A couple weeks ago, my parents made the trek from Fairbanks to Anchorage to spend a little time with their favorite granddog Milo.  Afraid that my Dad might get bored or restless over the weekend at my house without something to do, I put him to work.  I mean, it was the least I could do, right?  After a 3 day trip, I had trim pieces painted and installed, an ugly hedge in my front yard removed, my yard fertilized, and a 300 pound ancient boiler taken to the metal recyclers.  I'm just glad I could make him feel useful.  (Did I mention how much I love my Dad's visits?)

The most lovable of obstinate creatures on the planet: Milo.
My Dad is a jack of all trades kind of guy.  Besides being my carpenter, mechanic, and financial advisor, my dad is also a great cook.  He's actually a bit more adventurous than I am in the kitchen, willing to try new ingredients or cuisines while I prefer to stick to my mediterranean favorites.  And like father, like daugher- he has a slight tendency to be a bit bossy in the kitchen, so while he's visiting my house I usually have to tell him to stay in the living room while I cook.  (The less cooks in my tiny kitchen, the better- as my friend Cheryl once said, "This is a one a** kitchen!")

Me and Dad on the Chena last weekend.

On the day my parents were planning to leave, my friends Michal and Rebecca invited me to their house for dinner.  I wanted to bring a quick and easy veggie side dish with me, and before he left my Dad suggested this deliciously simple snap pea dish that he made to rave reviews.  It's not a recipe so much as a method, so here goes:

Bring some salted water to a boil on the stove.  At the same time, have a bowl of ice water at the ready.  While the water on the stovetop is coming up to temperature, peel the tough stem off each of the snap peas (I used about a pound and a half of peas, but you can use more or less). 

Toss the snap peas in the boiling water to quickly blanch them- about 1 to 2 minutes.  Be careful not to overcook them, because you want them to retain most of their crunch!  After draining them, immediately shock them in the ice water bath.  This way, they cool down quickly and retain their crunch while also turning a beautiful shade of green.

I leave the peas in the ice water bath for a minute or so, then drain them and pat them down with a paper towel.  At this point, toss the peas in a bowl and add the following to taste:  kosher salt, sesame oil (a little goes a long way) and black sesame seeds. 

And there you have it: a delicious and healthy side dish that is the perfect accompanyment to your fresh salmon or halibut.  Thanks, Dad!

Enjoy! xo H

No comments: