Today was a pretty average day, I nearly missed the bus, it rained, I found out that Bangor Maine is having the warmest weather in the Nation as of this morning! I did homework, went to swim practice…the usual.
Now, in a way, I feel like my winters are always so routine. Having so much to do leaves little time for spontaneity. Take this weekend for instance. My friend’s birthday was on Tuesday and we were hoping to celebrate it Friday night, but there was swimming, Friday night and Saturday morning. Now we’re going to have it Saturday night, minus one of us. It’s too bad really, and it’s not that I would change it or that I dislike swimming that much…it’s just that I feel like sometimes we need to do things that are less routine just to keep from getting bored. When you’re bored, there is little motivation-that’s why schools often try to introduce new learning schemes so that people enjoy what they’re doing.
In a sense, my blog is my spontaneous thing. Not because I don’t do it frequently, but because I write it due to “a natural impulse or tendency,” to cook and chronicle my cooking. I find a way to make time for it, even if it’s ten o’clock at night and I don’t really have time, because it is what I want to do more than anything else. To put it more simply, cooking is almost always my fallback plan if I have the time to do something.
So, here I am writing this, and I haven’t even cooked anything. Yet this post is necessary for a couple of reason, mainly that the last few things have all been sweet, and because, goodness gracious! November is practically over! I only have 7 posts!
But now to the food…
These peas were a discovery, and of course, they came from Cook’s Illustrated- note: all discoveries I claim to make, have come, and will come by way of Cook’s Illustrated. Yes, these peas are just so perfect, especially for meals like Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter which generally are very rich and heavy. This dish is just the opposite: bright and fully flavored, the peas stand out from the turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, and average fare.
Here is the incredibly simple and yet beautifully flavored recipe, which comes from what I personally think is one of the better Holiday issues Cook’s Illustrated has had in the past few years. In it are recipes for Cassoulet, a triple-chocolate mousse cake (which is divine!), and a full stuffed turkey, among others.
Sauteed Peas with Shallot and Mint
Cook’s Illustrated-November/December 2009
Note: Do not thaw the peas before cooking. Regular frozen peas can be used in place of baby peas; increase the cooking time in step 2 by 1 to 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice right before serving, otherwise the peas will turn brown.
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small shallot, minced ( about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)
1 pound frozen baby peas (3 cups) (see note)
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup minced fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
Table salt and ground black pepper
1. Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add shallot and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
2. Stir in peas, broth, and sugar. Cover and cook until peas are bright green and just heated through, 3 to 5 minutes. Add mint and butter and toss until incorporated. Remove pan from heat; stir in lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper; serve immediately.