Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Guess what are the green pods?

Mystery of the day

I love grocery shopping. I love checking out new things. In the case of supermarket, it's the vegetable section to see what is in season.

My last trip to the local supermarket Emart, I saw these green pods bagged in a small net bag. They looked like Edamamee at first. On second thoughts, they looked rather like sugar snaps.

I had never used sugar snaps in my cooking before. Wouldn't it be fun to cook with something different for a change?

Thus, I bought a bag of "sugar snaps" home and cooked them in a pot of boiling salted water. 3 or 4 minutes later, I heard loud popping sound coming from the pot. Could it be that the sugar snaps are ready?

I took a one out of the boiling water to try and chewed the whole pod. Realising how strange it tasted, I immediately spat it out in the sink. I splitted a second pod open and ate only the seeds. They are very delicious! A little crunchy and very starchy to taste.

Oh yes! Green peas!
They are usually sold in their seed form, canned or frozen. But never in pods like this. My experience reminds of Kevin Spacey in K-Pax, an alien eating banana together with its skin. Yuck! I wonder if he really chewed the skin.

I made a salad for dinner that night. It was a potato salad with salad greens and caramelized onions. I added a few tablespoons of shelled green peas to the salad. And the salad was extremely pleasant with the subtlety of green peas and caramelized onions.

Potato Salad with Caramelized Onions and Green Peas

For 4 servings

A few handful of mixed Salad Greens, rinsed and spun dry

A cup of fresh green peas, cooked in salted boiling water about 3-5 minutes until soft

8 small potatoes or 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cooked in salted boiling water until soft

Prepare vinaigrette and caramlized onions (recipes follow). Tear salad greens into bite-sized pieces. Arrange equal portions of greens on 4 plates. Place 1 or 2 potatoes on each. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of green peas over the potatoes. Top the potatos with caramelized onions. Drizzle 2 tablespoon of vinaigrette on the salad.

Caramelized Onions:

A large onion, sliced

2 tablespoon of Olive oil

Salt

Heat olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add onion slices and stir to coat evenly. Cook gently for 10 mins until brown, stirring the onions frequently. Season with salt.

French Red Wine Vinaigrette:

I tablespoon of French Dijon Mustard( Maille is the best in my opinion)

2 tablespoon of Red Wine Vinegar

5 tablespoon of Olive Oil

a pinch of salt

Icecat's quick method: Put all ingredients in a small zipbloc container( a cup size). Cover the container tightly with its lid, and shake it vigorously until the vinaigrette thickens into an emulsion. It should only take 5-10 seconds.

Traditional method: you can mix the mustard with red wine vinegar until a smooth paste. Pour olive oil slowly into the paste while stirring continously it with a small whisk/spoon. Season with salt. It takes around 2-3 mins to prepare.

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