We all have our Archilles heel, right?
I’m talking of food (or dishes) that you wouldn’t eat if someone paid you to.
I have one. Only one item that I won’t even try.
There isn’t a way that I can describe the smell without an involuntary retch, eyes bugged out, and mouth snapped shut. You feel that?
That’s me shuddering as I type this.
I still, to this day, don’t know why my mother bothered. A bowl of steaming, olive-green peas straight from the can. Every once in a while, she would try to force me to eat them. No dice, amigo.
To hear my mother tell it, I used to spit out the peas whole from the jars of baby food (stew) untouched. You just couldn’t pay me to enjoy them.
My first Thanksgiving with my In-Laws
Fast forward years later, and I’m sitting at the table with my wife’s family for what was out very first Thanksgiving together. I’m sure that my Mother-In-Law had an inkling that my weakness was for the peas, but she passed on the family tradition – peas, mushrooms, and onions. I love my Mother-in-Law, but there’s no getting around it.
They looked like a can of smashed in assholes.
I’m known as a pretty opinionated guy, right? Sure. That is, when you get to know me.
Otherwise, when we first meet, and when we first dine together, I’m anything but. I was raised to eat what was put on my plate. Especially if it came from someone who you are a guest in their home. In this case, the peas are one of those dishes. I needed to make a good impression.
I swear, I tried to like them. I took a bit, smile cracking my face, knowing there’s no way in hell that I’d finish them. I shoveled a spoonful into my mouth.
It was like a spoonful of Satan’s ass.
Don’t get me wrong, my Mother-in-Law is a fantabulous cook. She can cook circles around almost anyone that I know. With this dish, you can’t make shit taste better by adding candy sprinkles. I don’t get how people can eat them without grimacing.
To each their own.
Here’s the challenge:
You may remember the food writing prompt from yesterday. How do I make this dish better? How do I make a dish that I will like, and that everyone else will too?
I do like fresh peas, and peas fresh frozen. I love onions, and mushrooms are the bomb. I did a quick search through Saveur (one of my favorite magazines) and came across a recipe for braised peas and proscuitto.
It was as if a light went off in my head.
Add onions and mushrooms to it, and we have a winner.
Here’s what I did:
Sweet Peas with Prosciutto, Mushrooms, and Onions
Inspired by a recipe from Saveur Magazine
MISE EN PLACE:
- 2 fl oz. Olive oil
- 120 g (4 oz) prosciutto, small dice
- 350 g (12 oz.) onions, small dice
- 150 g (5 oz) mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1.18 kg (2.5 lbs) peas, frozen or fresh
- 2 fl oz. vegetable stock (or water)
- To taste Kosher salt (I use Diamond Crystal Brand)
- to taste freshly ground black pepper
HELPFUL EQUIPMENT: (Links go to my Amazon Store)
- Sweat prosciutto, onions, and mushrooms in oil until the onions are translucent and the prosciutto is starting to crisp up.
- Add peas and vegetable stock, start stirring gently to evenly braise the peas. Cook until they are crisp-tender. DO NOT OVERCOOK.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately.
Do you have a food or dish you couldn’t eat if you tried? Let me know in the comments below.