when i saw the freshly shelled peas at the store this morning all i could think of was: pea puree!
i first came across the concept of a pea puree watching an episode of “Top Che
f” a few years ago when a contestant prepared some that mysteriously disappeared prior to being served (anyone remember that episode
)? even though they never found the puree (!!) or shared the recipe-i remember making a mental note to make some one day. it’s taken me this long (like two to three years)
to finally make a first attempt! having tasted the (if i say so myself)
d-e-l-i-ciousssss and oddly reminiscent of green eggs & ham
puree tonight, i’m pretty sure it won’t be long before we have it on the menu again. the chicken is a lighter and easier
take on a chicken piccata (leave out the capers if you prefer to make the flavors more rounded and create a possibly more harmonious marriage with the puree).
the potatoes are a popular, easy, and reliable staple at our dinner table-once you have them you will always go back for more. the whole meal took all of thirty minutes to make-don’t ask me about the state of the kitchen afterwards-not exactly a pretty sight-might i suggest you take your time, and keep your kitchen happy:-)
for the pea puree (4-6 servings)
- 1 cup fresh shelled peas (or frozen)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 small bunch basil (about 4-5 leaves)
- 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt to taste
- 1.5 tbs good quality grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2-3 tbs water
1. start with the potatoes first by heating the oven to 375 degrees(f), bring water to a boil in a saucepan, add peas (save a few whole for plating) and peeled & crushed garlic, sea salt, and cook until just tender. drain and add (including garlic) to a food processor or blender with a steel blade.
2. add all other ingredients and blend until completely pureed (adjust water if too thick to puree properly).
for the chicken:
- 6-8 chicken organic fillets
- 4 tbs flour
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/4-1/2 cup dry white wine (or chicken broth, or combination of)
- juice of 1 lemon, freshly squeezed (about 4-6 tbs)
- 1-2 tbs capers, roughly chopped
- 1-2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- a few sprigs of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- a small sliver of butter (optional)
1. add flour, sea salt, and ground pepper to a bowl or a plastic bag, shake to combine, add the chicken fillets, shake around to cover fully in flour.
2. heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet before adding the chicken and browning on both sides on medium heat for about 3-5 minutes per side.
3. add the lemon juice and wine/broth and cover lightly allowing the chicken to cook (medium/low heat) for about 15-20 minutes(turning the pieces once in the middle and making sure the chicken is thoroughly cooked and slightly crispy on the outside).
4. add the capers and the sliver of butter, allow it to simmer a few more minutes, then taste and adjust the salt. add freshly ground pepper and more lemon juice if necessary. the juices should be reduced by now, and you can serve the chicken and sauce over the pea puree (2-3 tbs per plate). top with chopped parsley.
for the oven-roasted potatoes (serves 6):
- 10-12 organic yellow baby potatoes (cut in equal halves or quarters)
- a few sprigs of fresh thyme
- sea salt & pepper (to taste)
- 1-2 tsp smoked paprika (or chili powder)
- 2-3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
combine all of the above in a baking dish, and roast in a preheated 375 degree(F) oven for 30-40 minutes (stirring with a wooden spoon once or twice) until crispy and delicious. easy as that.