Monday, October 20, 2008

Mashed Black-Eyed Peas with Garlic Puree

It's been a minute, hasn't it? There was being busy, followed closely by being lazy, then a whole dazzling episode of burning everything I put in the oven including frozen pizza. Seriously, how can you mess up frozen pizza. I think I've invented an artform or something. So it's been nothing but frozen (microwavable) food and takeout ever since.

I just made my first foray back into the kitchen with a recipe I've been meaning to make for months now. I remember when Shazam in the Kitchen was doing the weekly legume recipes and I was all "I'm totally going to join you!" with breathless excitement. This was the kick-off recipe that never was.

This recipe is pretty good. If I make this again, I'll cook the peas until they're completely mush for the sake of a smoother texture. Also, I only added about half the olive oil (I'm stingy with my expensive stuff) and maybe a quarter of the lemon juice. I don't know if it was the paste I used or just the added salt, but the paste was crazy salty, so taste it before you get all happy. For some reason, I'm out of bay leaf and I read somewhere that you could substitute juniper berries for it in certain dishes. I only used two dried berries to cut my losses. Still, the paste had a funky taste to it. I'm not sure if it was the garlic or the juniper, but you know when you eat something than take a swig of a drink that doesn't go nicely with your food? It's kinda like that. Totally spaced on the cloves too. But I did get to use my concentrated garlic puree to save time and finally get it out of my refrigerator. Seriously, how many forms of garlic can one woman have? Aside from all that, it made a nice light dinner on a slice of toast.

Mashed Black-Eyed Peas with Garlic Puree
"Mediterranean Harvest" Martha Rose Shulman

For Black-Eyed Peas:
1 cup dried black-eyed peas
1 onion, cut in half
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bay leaf

For the garlic puree:
4 plump or 8 smaller garlic cloves
1/4 tsp salt (more to taste)
1/2 tsp freshly ground cumin
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (more to taste)

1. Make the black-eyed peas. Place peas in a medium saucepan and cover with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil and skim off any foam. Add the halved onion, crushed garlic, cloves, and bay leaf. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 mins. Add salt to taste (about 1 tsp), cover, and continue to simmer until beans are tender, about 15 mins. Remove from heat.

2 Make puree. Crush whole garlic cloves, one at a time in a mortar and pestle along with the salt, cumin, and 1 T of the olive oil. (I bet a food processor would work just as well) When all the garlic has been crushed, begin drizzling in the remaining oil and lemon juice, alternating the two and stirring all the while with the pestle, until you have a smooth paste. *Taste and adjust salt.

3. Drain off most of the liquid from the beans. Discard onion and bay leaf. Using potato masher, wooden spoon, ect., crush the beans while adding the garlic puree. You should have a course puree. Taste and adjust salt. Add more oil if desired. Serve warm.

* Before that sentence it read "It will be very garlicky." I would like to assume that you knew that already. Come on.