Simple Sugar Snap Peas

I really like these little things.  So much that they didn't even make it to our actual dinner plates.  Cam and I just stood around the dish I had transferred the peas to, chatting, eating these with our fingers as soon as they were out of the hot pan.  That's how I know something's good - if I eat it standing up.  

These snap peas are healthy, flavorful, fresh tasting and super quick.  Extra points for being a green vegetable.  

serves 2.

Snap Peas + Shallots + Lemon

1 teaspoon olive oil

5oz sugar snap peas, trimmed

1 shallot, minced

juice of one lemon

salt, to taste

Heat a skillet over high heat.  When hot, add olive oil.  Add snap peas and shallots.  Saute, stirring constantly, until tender, about 5 minutes.  Remove from pan.  Season with lemon juice and salt.  

 

 

Green Beans with Olives + Almonds

I have a go to method for making green bean sides:  blanche, shock, dry and saute in olive oil with garlic and red pepper flakes.  Season with s + p.  It's simple and goes with a lot of main courses.  

I decided to shake things up a bit and try something new.  This follows the same method but with new, more unusual ingredients.  Enjoy!

Castelvetrano olives are sicilian olives with a beautiful green color, mildly brined, buttery flavor.  I have had a hard time finding them pitted, so you'll probably have to remove the pits yourself.  The flesh on these likes to hold onto the pit so you're best bet is to just slice it off on each side.  

Serves 2-3.

Green Beans with Olives + Almonds

3/4 lb green beans, trimmed

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons sherry vinegar

10 castelvetrano olives, pits removed

2 tablespoons sliced almonds

s + p

Boil a pot of water, add a pinch of salt to season.  Add green beans, blanch about 60 to 90 seconds, until crisp tender.  Transfer green beans to ice bath to shock.  Once cold, dry green beans.  

Heat a 10" pan over medium heat.  Once hot, add olive oil, when oil is hot, add beans.  Cook until hot, stirring and moving beans around pan.  Remove from heat and toss with sherry vinegar.  Set aside. Salt lightly and pepper.  

Return pan to medium heat, adding a small amount of oil if needed.  Add almonds and olives, cook, stirring until warm, about 2 minutes.  Toss with green beans.  

 

 

Fish + Chips, Part 1: French Fries + Harissa Mayo

Fried potato slices.  Golden and crisp on the outside with a warm, fluffy interior.  There are several important things to be mindful of when making fries.  First, they need to be rinsed well.  This removes some of the starch.  This makes for a less soggy, more crispy fry.    Blanching potatoes first, in the oil at a lower temperature, gives them a chance to cook a bit.  They can then be thrown back into hotter oil and will crisp up perfectly.  Be sure to season them while they're still hot.  

2-3 servings.

French Fries

3 idaho potatoes

about 48 oz canola oil

lots of old bay seasoning

s + p

Peel potatoes and slice into batons of desired thickness.   Place slices in a bowl of cold water as you go, soak for 20 minutes.  Rinse potato slices very well, until water runs clear.  Dry completely.  

In a large pot, heat canola oil to 300 degrees.  Add potato slices and cook about 2 minutes.  Potatoes should not change color.  Remove from oil, transfer to towel to drain.  

Raise oil temperature to 390 degrees.  Add blanched potatoes back to the hot oil.  Work in batches if needed.  Fry until golden brown.  Remove from oil, transfer to towel to drain.  Season with old bay seasoning, salt and pepper.   Serve with harissa mayo.  Recipe below.  

Harissa Mayo

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon vinegar (white, white wine, champagne...)

1/2 teaspoon water

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

pinch salt

8 oz canola oil

2 teaspoons to 2 tablespoons harissa

Place egg yolk, vinegar, water, dijon and salt in a bowl.  Whisk to combine.  Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking slowly.  Whisk faster once half the oil is added and a thin mayonaise has formed.  

Stir in harissa.  Not all harissa is created equally so you might only need 2 teaspoons or you may need more.  (We added 2 tablespoons.)  

Serve with fries. 

Garlic Green Beans

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Garlicky deliciousness.   A good side dish for any occasion but this year, these will be on the thanksgiving table.  They can be blanched ahead of time and sauted before dinner.  Can also easily be doubled or tripled to feed a larger group.  

Serves 4.

Garlic Green Beans

1 lb green beans, trimmed

1 teaspoon oil

1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes

2 garlic cloves, grated

salt

Blanche green beans is salted boiling water for no longer than 2 minutes.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat.  Add green beans, chile flakes and grated garlic.  Saute until cooked through.  Don't burn the garlic.  Salt to taste.

Sweet + Spicy Glazed Carrots

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Not the syrupy sweet glazed carrots you might've had before.  These have a hint of chile complemented by the natural sweetness of the carrots and agave.  Choose carrots of different hues like purple, orange and white for a colorful plate.  

Sweet + Spicy Glazed Carrots

2 bunches baby carrots, peeled and trimmed

1/2 tablespoon butter

3/4 cup water

1 teaspoon siracha

1 teaspoon champagne vinegar

1 teaspoon agave

fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

In a small bowl combine water, siracha, vinegar and agave.  Set aside.   Heat butter in skillet to melt it.  Add carrots.  Cook 1 minute.  Add liquid.  Increase heat to high and boil away liquid.  It will take about 10 minutes.  Serve with a sprinkling of fresh parsley.