Sunday, October 23, 2011

Peas and Proscuitto

Yesterday, someone asked me what I usually eat, and it took me awhile to respond.  It threw me off, because I cook almost every day but I didn't have an immediate answer.  I began by telling them "vegetables mostly."  Then I realized that might sound weird, so I tried to throw out other options - "Oh you know, pasta, rice, that kind of thing."  In reality, I rarely eat either.  I try not to eat rice and instead use quinoa, and I typically save pasta for when my boyfriend makes it for me.  My main staple is a lot of vegetables, olive oil, vinaigrettes, eggs and soup.

I am in love with vegetables, and this isn't anything new.  I was always the one, even at a young age, hovering over the vegetable tray at Christmas and other holidays.  I begged my Mom to buy me heads of red cabbage to snack on.  I ate canned asparagus and sweet pickles with my Dad. I was ecstatic when Grandma brought kohlrabi from the garden.  I ate peas from the freezer.

Meals mean a lot to me. I sometimes agonize over what I am going to buy at the grocery store.  It is a process for me.  I plan out each of my meals and I research, decide, and then go on a mission. In fact, I am even a bit sad when I get invited out to dinner with friends, because that means I miss the opportunity to cook something.  When I was younger, I would look up recipes and then try to figure out ways to get my mom to buy the ingredients (not always to high success).

This morning, I woke up naturally early at 7:45 am which I think is one of the first times that has ever happened and I was VERY excited!  Waking up so early had my stomach grumbling around 8:30 and I wanted to eat something that wouldn't take too long to cook but I also wanted something healthy to offset all the sugar I ate yesterday.  I decided on Orangette's Peas and Proscuitto.

I have never had proscuitto before.  I have always associated it with fancy - appetizers wrapped in proscuitto? You know that must have been a fancy party.  It is usually really expensive at the store, and not being a big fan of meat, I haven't been able to justify the purchase.  However, yesterday I was at Fred Meyer and proscuitto was on sale for $5 for 3.53 ounces.  Still not cheap, but affordable. Also, you get very little meat for your money, so at least I didn't have to worry about wasting it.

So on to the recipe.  See the link for the original recipe - I changed things a little bit (biggest change: olive oil, not butter).

Here is what I made.

1 or 2 tablespoons olive oil
Garlic, to taste
3 green onions
1 pound peas
4 slices proscuitto
pepper, salt, turmeric to taste

1) Turn the stove to medium.  Add olive oil to the pan - enough to swirl it around and cover the whole pan.  Let the oil heat up, and add one diced green onion and about a teaspoon of garlic.  Let cook for thirty seconds or so - I let mine brown a bit because I love browned crispy garlic.

2) Add the peas, salt and pepper to taste, and cook for ten minutes.  You can add the peas frozen if you didn't have a chance to defrost.  About halfway through, add two more diced green onions and more garlic, to taste.  I found that the original cooked onions/garlic weren't as flavorful as fresh, which is why I added more.  After ten minutes, some of my peas were nicely browned.

3) Cut the proscuitto into little pieces.  I tried to make things easier and stack the four slices on top of each other, then cut them.  Don't do this - it was really hard to separate the little pieces.  Instead, cut each slice separately.  Turn off the heat, but leave the pan on the same burner, and add the proscuitto. Cover and let sit for five minutes.

To eat mine, I added salt (I didn't add salt during cooking) and turmeric.  SO TASTY!

1 comment: