Dinner for one

April 23, 2010

I really wasn’t planning on cooking this evening. But I’d volunteered to test a recipe for Spring Pea Picnic Salad for the Food 52 blog, and while I was making that, happened to remember the bag of frozen shrimp I’d picked up at Kroger on a whim. And I had a tomato that needed eating. And there was dinner, and it was a fine one.

Yes indeedy, it was a very good hurry-up dinner on a whim, it was.

This spring pea salad. You need to make this. You need to make it as soon as there are fresh English peas in the markets (I used frozen and those weren’t bad; I can only imagine what the fresh will be like when, and not if, but WHEN, I make this again).

It’s from Tom Hirschfield, stay-at-home-dad and food blogger from Indiana (his blog here: http://www.bonafidefarmfood.com/). Based on this one, he could stay home and cook for me any day of the week.

The recipe, which I followed slavishly with one tiny exception I’ll note later:

  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp prepared horseradish
  • 1 tsp minced chives
  • 1 tsp minced chervil
  • 1 tsp minced parsley
  • 2 cups shelled peas
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs
  • 3 radishes, sliced thin

Whisk together the cream, sour cream, lemon juice, horseradish and herbs. Stir in the UNCOOKED peas. I was tempted to blanch the peas; I did not, and I’m oh-so-glad. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste. (I used a little salt, and finished the whole thing off with a grind or two of black pepper.)¬†Chop the eggs roughly and use a wooden spoon to push them through a coarse strainer (I suspect a potato ricer might work, though the result would be coarser). Fold the eggs into the salad. Garnish with sliced radishes.

I didn’t have radishes. And I didn’t have chervil, so I subbed a little tarragon for chervil, because the Food Lovers’ Companion said I could. And I will add to the directions that you need to let it sit, on the countertop, for some 20 minutes to let the flavors bloom; it made a tremendous difference.

This stuff is wonderful. Period.

I boiled the shrimps (frozen, shelled, deveined) with Louisiana crab boil seasoning, salt and lemon, and made some cocktail sauce with ketchup, horseradish, worcestershire, seasoned salt, lemon juice and Tabasco. I was going to have the tomatos with just olive oil, salt and pepper, since I didn’t have any fresh mozzarella, but decided on a whim to try some (way too thin, didn’t leave it out long enough) creme fraiche. Wasn’t bad!

Tomorrow is Lobsterfest; the Spa City Blues Society sold lobsters and lobster tails as a fundraiser, and we’re going to cook a good many of ’em, to the accompaniment of live music and adult beverages, at least we will if the rain blows through. And oh-early-thirty Sunday, I leave for four days in Colorado Springs. So if I get a chance, I’ll report on the dining out that way. Meanwhile, you and y’mama ‘n ’em keep it between the ditches while I’m on the road.

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