So, here I sit on the floor in the middle of an empty house with my laptop on my lap (how fitting, right?) thinking about how I wish I could be cooking. After two days of the movers and packers being here, it is nice to have a chance to just relax. Of course, the real work starts again tomorrow. There's some serious cleaning to be done. I can't even begin to describe how disgusting the floor where the refrigerator stood is. Wow. Apparently, I need to be more proactive in that department.
But, in the meantime, I will sit here and dream about being able to cook... in particular, I am thinking about this wonderful way to jazz up the simple English pea. I love peas by themselves and often serve them with just a little butter, salt, and pepper. Occasionally, I get a hankering to make them extra special. OK, you've caught me. I just like to have an excuse to make and consume caramelized members of the Allium genus. Yummmm.
This is one of those dishes that takes a while (caramelizing doesn't instantaneously just happen, you know), but it can easily be made while preparing the rest of the meal. Caramelizing the shallots takes around thirty minutes, but there is very little maintenance required during that time. Finishing this dish is super easy and quick and it is hard to believe what a difference a few little shallots can make.
Peas & Caramelized Shallots
Yield: Serves 4
4 medium shallot bulbs, peeled and sliced thinly (you can also use regular old onions)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3 cups fresh or frozen green peas
fresh ground pepper
1 TBS butter
Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tsp of the butter. You want to be sure that your skillet is not too small (you don't want to overcrowd the pan) or too large (which tends to lead to burnt butter). When the butter is about done bubbling, add the shallots. Stir to coat and then saute the onions until they just begin to soften and brown. Reduce heat to medium-low, add a pinch of salt, and mostly ignore for 30 minutes. Occasionally stir, but they brown better if you let them be for the most part. If you like your shallots more caramelized, simply let them go longer.
About 8 minutes out from the shallots being how you want them, place peas and enough water to just cover them in a sauce pan. Turn the heat on high and bring to a boil. As soon as the water comes to a boil, turn the heat off. Let the peas sit in the water for one minute before draining. Add the remaining salt, butter, pepper, and the shallots. Stir and serve! Makes a beautiful, delicious vegetable dish for company.