Friday, November 2, 2012

les petits pois + Patti Smith

   I just love to say, type, write and read the words 'les petits pois' [trans. english peas] Talk about onomonopia - the single syllables, the crispy 'T' and soft '-OIS' really embody the tenderness, sweetness and liveliness that is a pea.
  *Want to give a quick shout out to my mama Josiane, who noted in my baby book of eating habits at 9 months: "you absolutely love peas, baby girl and dont seem to like any meat."*
Patti + Robert in the kitchen
   My husband, pup Pax and I have been evacuated from our home on Roosevelt Island, in lieu of Sandy's arrival and her fury, and have been camping out at my parents' place in Forest Hills. This has meant a lot of reading [Patti Smith's Just Kids has struck the core of me and I long to be transported to the days of Jimi Hendrix at the Chelsea Hotel and feather boas, The Factory and Jack Kerouac...I yearn to sit on the floor of Patti's 23rd street flat, along with Robert Mapplethorpe deconstructing the meaning of Art], a daily makeshift mat-less yoga practice in the living room, and a substantial amount of eating...savoring...indulging...oh and eating - many scrumptious vegan delights have sprung from the last week so keep checking in, family...
  However, I wanted to start avec les petits pois with a very simple, filling, delicieux recipe, of which the young baby peas bring all the love to...perfect for fall and winter and a fantastic Thanksgiving side dish...and with the leftovers, can be made into some seriously rad quinoa cakes...

'la sauce'
Magic Mushroom* and English Pea Quinoa Pilaf
*nod to Patti and Robert

2 cups organic quinoa, 3x rinsed
4 cups organic vegetable broth
Pinch of saffron
1 large leek, sliced
1-2 small shallots, chopped
4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
1-1.5 cup sliced mushrooms (crimini, button, or shitake or all three)
3/4 cup of frozen baby peas (or more, depending on how much of a pea-lover you are; you just want there to be an equal ratio of all components)

olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

  Heat olive oil in cast iron or aluminum pan. Add leeks and shallots and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, cook until fragrant and then add the 'shrooms. Allow the mushrooms to cook down a bit and then add les petits pois. In essence, you are creating a sauce for your quinoa.
  In a separate pot, mix quinoa with vegetable broth and add a pinch of saffron as well as a substantial sprinkle of salt. Bring to a boil. Once rolling, cover and lower to simmer to cook for about 12 minutes, until water is absorbed and quinoa is al dente. Set aside.
  Fold cooked quinoa into la sauce, add salt and plenty of pepper. Serve, baby serve...

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