Week number two in the challenge and the chosen topic: split peas.
I have never cooked or eaten split peas before. I'm not a huge fan of much anything in the legume family. Never been.
Also, it's quite difficult to make any food item that comes in the color of green or brown look appetizing.
But that's the point of this group -- to challenge ourselves to think more broadly and deeply about our culinary feats. To, actually, turn our everyday cooking habits into feats. To take the time to think, to question, to inquire, to explore and experiment in the kitchen.
So, yes, back to the split peas.
As soon as the item came over, I knew one thing for sure: There is no way -- not a way -- that I am making a split pea soup. That's what everyone, like, everyone, does with split peas, right?
I had to do a little reading. I learned that split peas are quite literally that -- peas that have been split. They also are closely related to lentils (love them!) and beans (hate them!).
So, what to do?
I thought about making a dip and serving the split peas with crackers or pita chips. But the thought of it all just sounded strange to me. I was still learning about split peas, and I imagined they would carry the consistency of hummus (also not a fan).
What about making a bread or cake, I thought. Then again, I knew nothing about the flavor of split peas. I wasn't sure if they would taste earthy, sweet, shallow, tart -- nothing to go on.
Then I had it -- a tortilla! I would make split pea tortillas!
First thing was to soak the split peas. I read that you can soak lentils and rice when making a bread-like food, so I began working with this concept in mind. Before work, I let the split peas soak with jasmine rice in a huge bowl of water.
When I came home I found that the rice was so, so soft, but the split peas were still muscle bound!
I set out the ingredients:
Pretty basic, I know.
Meanwhile, I prepped the chicken. I figured that if the split peas had to be fed to the trash can, I would still have at least one edible thing in the house.
While the chicken thighs were roasting in the oven, I sauteed up some onions and got a few cloves of garlic prepped.
Then, I set to work on the split pea mixture.
After removing the water and rinsing the peas and rice through, I put them in a blender along with the onions, coconut milk, some spinach I had wilted, mustard, ginger, a little bit of cumin, onion powder, a few pinches of salt and cayenne.
I did reserve a little bit of the rice and split peas and simply boiled the mix, just in case things didn't quite work out with the original plan.
I then proceeded to haphazardly blend this glop. I did add a tad bit of vinegar because I added way too much cayenne. Ooh! My mouth was on fire.
And there it was -- a green batter.
I took out a skillet, added some olive oil and poured in the mixture. I realized this much later -- the batter was too-too thick, so I ended up not with tortillas, but like a split pea pancake!
Yup. You heard it here first, folks!
Actually, no -- I just Googled that and many-o-folks have actually made split pea pancakes.
But this was fascinating to me. I did consider adding flour, but it didn't seem right to do so. And it turned out to be a good omission because the batter did fluff up. I think it must have something to do with the rice, and not the split peas; maybe it's the glucose in the rice? *shrugs shoulders* If you know, message me below.
In the end, the flavor was quite nice. I think it needed a bit more coconut milk and maybe a bit more onion to round out the flavor and thin the base out a bit.
I got to share the meal with a friend, who simply enjoyed the pancake
(yep, that's what we'll call it as no better name came to mind). Interestingly, I found that I was less fond of the pancakes, though, and more fond of the rice and split pea side that I had simply boiled with a little bit of onion powder and salt. Interestingly, I am still trying to find the words to explain the taste of split peas. They are mildly nutty, I suppose, with a very slight sweetness. I think they could actually work quite well in a bread or a cake. Idea for next time, eh?
The plated result:
Who's That Girl
- Create. Snap. Eat.
- WHO'S THAT GIRL: A higher education obsessed foodie who is documenting her life in the kitchen. I love to cook delicious, gourmet-style foods for those I love and always welcome a challenge in the kitchen. With that challenge comes an impromptu nature. I tend to avoid following recipes to the exact, so you are not likely to find very many posted here. Being that I am a Libra and am learning to be free in the kitchen, the story always goes, "A pinch of this and a smattering of that!" Thank you for visiting -- and happy reading!
High Traffic Posts
UPDATE, Sept. 2, 2011 : This is my most popular post to date. Please leave a comment about why you chose to drop in. Call it part of the ...
Adzuki beans are small red beans generally used in sweet Japanese dishes. Unable to find adzuki beans, I went with their closets companion: ...
I have been craving sushi like I've lost my mind. I am a huge fan of sashimi and nigiri, never the rolls. In fact, I never order th...
I was quite impressed with my recent Trader Joe's purchase of two thick cuts of sashimi grade ahi tuna. The look alone is so perfec...
This was two items turned into one challenge item and, all told, took me something like four hours to produce. It all began with an ide...
Summer is coming. I am not a huge fan of summer months. Why? It's hot. In Arizona, combined with dry heat, it is hot enough to instant...
This is a meeting of heavenly ingredients. But, alas, I am getting way, way ahead of myself. His name is Yuri Rabayev. And, apparently,...
There are quite a few food items largely representative of the south and southern cooking -- some in iconic ways. Among them: crawdads...
There is this amazingly rich dish that is quite popular here -- Mariscos Chihuahua 's camarones culichi. In the many, many years I hav...
How can I turn something sweet into something savory? With this week's challenge item being a sweetener of some kind, the possibilitie...