Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Snowpeas. mangetous peas

also known as mangetout or sugar peas

You can eat all of the peas, skin and all. Sugar peas have been grown by gardeners for at least a century and a half, a delicate sweet variety that has gone quietly on its way. With the advent of stir fry cooking and eastern dishes entering our awareness, snowpeas travel thousands of miles to get to our supermarkets. I have found them easy to grow this season and the harvest to be plenty.

How to prepare ?
Just top and tail the pods pulling away the strings from the edges as you go. It is difficult to get all the string off but the delicious flavour is worth a little inconvenience.
As a general rule allow 4 oz per person.

How to preserve snowpeas?

Pick freshly early in the morning, top and tail, blanch for 2 mins, cool quickly and freeze for up to 6 months.

Some recipes

I use mine as a stir fry vegetable. Chicken breast, ginger, paprika and onion, snowpeas, small sweetcorn, beansprouts, noodles. At the end I pour over a mixture of 1 tablespoon cornflour, 3 tbsp of lemon juice, 1 tbs of sugar and 3 tbs of soya sauce. Quickly done in about 15 mins for you busy cooks out there!

Mangetout Soup

1 medium onion or 5 spring onions
1 tiny clove of garlic
2 tablespoons of butter
8 oz snowpeas prepared
salt, pepper, sugar
6 to 8 oz of single cream
about 1 teaspoon of dried mint or 1 tablespoon of fresh mint

Stew the onion and garlic in butter for about 5 mins, with a lid on the pan. Cut snowpeas into three pieces, still on low heat. Add them to pan and turn them over in the butter for about 3 mins. Pour a generous 2 pints of water and add seasoning and a quarter of teaspoon of sugar, Cover and let simmer until peas are tender. Puree the soup in a blender, sieve so as to catch any remaining stringy bits. Add the cream, bring just to boiling point, stir in mint and leave for a minute, Serve with fresh bread and a hunk of local cheese.

Food blogga tells you all about minding your peas
Spring salad from the Vegan Feast Kitchen
Urban cultivation offers a good way to grow them up spirals

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