If quarantine has proven anything is my love for food. The last few weeks have been pretty much a repetition of emptying the fridge and expanding my waist. I dread the day I'll wear anything other than sweatpants, but I'm not here to rant.
As someone who loves dining in restaurants and trying every possible combination making my taste buds happy, one of the things I miss most about travelling is eating and experiencing new flavours and local delicacies. I know I'm not alone in this. So let me take you on a - culinary - journey. Next stop, Greece.
There is a common peas recipe, healthy, easy and ideal for everyone, vegans included. We are not making that recipe. Instead, we'll do my very own personal twist with smoked bacon and feta cheese. Vegetarians and vegans can easily avoid these, ending up with the traditional version, still full of flavour.
Smoky peas stew with feta and bacon
1 kg of frozen or fresh peas, peeled
2 carrots into cubes
4 thick slices of bacon 1cm thick, into cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
3 spring onions, chopped
500gr. fresh, peeled, chopped tomatoes
1 spoon tomato puree
1/2 cup of white wine
60ml extra virgin olive oil
3-4 drops of Tabasco or 1 chopped chilli pepper
200gr. feta cheese, cut in cubes
A bunch of parsley, finely chopped
salt, freshly ground pepper
Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the bacon and sauté for 4-5 minutes until it turns brown and smells good. Take out the bacon with a slotted spoon and keep it in a bowl.
Put the onions (dry and fresh) in the fragrant olive oil and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the carrots and peas and continue sautéing for another 2 minutes.
Return the bacon to the pot and add the wine. Once the alcohol has evaporated, add the chopped tomatoes, the tomato puree, Tabasco or pepper and a cup of vegetable stock. Season with pepper, cover the pot and let it simmer for about 45 minutes until the peas are cooked.
Uncover the pot, add the feta and let it boil for another 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently until the feta melts and a nice, creamy sauce is created.
Remove the pan from the heat, add the chopped parsley and serve. Season with salt according to taste as feta (and bacon) can be a bit salty anyway. Bon appetit!
Tip 1: If you want to go for the traditional all vegetable recipe, have the feta on the side (with a splash of olive oil and oregano on it), along with olives and bread.
Tip 2: You can replace bacon with chicken thighs but doing so will also mean having the feta on the side.
Try it out and share your results! But don't stop there. How amazing it would be for all of us to have a shared journey around the world through cooking and food? I kept the recipe nice and simple so that anyone can try it, and I would recommend we don't make it too hard. I'm looking forward to seeing your recipes too!
@Nick That's so interesting Nick. Never imagined adding bacon in this recipe. I have tried it with chicken of course and sausages (my grandmother's recipe). Also the addition of the feta cheese at the end is a very good idea as it will make it creamy. Will definitely try cooking it this week and will keep you posted.
It does! It changes not only the texture but also the colour - makes it orange as it break the redness of the tomatoes. You know how we always have it with feta on the side and you have to have some after every bite? Well that's how I though why not try and mix them together. I find the end result great as you have the taste and the creaminess of the cheese in every bite in one go. Let me know if you liked it. 🙂
Hi @Nick I'm on the opposite side of the world in New Zealand where it's been summer & now an autumn with summer temperatures.
This is a combination I made up.
Plum, feijoa ( also called pineapple guava in some countries) & banana smoothie
Slice all the above ingredients of whatever portions you like, place in blender, add water a small amount of water, pulse, add some more water to the consistency you prefer for your capabilities, ( think also of people who may have false teeth, dentures, mouth injuries) then up the speed & one has a great drink.
I used Dark crimson plums as that's the flavour I prefer so this comes out a lovely crimson colour.
Sometimes for a little variety I'll add either green or gold kiwifruit.
We have been blessed to have had an amazing supply of fresh fruit & vegetables & meat produce at far better & lower prices than usual at our local supermarket, in part because our butchers & fruit n veg shop & border has been closed.
I have a glut of courgettes and bell peppers in the freezer so one of my most favourite sauces is to sauté in butter with diced onion until they become wonderfully sweet and then chuck a tin of chopped tomatoes on top. Can be eaten just as or add any combinations of your choice .
Im hanging out for a cray though or a snapper 😉 Friday will be rocking as boats are allowed back on the water. (weather permitting)
Do you make Courgette / Zucchini cake/ loaf/ muffins or savoury pancakes?
It's a great way to encourage those who may be fussy vegetable eaters to eat them....add a little cocoa powder to a Courgette Cake recipe and those who may not have tried it won't be any the wiser.
No I have never attempted the cake but I do adore courgettes 🙂
May be too windy tomorrow for the boat, just released some Petrels blown in with the easterlies. Poor things. Brrr enjoy the swim.
We had a brilliant swim, it's the cooler air temperatures that make it a little more challenging to overcome that initial, "brr it's cold."
Jumping into the cooler water, ( in a bikini I might add, ) is less challenging than those Ice Bucket challenges in support of the Heart Foundation.
Once one is in the water the temperature below the cooler air is fine, just like it is at the start of summer here.
One thing that's so great about some of our beaches here in New Zealand is those great showers at the beach that wise people before us erected for our betterment, simple & very functional & well positioned.
As an aside, we should probably take a thermometer with us to measure both the air & water temperatures, and our own!
No swim today.
We have seen a few out along the water front & on the jettys fishing, they haven't caught much, one Samoan guy had a tug on his line, reeled it in only to find his bait had disappeared! He laughed 🤗 as he thought he'd caught a fish.
The water down here was great for the kite riders today, we saw around 16 of them along the shoreline lapping it up.
The water is a bit fresh to walk into at first & then quite warm still for swimming. Definitely great for the heart & lungs.
All the best for your boating & catching crayfish
@Ria16 Another suggestion for courgettes: Use them thinly sliced instead of pasta in a lasagne. They work well especially when you forget you have no pasta come dinnertime and can't face another trip to a supermarket queue.
Henry does all the cooking so I don't have any recipes to share....... just photos of what Henry puts in front of me :-))