Flashback Friday – What’s Cookin’

Flashback Friday

Today’s Flashback Friday entry was originally posted on 9/3/07 at Exit 51.

What’s Cookin’

There was a time when my ‘cooking’ skills consisted of zapping frozen meals, heating up cans of soup, or adding butter and water to a packet of dehydrated whatever and calling it dinner. Then through the magic of food magazines and cooking shows, I discovered that with a little more effort, I could take a bag’s worth of ingredients and turn them into a meal.

Of course, this is not to say that I don’t give in to the seduction of convenience food from time to time. There are days when I want the mac n cheese but don’t feel like the fuss and Trader Joe’s is more than happy to oblige.

I do try and plan at least one meal a week that is pulled from the stack of recipes I’ve gotten off the web or out of magazines. The keepers get put into a bulging three inch binder for future use and the rest get recycled. Here’s one of the latest keepers, adapted from a recent Washington Post food chat:

Sweet Pea Guacamole

Washington Post

1/2 pound frozen peas, thawed
1 shallot
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon cumin, or to taste
fresh cilantro to taste
tiny pinch red pepper flakes
juice from half of a lime

Place ingredients into food processor and pulse until combined to your preferred texture. If you like a chunky texture, pulse less. If you want a smoother texture, pulse more.

I added some block style feta cheese in brine – maybe a tablespoon’s worth – to try and mimick that creamy smoothness you get in guacamole.

Great as an appetizer with chips but also nice spread on a turkey sandwich…yum.

16 thoughts on “Flashback Friday – What’s Cookin’

  1. I don’t think I ever, in a million years, would have thought of pureeing sweet peas! Do you think this would be good with the amazing fresh peas from the farmer’s market, or would the lime and spices just overwhelm the fantasticness?

    1. Beth, I risk being run out of town for the following statement – I have never tasted farmer’s market fresh peas. My experience is limited exclusively to frozen peas. Does that, coupled with using and freezing salted butter, make me the worst food blogger in the universe?

      I’d suggest giving this a try with frozen peas first to see if you like the result and then use your knowledge of farmer’s market peas to judge whether to give it a try with them. Maybe we should stage a blind taste test where fresh and frozen peas go head to head?

      At least I didn’t recommend using canned peas!

    1. I can totally see a this becoming a blog post about Confessions of a Bad Food Blogger. Do you think people would actually ‘fess up to the bad food things they do?

  2. Wendi, you’re going to the market with me in early June and we’re visiting the pea lady. The fresh peas are so amazing, you’ll wonder how you ate frozen all those years. I know you’re looking at your screen right now with the look that says “they’re just peas, they can’t be that good” but trust me, they are.

  3. ooh and I have a bad foodie/food blogger confession–I love panera. really. I know their food is terrible for you, the bread from a mix and the soup from a bag but sometimes I just don’t have the time to make soup and bread and I’m too lazy to go to Whole Foods. Panera is right on the way home.

  4. it’s sad. but waaay cheaper than atwaters–I ate there today and it was almost $9 for soup and a tiny piece of bread. Yes, it was amazing, taste bud electrifying soup, but $9, yikes! Good thing I don’t live 5 minutes from there anymore!

    1. Beth, it looks like Atwaters is opening up a shop on Frederick Road in Catonsville. I’ve never eaten there (seriously, The Mistah and I don’t get out much) so maybe this will give me a chance to check them out.

  5. Somehow I cannot see adulterating the taste of Farmer’s fresh produce with anything. So I will pass for now using fresh peas for this. Frozen peas ok it’s a start. Of course now that I live in guacamoleland I may have variations for this!

    I am still trying to catch up on everything from this last week. I have spent the last 24 hours asleep and may go back for more Will =catch up by the first of the week hopefully

  6. You guys crack me up! If we’re pulverizing…why not buy beechnut? Just kidding! Trader Joe frozen peas are a staple in my freezer…along with the green beans!
    I have a black book too…where all the recipes I’ve borrowed, made and like, reside! Now to follow through with your next step Wendi and recycle the “other” pile!

    1. Kristin, I noticed last night that my “to try” folders have gotten a wee bit overloaded. Which is ironic because I totally feel like I’m in a food rut and still here I have all these recipes that I haven’t even tried yet. I sense a bit of weeding out coming up soon.

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