Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Antidote To Mushy Peas

It's funny to think about where someone's inspiration comes from. The above recipe was inspired by a photo I saw while flipping through 'food' tagged photos on flickr. It was basically just an island of bright green mushy peas amid a sea of beautiful canary broth. The colors alone drew me to the picture, with no description, no title, nothing. I had no way of knowing what ingredients were used to make the dish, or if it was even edible for that matter, but I continued to be drawn to it. After creepily viewing the photo for about a year (hey, I never said I wasn't crazy), and wondering what was used to make the dish, I finally decided that I should stop obsessing and try making my own version with some of my favorite ingredients.

I decided to stick with peas, which I love in any form, and based the puree on a combination of two recipes I already use. For the broth I went with a clean and crisp lemon brodo, and finally, unlike my inspirational photo, I topped the whole thing off with a thin fillet of tilapia. Like most of the completely untested recipes that come to fruition in my head, I expected this one to fail miserably. But, much to my surprise it was one of the best meals to come out of my minuscule kitchen. That's not to say it didn't come without it's difficult moments, but in the end I worked out the kinks. If you want to see the inspiration for this recipe, here it is: And below is the recipe for my version. I know it looks like a lot of ingredients, but it's mostly a matter of mixing and blitzing, minimal effort is involved, really. Enjoy!

Tilapia and Pea Puree in Lemon Brodo

1 fillet tilapia (or your favorite fish)
salt (to taste)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp butter

Pea Puree
3/4 cup frozen peas
2 cloves garlic
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp red pepper flake
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp salt
pepper (to taste)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
juice of half a lemon

Lemon Brodo
1/4 cup chicken broth (or broth of your choosing)
juice of 1 small lemon
2 tablespoons water

1. Heat broth, lemon juice and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.

2. Meanwhile, in a small pan, sauté peas, garlic, red pepper flake, salt, pepper and thyme in a tbsp of olive oil until just warmed through. Transfer to a food processor. Add cheese, and slowly stream in remaining olive oil while processing. Process until coarse.

3. Heat oil and butter in a small frying pan. Cook tilapia on both sides until cooked through.

4. Build a mound of puree in the center of a bowl. Carefully pour the brodo around it. Place fish fillet on top at an angle and top with lemon zest.


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