Pea Guacamole Recipe

by Anne Maxfield on June 5, 2017

Yes, you’re right. Pea guacamole?

I succumbed.

But there’s a reason. A story.

I needed something to take to a Mexican themed party.

The hostess and I have had an ongoing thing about peas.

She’s pro-, I consider them generally superfluous.

She also has a great sense of humor.

This is a tweaked version of the NY Times piece that caused quite a furor last year.

Pea Guacamole

  • ½ pound frozen peas, thawed (about 1 cup)
  • 2 small jalapenos
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, chopped (or more for taste)
  • Salt
  • 3 small very ripe avocados, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 2 scallions, whites only, sliced very thin
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • Juice of 1 lime (or more for taste)

In a microwave-safe bowl, cook the peas with about 1 tablespoon of water for about 2 minutes, until they are just tender. Drain peas and rinse with cold water to stop cooking. Reserve a small handful for garnish.

Halve, seed and de-vein the jalapenos. Cut into small chunks.

In a blender or food processor, chop the jalapenos. Add the peas, cilantro and ½ teaspoon salt. Process until the peas are almost smooth, but still have a little texture.

In a medium bowl, mash the avocados. Add the scallions, lime zest, juice, ½ teaspoon salt and the pea mixture. Mix well. Taste and add additional cilantro, salt and lime juice as needed. Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!

My verdict: Everyone at the party thought it was great (and finished it off)! I thought it was pretty good, but a little sweet because of the peas.

Would I make it again? No, too much work and too many dirty dishes.

The original recipe called for roasting one of the jalapenos and peeling it. I tossed one on the grill (only because the grill was going) and charred it, but didn’t peel it. If you wanted to toss one or more in a small skillet, you could do that, but I don’t think it’s going to matter in the end result.

The Times also had you shucking fresh peas, a cute idea if you’re making peas for dinner for two, but a huge time suck if you’re making guacamole for a crowd.

When I make guacamole, it’s seven ingredients, a knife and a bowl.

10 minutes, no grill, no Cuisinart, no microplane (zester).

Would or have you made guacamole with peas?



Some Peas Like it Hot!

by Anne Maxfield on July 9, 2015

Accidental Locavore Peas and LimesBet you never thought about spicy peas! As you know, peas are not one of the Accidental Locavore’s favorite vegetables, just sort of a benign side dish.This recipes elevates them into the very interesting (and almost-worth-shelling) arena. You will need the zest of the lime, so do that before you juice it. Serves 4:

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (more or less to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and ribs removed
  • 1 trimmed stalk lemongrass, thinly sliced
  • 1 small yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
  • 2 cups shelled fresh peas or frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 teaspoon finely-grated lime zest

Accidental Locavore Spicy PeasWhisk the fish sauce, lime juice and brown sugar in a small bowl; set aside.

In a food processor, or mini chopper, pulse the jalapeño, lemongrass, and onion until finely chopped.

In a large wok or skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the lemongrass mixture and stir-fry until soft, about 1 minute. Add the peas and the fish sauce mixture. Simmer, stirring occasionally until the sauce is slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the lime zest, serve and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Spicy Peas and SteakMy verdict: The most time consuming part of this recipe is shelling the peas, so unless you have a bunch from your CSA (like I did), frozen is the way to go here. These were really good and might actually make a pea fan out of me! I had a bag full of chopped lemongrass that my mother had given me from her local Asian grocery, so I just used a couple of tablespoons of that. Because it was already chopped, I didn’t bother to use the food processor and just finely chopped the jalapeño and onion (one less appliance to wash). Because fish sauce varies from brand to brand, it’s better to go a little easy with it at the beginning and add more later, to taste. Ditto the jalapeño and lime juice. Some finely-chopped ginger would be nice with this and it would probably also work well with other veggies, like broccoli, or eggplant.





This Beef Chili Recipe Makes a Spicy Bowl of Red

by Anne Maxfield on February 12, 2015

Accidental Locavore Chiles ToastingAlthough the Accidental Locavore is no football fan, sometimes events like the Super Bowl are a good excuse to play with recipes like chili and guacamole. Since we had beef chuck and all the chiles, I thought I’d give this a shot. Don’t let the list of ingredients scare you – it’s easy prep. Makes a big pot of chili:

  • 4 ounces dried ancho chiles (about 9 chiles)
  • 2 ounces dried guajillo chiles (about 7 chiles)
  • 2 ounces dried pasilla chiles (about 10 chiles)
  • 2 ounces dried chipotle chiles (about 8 chiles)
  • 8 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 7 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 pounds beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 cups finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch, dissolved into ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup unsweetened chocolate, chopped (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons dark-brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • Lime wedges, sour cream, chopped onion, cilantro, (optional) for serving

Accidental Locavore Bowl of RedHeat a large skillet over high heat and toast chiles in batches, until browned in spots but not burned, 30 to 45 seconds per side. Toast garlic cloves in their skins in the same skillet, tossing, until browned in spots, about 3 minutes.

Cut peppers in half lengthwise; remove stems and seeds. Place chiles in a large heatproof bowl. Pour 4 cups of very hot water over chiles and let soak for 30 minutes, placing a plate on top to keep them submerged if necessary

Peel garlic cloves and place in blender. Add the soaked chiles along with the soaking liquid. Add 1 tablespoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and honey. Purée until smooth (you can run the mix through a strainer if you’d like).

In a large Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Add 1/3 of the beef, salt and pepper and lightly brown the meat, 6 to 8 minutes per batch. Transfer to a bowl, reserve, and repeat with remaining 2 batches of beef, and seasoning with salt and pepper.

Lower the heat to medium and add 1 more tablespoon of oil. Cook the onion with a big pinch of salt until soft, stirring, about 5 minutes. Add cumin and cook, stirring, 1 minute more. Add the chile purée and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the purée has lost its raw flavor, about 15 minutes. Add 4 cups broth, oregano, and cornstarch mixture, stir. Add the beef and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook on very low heat uncovered, until meat is tender and broth is thickened, about 3 hours.

Add sugar and vinegar 1 tablespoon at a time, along with salt, and pepper to taste. Allow the chili to sit at least an hour and up to overnight to allow the flavors to meld. Serve with lime wedges, sour cream, onion, and/or cilantro.

My verdict: Incredibly hot (and we like spicy food)! The original recipe called for chiles de àrbol and cayenne but I never used them (or the jalapeno garnish) and it was still unbelievably hot. I also cut down on the guajillios (because I ran out of them). To combat the heat, I added some cider vinegar to the chile mix when I was blending it and used all the brown sugar and vinegar at the end. I also added about 1/4 of unsweetened chocolate for fun. The meat was tender and delicious and the texture of the sauce was silky and smooth. I cooked it the day before which was a good idea because it takes a while (although it’s easy enough to make) and it gave the sauce a chance to meld. I’m not really sure how you could get this to a significantly less spicy state, especially as the heat scale of chiles is so variable. The jalapeños I used to make the chipotles this past summer were very hot–yours might not pack such a punch. Maybe if you tasted a small bit of each of the chiles after they were toasted and softened, and then went easy on the hot ones, you could control it better. Using water instead of the soaking liquid to puree them would also help.




Gazpacho, As if You Needed a Recipe

by Anne Maxfield on August 28, 2014

Accidental Locavore Gazpacho With CroutonsWhile it may not seem possible to have too many tomatoes, there are times (like now) when you might be facing a pile of very ripe tomatoes that would be a shame to waste. The Accidental Locavore ended up with five pounds from the CSA this week and knew there were a few more than I could (or should) comfortably use for salads. This being August, recipes for gazpacho are a dime a dozen, from Mark Bittman’s spread for the Times to an interesting one from Food & Wine that my friend Mary adapted for her blog. But gazpacho, like its summer cousin, pesto, really doesn’t need a recipe. It does need a blender or food processor and some great tomatoes (although there’s a hack for that too – see below). This is what I tossed together this morning:

  • 2 pounds tomatoes, cut into big chunks
  • 1 garlic clove (size depending on your love for garlic)
  • 2 slices of bread
  • ½ cucumber peeled and cut into chunks
  • ½ jalapeno, seeded
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt & pepper

Put the tomatoes, garlic, cucumber and jalapeno in the food processor and pulse until well chopped. Add the bread, olive oil and vinegar. Process until it’s just shy of your desired consistency. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Process to your desired consistency and chill for at least 30 minutes. Drizzle with olive oil and top with your favorite garnishes, serve and enjoy!

My verdict: I always loved the gazpacho at City Bakery, mostly because you could mix in a whole host of garnishes: cilantro, croutons, chopped tomatillos, etc. It also allowed you to control the consistency, making it as smooth (fewer garnishes) or as chunky as you like. When you make it yourself, you can do that with or without the toppings. If you use a blender, you will get a finer blend; with the food processor it will always have a little more texture. I’m not a fan of green peppers, so I leave them out and really only added the jalapeno because it was left over from a batch of salsa (that may garnish the soup). Other great garnishes or add-ins could be avocado, bacon, some toasted pine nuts.

The hack for not-so-good tomatoes, I learned from Carla Hall. If you have pallid tomatoes, use more of whatever you have that’s tastier. So, if you have some good peppers or a nice cucumber, add more of them and just adjust the taste to suit yourself.