Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Playdate Special: Black Eyed Peas for Picnic

I had this vision of a beautiful early Spring picnic table with some vivid  colorful touches: two salads, a well seasoned ceviche - and a winner dessert to comfort the kids, after so many novelties.
Perhaps I was too ambitious. On the day before the picnic I printed all consumer guides from Monterey Aquarium just to find out that my local stores and chain supermarkets didn't have any of the recommended fish suitable to my unusual menu.
So, I thought about two alternatives: Portuguese sardines or a good brand salami to go on the side and accompany the Latin American style black eye pea salad. And some simple pasta salad to make sure the kids would eat. Something.
The final result was somehow predictable. While pasta salad made of mini-farfalle Piccolini, asiago cheese infused in olive oil and rosemary,  and fire-roasted tomatoes was easily accepted by most of the kids, beans were abandoned on the side of the plates.
But as I love black eyed peas and think someday they will be as popular with my kids as the  homonym music group, I will share the recipe. I understand that some people just think salads don't deserve a recipe, but trust me on this one: Sometimes the combination of flavors and textures is what makes a side dish to shine.
The dessert was, as I said, a winner. Who would not go for a chocolate shell filled with goodies on a sunny day? 

Black Eyed Peas Salad

I used freshly cooked black eyed peas, prepared in my beloved pressure-cooker. I believe that canned beans will work too, as far as they marinade one night before in the spices to loose that odd salty water taste.

6 cups cooked black eyed peas, drained
1 medium sweet tomato chopped, with seeds
1/4 cup red pepper, chopped
1/4 cup yellow bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup orange bell pepper, chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice or vinegar
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon sweet basil (Mexican Albahaca, Ocimum Basilicum)
Ground Black Pepper to taste
Kosher salt to taste

Mix all ingredients well in a bowl and let it stand in the fridge overnight. If wanted, serve it with sardines in olive oil or salami on the side.

Vanilla Ricotta Cream for Chocolate Dessert Shells

I bought those wonderful Dobla dark chocolate Belgium dessert shells from World Market. It took me some days to figure out what to fill them with. The recipe that follows is a simple pudding that can be useful to go with fruit salads or pies.

1/2 cup heavy cream
1/ tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla

Whisk cream well with sugar up to a creamy texture and than integrate  ingredients ans refrigerate for about 2 hours up to the time to serve.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Latin American style black eye pea salad looks great and I will try it. It must get even tastier in the following day, I presume...



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