For so long I’ve wanted to own my own hand blender that I never actually got around to seeing how much one would cost, for example. So when my boyfriend invited me to the magical world of Argos and I discovered that such a device can be purchased for the low price of £7, I couldn’t resist the temptation.
So in celebration of my new hand blender, I made mushy peas; a traditional English dish made to taste nothing like the traditional English dish. I mean, the peas you get with your battered fish in pubs is usually 90% water and 10% actual peas – so I decided to change that, and gave the old dish a bit of zing with a squeeze of lime. The outcome was magical. Naturally, due to an unfortunate placement decision, by the end of the process there were peas everywhere from the wall to my ankles – but even the cleaning up couldn’t take away my fantastic victory over the pea consistency. I felt like a demi-god.
The best about this good looking dish (the peas really do look like a Metapod) is that it costs virtually nothing – the pork chops, I bought for around £4 and the peas, well, you get 1 kg frozen of them for a pound. So here’s how to transform these lovely ingredients into something even better.
2 pork chops, seasoned on both sides
A generous portion of frozen peas
A large cube of butter
A dash of water
2 garlic cloves
Olive oil, for frying and finish
Pinch of rosemary (I used the dried version)
So in order to make your chops deliciously moist, here’s the method I’ve learned from various cooking shows: heat the oil in the pan until almost smoking. Throw in two cloves of garlic, unpeeled (smashed with a knife a little) and fry for a minute to infuse the oil. Lay the pork chops into it, dressing them with your herbs. Fry for a generous 2 minutes, or until seriously coloured. At this point, add half your butter (a large nob) and turn your chops. Take a small teaspoon and baste the meat with the butter. Just keep spooning the butter over them on occasions until they are cooked through and nicely coloured on both sides. Remove them from the pan and let them rest until you finish your peas.
For the peas, nothing could be easier. It is okay to over-cook your peas (in fact it’s probably even good); makes them easier to mush. Drain them, reserving a dash of the (salted!) cooking water and pop them back in the same pan. Add the water – honestly, not too much. It may seem like just a glass of water, but this will determine your consistency by far. Add the other half of your butter for glossiness; season generously with salt and pepper. Use half a lime to give zing; squeeze all that amazingness into the mix. Now take your awesome hand blender and just chop them until you reach the consistency you want. Taste for seasoning (most likely it will be under-seasoned), and you are ready!
Now look at that. Doesn’t it look delicious?