Izzy (and Mama) Eat: The Gourmand Grows up...

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Friday, June 27, 2008

Stringing and Shelling, Oh So Compelling: From Pea To Pancake

Each year, I eagerly await the arrival of fresh peas at the market, just so that I can make this recipe. It is adapted from one I found several years ago in the New York Times, for Heirloom Pea Pancakes. I have since discovered that frozen sweet peas are a fine substitute if you are not in the mood to shell.

Although many vegetables lend themselves to a pancake-like preparation, none do it as well as these peas. Not only are they a great showcase for fresh peas but they are also fun to make. From the stringing to the shelling, they keep little hands busy. I asked Izzy to help shell but it turned out that stringing was more his thing.

We used both Sugar Snap peas and English peas, which are blanched, pureed and turned into batter.

The end result? Crisp and buttery on the outside, soft creamy pea within.

Fresh goat cheese on top is the icing on the pea..

Pea Pancakes with Garlic Scapes (served with goat cheese)
4 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed
1/2 cup freshly shelled green peas
1 tablespoons minced spring garlic or garlic scapes
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup whole wheat or white flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste.

1. Fill a bowl with ice water. Bring a pot of water to a boil, then lightly salt it. Add sugar snap peas to boiling water, and blanch for 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, and plunge immediately into ice bath. Remove sugar snap peas from ice water, and reserve. Repeat procedure for the shelled peas, blanching them for 3 minutes or until tender. Reserve.
2. Puree sugar snap peas with the milk and the cream in a blender or food processor. Pour into a large mixing bowl, and whisk in the egg. Sift flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into mixture, and whisk to combine. Coarsely puree reserved shelled peas and garlic, in food processor, then fold into batter.

3. In a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1/2 tablespoon butter and 1/2 tablespoon olive oil Drop tablespoonfuls of batter into pan. When edges are lightly browned, place pan in oven and bake for 1 1/2 minutes. (I usually skip this step but it makes turning them trickier). Remove from oven, and flip pancakes over gently with a spatula. Cook until bottoms are lightly browned; return to oven for another minute. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Repeat process until all batter is used. Eat as is or serve with a generous dollop of fresh goat cheese.

Yield: About 14 pancakes.

I usually double the recipe. You can make these the day before and warm up in a 350 oven for about 15 minutes.


Anonymous said...

That's fascinating! I've never met a vegetable pancake that I've liked, but somehow, I think pea pancakes might be "the one." I don't like the raw taste that so many have in the middle, but this kind of sounds like a vegetarian version of crab cakes... I'm very excited to give these a try. Thanks Izzy's Mama!

Izzy's Mama said...

Ann: Have you had zucchini latkes? Those are wonderful too but I think I like the peas best. Let me know if you try them.