Thursday, August 22, 2013

Peas the Norwegian Way

You may not remember this, but back in February of 2011, I devoted the entire month to Scandinavian cuisine. I started with what became one of my most favorite desserts to make because it is so freaking delicious, rommegr√łt, or "sour cream porridge." Trust me, it is anything but sour. This past weekend, I decided to revisit that region of the world by once again checking the book Cooking the Norwegian Way by Sylvia Munsen out of the library. 

I chose a simple recipe that I miraculously had all the ingredients for, right down to the fresh parsley growing on my balcony! Here is an image of the ingredient list. I'm sorry the quality isn't better; my new phone isn't as good at taking photos as my old one was.
Note: "erter" meas "peas" in Norwegian.

As of Sunday, when I made this, I had worked 11 days in a row and was feeling extremely burned out. I dropped the bag of frozen peas on the floor, luckily losing only about 1/4 cup worth to the garbage, then later spilled my dinner all over the table and my laptop. A little landed in my lap, too, but not real damage done. Anyway, on to the making of the peas.

After cleaning up the spilled frozen peas on the floor, I boiled 1 tablespoon of butter in 1/2 cup of water in my large sauce pan. I like to err on the side of too large, and in this case, I really could have used my smaller pan, maybe even a frying pan. 
Meanwhile, I shredded 1 cup of lettuce to be added to my bowl of 2 cups of frozen peas. This was harder than I thought it would be. I had the last vestiges of a head of lettuce in my fridge I thought would be perfect, but I think I didn't have the proper shredding tool, because I ended up with a pile of mush that did not come close to 1 cup. Oh well, I thought, and added it to the bowl anyhow. Then went in the onion, leftover from Greg's baked mac 'n cheese. Next, I went out to my garden to snip some fresh parsley. I particularly enjoyed this part because I usually end up using dried parsley. But since Greg planted us a garden, I have been able to use fresh-from-the-plant, which is super flavorful and smells divine. 

So the peas, lettuce, onions, and parsley all went into the pot of water and melted butter, which I had turned down to medium. I did a few grates of freshly ground pepper and sea salt. Recipes always say "to taste," but how am I supposed to know until it's cooked? I am not a big fan of either salt or pepper, so sometimes I just skip this part entirely. Not tonight, though.

I let it all cook for 10 minutes, which is precisely how long it took for the water to evaporate and the onions to begin sticking to the bottom of the pan. 

The flavor turned out to be pretty good. I credit the peas and onion combination for this. I am not really sure what the lettuce was for, though I suppose if I had used packaged pre-shredded lettuce, or chopped it thinly rather than shredding it, and used the actual recommended 1 cup, I might have understood better. I'm not going to tell you to leave out the lettuce. I will say I don't feel it added much to the dish. I would probably make this again, as I am always on the lookout for new ways to make vegetables more interesting, and the flavor was really pretty good. (The Danish creamed vegetables are still my favorite discovery in this vein.)

Man, these pictures are really terrible! I came across my digital camera the other day. I will have to give that a try for next time. 

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