When fresh peas season hits, grab them, and make this easy recipe - GulfToday

When fresh peas season hits, grab them, and make this easy recipe

Food Sat

Ginger-seared skirt steak topped with peas, baby lettuce and pea shoots. TNS

JeanMarie Brownson

Now is the time to embrace the emerald green wonders of spring: Sweet peas. Fresh, sweet green peas are one of the few vegetables found only in their brief season. Beyond spring, fresh pod peas (aka shelling peas or English peas) barely exist.

Due to their popularity with chefs, fresh pea shoots now appear at farmers markets and specialty stores in addition to Asian markets. I buy pea shoots, which are extremely fragile, the day I plan to cook them — if kept dry and refrigerated they can last a day or two at most.

Dinner at Chicago’s Michelin-starred Band of Bohemia inspired the recipe for skirt steak with peas and greens. The brewpub served the steak on a bed of grits.

Brilliant textural contrast with the thinly sliced beef and delicate greens. Use pea shoots in the greens mix when they are available.

GINGER-SEARED SKIRT STEAK WITH PEAS, SPRING GREENS AND CREAMY GRITS

Prep: 25 minutes

Stand: 20 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Makes: 4 servings

3 small cloves garlic, crushed

2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger (or refrigerated ginger paste)

Salt

1 pound well-trimmed skirt steak, cut into 6-inch lengths

Sour cream grits:

3 cups low-salt chicken broth

1 cup stone-ground white grits, such as Bob’s Red Mill

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 to 3 tablespoons sour cream

Freshly ground black pepper

1 cup (about 5 ounces) freshly shucked small green peas (English peas)

4 cups assorted baby lettuces

1 to 2 cups tender young pea shoots, if available

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar

Oil in a sprayer

Chopped fresh chives

1. Mix garlic, ginger and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Use the back of a spoon to lightly smear the mixture over both sides of the steak pieces. Let stand at room temperature, about 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, for grits, heat broth and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in grits. Cook and stir nearly constantly with a flat-bottomed wooden spoon until boiling and thickened, about 5 minutes. (A spatter guard will help keep the stove clean.) Remove from heat; cover pan and let stand 5 minutes. Stir in butter and sour cream. Season with pepper. Cover and keep warm.

3. Heat a small saucepan filled with salted water to the boil. Add the peas; cook just until they turn bright green and lose a touch of their crunch, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Drain well; allow to cool.

4. Put lettuces and pea shoots into a medium bowl. Have oil and vinegar nearby.

5. Heat a large nonstick or well-seasoned grill pan over medium-high heat until hot. Spray the steaks with oil and add to grill pan in a single, uncrowded layer (work in batches if necessary). Cook, without turning, until bottom is golden, about 3 minutes.

Use tongs to flip. Cook steaks until golden and medium-rare (no more), another 2 to 3 minutes depending on thickness. Transfer to a cutting board to rest for a few minutes. Cook remaining steak. Use a very sharp knife to cut steak across the grain into thin slices.

6. To serve, spoon hot grits onto the center of warm plates. Arrange steak slices over grits. Toss greens with olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Pile over steak. Sprinkle with peas and chives. Serve.

Tribune News service