I traveled to Spain more than ten times a year for work and have found some of the most amazing restaurants and cuisines from Madrid to Barcelona. The country has a lot regional dishes that touch on the history, culture and available ingredients in each area. The one thing I discovered, no matter where I was in the country, is that most of the restaurants were closed on Sunday night, especially in Madrid. There is one classic restaurant, Casa Lucio, that is open on Sunday and has an even mix of tourists as well as locals coming together. They usually put the tourists upstairs so it is smart to have a local friend make the reservation and insist on sitting on the main floor.
Without fail, we would be seated and immediately order a full bodied Spanish wine and their delicious ham and peas, a traditional dish. Since I don’t like frozen peas nor shelling them, I came up with an easier to make version with as spice twist.
- 8 ounces of uncured applewood smoke ham steak, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons of shallots, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
- 2/3 cup of a dry white wine
- 3 cups of snow pees, tips cut off split down the middle, but peas left in shells
- 1 tablespoon of all purpose flour
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Put a skillet over medium high heat and drizzle olive oil, sear the ham cubes for 3 minutes, stirring as they cook
- Lower the flame to medium and add the shallots & red pepper flakes and cook for another two minutes, then add the garlic and cook for another minute
- Add the wine and flour, bring to a boil and let cook down for 3 minutes and then add the peas, cover and cook for 3-4 minutes until cooked al dente. remove from flame, season with salt and plenty of pepper
- Serve immediately
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