Pea Salad

In earlier times this would have been made with bottled or tinned garden peas – nowadays I make this with cooked frozen peas.

The peas and Gouda cheese make this salad sweet and creamy.

Ingredients

Around 400ml of frozen peas -cooked and cooled

4 hardboiled eggs – chopped

3 large gherkins – chopped into little cubes

200g of Gouda(or similar) cheese – chopped into cubes

1 small onion – chopped fine

2 tablespoons of Mayonaise (full fat is best)

1 tablespoon of Greek style yoghurt

Salt & Pepper to taste.

Method

In a bowl mix all the vegetables and the cheese together.

Add the mayonnaise and yoghurt and mix well.

Add salt & pepper to taste.

Serve with hot or cold roast meats or smoked Polish sausage.

 

Variation

I think the addition of 2 or 3 strips of chopped herrings as in my herring salads would be good.

Will try this later and let you know!

Pea Fritters

A few notes about peas

Pisum sativum is groch in Polish and pea in English.

The pea belongs to the legume family, the plant family with pods as fruit and from the botanical point of view the pea pod is a fruit, the round peas, the seeds, however from the  culinary point of view it is classed as a vegetable.

Peas are recorded in the Middle East over 4,000 years BC.

Dried peas were the stables of Mediaeval cooking in Europe.

The eating of the fresh green peas is a fairly modern idea – it started for the rich in the 17th & 18th centuries.

Mangetout (eat all in French) is a pea variety with an edible pod  The idea of eating the immature pea pods was known in the 17th century in France.  They only became popular in the UK in 1970s.

Marrow fat peas are a variety of Pisum sativum called medullare. They are sold with their skins still on and are often cooked with bi-carbonate of soda which helps break down this hard to digest skin.

Split peas  come as yellow & green – these are dried peas with the hard to digest skin removed and then the  pea splits naturally  into its 2 cotyledons(parts). This process came into use in the late 19th century.

 

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My original recipe for pea fritters was exactly the same the same as my bean fritters recipe but using  dried split peas  – so I have added the instructions for doing this.

This variation is now the one I use the most.

Reconstituting the Spit Peas

Most packets of split peas give a variety of  method for reconstituting the split peas.

I do not usually bother to soak them over night.  I cover them with water and let them boil gently, this will take at least half an hour.  I keep checking on them giving them an occasional stir so they do not stick to the bottom of the pan & adding water if needed if it looks like it is going to run dry.

 

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I cook them until  they are soft and all the water has been absorbed.

If you have added too much water then you will need to strain the excess off.

Using a masher, mash the peas until you have a thick smooth thick purée.

 

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Split Pea Fritters

Ingredients

250g of yellow or green split peas (reconstituted as above & mashed to a smooth purée)

1 carrot – chopped into small pieces

1 onion – chopped into small pieces

1 clove of garlic – chopped

1 red pepper – chopped into small pieces

Some butter for frying the onions, garlic, carrot & pepper

1 teaspoon Italian mixed herbs

1 teaspoon of sweet paprika

1 egg – beaten

Dried Breadcrumbs

Salt & pepper

optional – 1 teaspoon of chilli flakes

Method

Reconstitute the split peas, mash them and leave them to cool completely.

Melt some butter in a frying pan and gently fry the onion, garlic, carrots and the pepper until they are soft, then leave them to cool.

 

 

Mix the mashed pea mixture and the cooked vegetables together,

 

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Add the Italian mixed herbs, paprika and salt & pepper(& chilli flakes if using) and mix well.

Add the beaten egg and mix thoroughly – if the mixture appears to wet add a spoonful of breadcrumbs.

Put some breadcrumbs on a plate or board, make small balls and flatten them and coat all the sides with the breadcrumbs.

Shallow fry the fritters in hot sunflower oil till they are golden on both sides.

 

 

These fritters go well with a crisp salad, salsa or a sauce such as tomato or mushroom.  They also go well with meat dishes in a sauce  such as gulasz, pulpety or chicken casserole.

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Polish Mixed Vegetable Salad

Before the days of shops that sell fresh and frozen produce all year round from all over the world, this salad could be made in the autumn and winter using bottled or tinned vegetables.

This salad is made using mainly cooked chopped vegetables and the aim is to make it colourful and to balance the colours and size of the ingredients.

The main three colours are white, green and orange.

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Salad in a Royal Doulton Dish – Carnation – 1982 to 1998

White

The white is achieved from: potatoes, celeriac or  white beans such as haricot or cannellini  or even tinned baked beans with the sauce rinsed off.

Green

The green is achieved from peas , whole green beans or gherkins. I use frozen peas or whole green beans.

Orange

The orange is achieved from carrots or bottled paprika.

The following salad was made from potatoes, carrots and whole green beans which were cooked before assembling.

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Steam the Potatoes and Carrots

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Boil or steam the whole green beans.

Once the vegetables have cooled then chop them into small pieces.

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Mix the vegetables together with several tablespoonfuls of mayonnaise – original or light – just enough to lightly coat the vegetables.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

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Variation 1

Add 2 hard boiled eggs which have been chopped to the salad.

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Mixed Vegetable Salad with Hard Boiled Eggs

Variation 2

Use Celeriac instead of potato.

Peel the celeriac then cut it up into large pieces and steam these – chop the cooked celeriac into smaller pieces when it has cooked and cooled.

Polish Potato Salads

Potato salad is very popular in Poland especially as it can be made nearly all year round.

This can be served with cold meats and Polish style sausages as well as with hot dishes such as roast pork or chicken.

I like to make potato salad using starchy potatoes as I love the soft fluffy texture.

My favourite starchy potatoes are King Edward and Maris Piper.

The King Edward variety was introduced in the  United Kingdom in 1902 and was named after King Edward VII as this was his coronation year.

The Maris Piper variety was released in 1966  and was named after  Maris Lane in Trumpington on the outskirts of  Cambridge which at that time was the home of the Plant Breeding Institute.

Classic Potato Salad

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Ingredients

Starchy Potatoes – from 3 large potatoes upwards

1/2 – 1 onion – chopped fine

Mayonnaise – I like to use Hellmans – original or light

Salt and pepper to taste.

Method

Peel the potatoes and cut any large potatoes into quarters and then boil or steam them to cook them.

Strain the cooked potatoes in a colander and leave them to cool slightly.

Rough chop the cooked potatoes using a knife or a spoon – you do not want the pieces to be too uniform in size.

Add the chopped onion to the potatoes and then several tablespoonfuls of mayonnaise and mix together.

I like to use potatoes that are still slightly warm as I find the mayonnaise coats them better.

However you can use cold potatoes – maybe some you have left from another meal – the salad will still be good.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Leave to cool completely before serving.

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Simple Classic Potato Salad

Variations on the Classic Salad

Potato Salad with Gherkins

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Chop 2 or 3 gherkins and add these to the Potato Salad.

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Chopped Gherkins

 

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Potato Salad with Gherkins

Potato Salad with Gherkins and Boiled Eggs

Chop 1 or 2 hard boiled eggs and add these to the potato salad with the gherkins.

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Chopped Hard Boiled Eggs
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Potato Salad with Gherkins and Hard Boiled Eggs

Potato Salad with Peas

Cook some frozen peas and add these to the classic potato salad

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Cooked Peas
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Potato Salad with Peas