The absolute first thing I wanted to do after my arrival was to go to Steve the fishmonger at L’Ambiance des Halles, and I did. Although I’ve gotten off to a slow start; the weather was a horrendous 96 F for 4 days when we arrived, but I’ve got big plans that could well involve seafood on the “barbie”. In the meantime, the petit pois called out to me in the market: “Hey girl, where you been?”
I love to shell peas and beans. I think it makes me feel, well, “country” but in a good way. I like to shell them outside at the picnic table so that the neighbors and passersby can comment on my technique 😀
These peas were a little older and starchier than I like, but in combination with lardons and shallots, who cared?
The cod fillets at the monger’s were ocean fresh and lovely as usual. I cooked them simply, sprinkling with salt, pepper and a dusting of ginger.
Fresh Peas with Bacon and Shallots
2 lbs unshelled peas (makes about a pound when shelled)
1/3 cup of lardons or bacon, cut into batons
2 tbsp butter
3-4 small shallots thinly sliced, vertically
3 tbsp water or chicken broth
Shell the peas and set aside.
Cook the bacon in a large skillet until brown and crisp. Remove the bacon and drain on a paper towel. Remove all but 1 tbsp of bacon grease from the skillet and add the butter to melt.
Add the shallots to the skillet and cook until just soft. Add the peas, sauteing for a minute or two. Add the water or broth, cover and steam until tender but still green. Stir in the bacon and serve.