Braised Peas with Cos Lettuce and Mint

Serves: 4 – 6

This classic French dish is from Karen Martini and swaps out iceberg lettuce for cos.

It makes the lettuce a bit more a feature and the result is just awesome.

It is rich and warm and a wonderful accompaniment: roast chicken or lamb or some chargrilled steaks we served with a herb butter and a onion rings.

It just shows how well peas and lettuce and work.

If you can make the effort, make the effort. It will dial up any meal into a memorable one.

Ingredients

80gm unsalted butter
1 large garlic clove< sliced
2 ½ cups frozen peas
2 baby cos lettuces, trimmed and cut into 1cm pieces
5 sprigs mint, leaves torn
1 tbsp sea salt (or to taste)
2 tbsp castor sugar

Method

  1. Melt half the butter in a very large frying pan over and medium heat and cook the garlic for 2 minutes. Add the peas, lettuce and ¼ cup hot water, simmer and stir for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the mint, salt, sugar and remaining butter and simmer until the vegetables are tender and the sauce is glossy and syrupy.

Asian Chicken & Mushroom Croquettes with Baby Cos

Serves: 4

Wow, this is an absolute weekday cracker.

And it is Bill Granger. A man I have doubted but am now totally buying into!

I suspect that our addition of the chilli flakes was a necessary addition – and don’t hold back on the hot sauce if you like it hot – though the rest could not be doubted. Great flavor, moist and so easy to prepare.

And healthy. Seriously healthy.

Wow.

Bill, you won me over with this one. The doubt is gone – your simple cooking is a real winner!

(Double this recipe as we did; you will have the best lunch at work the next day! He claims it served 4 though it is so good and so healthy, just keep going.)

Ingredients

4 tbsp canola oil
250gm button mushrooms, stalks removed, finely chopped (or food processed as we did)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
500gm chicken mince
1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger (do 1 tbsp and you won’t look back)
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp chilli flakes
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 or 2 heads of cos lettuce, leaves separated
1 small red onion, sliced into thin rings
Small handful of coriander leaves
Hot sauce

Method

  1. Heat a large frypan over a medium-low heat, add 1 tbsp of the oil and cook the mushrooms and garlic until nearly all the moisture has evaporated; remove the mushroom mixture from the pan and cool.
  2. Combine the mince, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, pepper, chilli flakes and mushroom mixture and mix well. Use 2 tbsp of the mixture at a time to role the small, football-shaped croquettes.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in the frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the croquettes, turning occasionally for 5 – 7 minutes or until golden all over and cooked through.
  4. Serve the chicken in the lettuce leaves with a few onion rings, a small handful of coriander and a good squeeze of hot sauce.
  5. Thank me later!