Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Pigeon Peas in Coconut Milk with Mashed Plantains and Hot Chile Peppers

Gandules Con Coco

My childhood was spent in a neighborhood of German, Irish, and Italian immigrants.  Sausage was nestled in sauerkraut; steel-cut oats plopped their bubbles in old tin pots; and red sauce roiled on coils of pasta.

I, of German ancestry, who ate pigs' feet pickled in jars, and languished over sweetly spiced, glazed  lebkucken during the holidays, embraced our little network of home cooks, incorporating their menus into our daily diets. That the culinary world would have a scope far greater than one I was accustomed to was years away.

Yet those years did pass, and there were newcomers in the homes that speckled my street along the sloped landscape of neat brick-front facades and tiny ground-floor gardens.  The breeze and buoyant sway of the tropics was coming to town.

The area embraced and absorbed all kin hailing from the Caribbean and Central America.  Predominantly Cubans and Puerto Ricans, there were also Guatemalans, Nicaraguans, and Salvadoreans.

Bakeries, delicatessens, and other grocers of European descent made room for the bodegas and other Latin markets with their big bins of unique produce piled high, and the lively lilt of warm music wafting like aromas out onto the sidewalks.

It has been decades since I have even seen a pig foot, let alone eaten one.  Given my vegetarian ways, those times seem even farther away.  But a big bowl of Dominican-inspired gandules con coco (pigeon peas in coconut milk) goes a long way back, too, and always makes me feel like home.

Pigeon Peas in Coconut Milk with Mashed Plantains and Hot Chile Peppers - My Own Recipe
Serves 4-6
Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped (membrane and seeds removed)
1 Cubanelle pepper, chopped (membrane and seeds removed)
2 Serrano chile peppers, sliced into coins (remove membranes and seeds only if you want to modify the heat of the dish)
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 13.5 ounce can full-fat coconut milk
1 cup seasoned vegetable stock
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cups cooked pigeon peas 
1 large very ripe plantain, boiled until soft and coarsely mashed (very ripe plantains have black skins; this recipe will not work with unripe plantains because they are not sweet)

6 cups cooked long-grain white rice

Method

In a very large skillet, warm olive oil over low heat until shimmering (about 7 seconds). Add onion, garlic, peppers, and thyme to oil.  Stir to coat. Sauté vegetables until softened but not browned (about 10 minutes). Stir in coconut milk, stock, salt and pepper, and pigeon peas. Increase heat to boil, then reduce to simmer for 10 minutes.  Add small chunks of mashed plantain.  Stir in and heat through.  About 3 minutes.  Spoon stew over white rice.  Serve immediately.  Leftovers store and reheat well. -

Dried Pigeon Peas


This is a very late recipe for Priya of Mahro Rajasthan's Recipe, who hosted My Legume Love Affair #47 in May.  Priya herself will be very late in posting her round-up since she has been traveling the last several weeks.  You can expect it to be online either the last week of this month or first week of July.

Valerie of A Canadian Foodie is currently hosting MLLA #48.  Please send her your legume-centric recipes through June 30.



Thanks always for your talented and generous contributions to this long-running event, now completing its fourth year.

 
Been There, Done That ~ 
Con Gris
Channa Pulao
Chickpeas, Broccoli Rabe and Brown Rice

Other People's Eats ~ 
Black Beans and Rice from Eat Richly
Santiago Salsa from The Kitchn
Jamaican Rice and Peas from Simply Recipes

12 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A wonderful childhood! I love diversity in the plate and that fabulous dish looks amazing. Something I'd love to taste.

Cheers,

Rosa

janet @ the taste space said...

I brought a bag of pigeon peas back from Colombia (I didn't recognize the Spanish name so I didn't know what they were until I googled it back at home). Thank goodness now I know what to make with them! Thanks for sharing a lovely recipe, Susan. :)

anusha praveen said...

hmmm sounds yummy.... and pigeon peas are a regular in my household susan... i m always in love with them

lacaffettierarosa said...

I still have to have Dominican neighbours and ingredients at hand, unfortunately. It sounds like delicious food. But when I think of the food, I just love this positive side of globalization. Those who identify it with fast food giants have a world to explore!

Caffettiera said...

I still have to have Dominican neighbours and ingredients at hand, unfortunately. It sounds like delicious food. But when I think of the food, I just love this positive side of globalization. Those who identify it with fast food giants have a world to explore!

ann said...

i am trying to grow pigeon peas in arizona & have suceeded i getting the tree up and blooming but it never took the frost.this year the few months of frost i will cover it with christmas lights and a big sheet.my love affair came from many years of vacations in jamaica. still i the south west u.s not to many people know about pigeon peas including me i wish i knew more to get them to the pea stage....love your blog

Simona said...

Just yesterday, in the grocery store, I looked at some plantains and thought that it's time I should try to cook them. I see now how you use them in your recipe. I don't think I have ever eaten pigeon peas. They look really pretty on the green plate.

Johanna GGG said...

this looks so much nicer than pigs trotters! I quite fancy german baking (love lebkuchen) but the savoury stuff has too much meat for me - fortunately there are other cuisines with lots of lovely veg meals - coconut and beans is such a great combination

Paz said...

Plantain? I'm so all over this meal. :-D

Torviewtoronto said...

this dish looks healthy and flavourful
lovely presentation Susan

A Canadian Foodie said...

Love anything with coconut milk! Can see you are getting ready for your entry! ;)
LOOKS GORGEOUS!
Do most people enter at the last minute? I have about 8.
All exceptional dishes, too! :) Valerie

Aunt Clara said...

We have a very similar dish in the Dominican cuisine. Lovely photo.