Thursday, August 9, 2012

Something a Little Weird and Wonderful for Your Next BBQ: Pea and Pickle Salad

Some people complain about the summer heat, but I really don't get it.  I think it is such a small price to pay for such a wonderful time of year.  No one really expects too much from you during the summer.  It is like everything goes on hold so we can garden, travel, play and grill.

Our family grills year round.  My husband even keeps a snow shovel by the door so he can clear me a path to the grill in the dead of winter.   The grill count on our side deck now numbers 3.  We have a charcoal grill for steaks and chicken, a gas grill for browning and our newest acquisition, an electric smoker to smoke the meat we brown on the gas grill.  I know what you are thinking, but don't turn your nose up, it is really unbelievable what a great job our electric smoker does.

Believe it or not, this post is not about grilling or meat it is about the sides.  I've made it clear that I am not crazy about traditional sides that go with barbeque.  I do have a recipe for some dolled up baked beans that I really like, but they call for a dozen ingredients and is just a bit fussy.  I also have a recipe for potato salad that I have perfected over the years and I love it too, but it is really best when made the day before.  Most of the time I really prefer not to even turn the stove on our grilling nights.  I'm mean that kind of defeats the purpose of an easy weeknight meal don't you think?

In an effort to come up with some super easy barbeque sides, I have gone back into my family archives and revisited some of my mother and grandmother's favorites.  One I really like is a combination of thinly sliced cucumbers with some red onion and sour cream.  I also LOVE the spicy corn salad I featured last year and that's pretty darned easy too.

My newest addiction though is a pickle and pea salad (yes, you heard right) that I can't stay out of when there is a bowl of it in the fridge.  I've updated the ingredients a bit to kick up the flavors but the original old fashioned recipe is in there somewhere.  I promise you that you will be addicted to this unusual concoction and if you aren't, pack it in ice and ship it to me because I love the stuff.

Spicy Pea and Pickle Salad

Feel free to use fresh or frozen peas for this recipe but I prefer mine Texas church lady style with the gray/green ones out of the can, so shoot me.

1 – 15 ounce can peas, drained
1 tablespoon finely diced yellow or red onion
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
2 slices bacon, fried to crispy and chopped
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese (mild or sharp depending on your preference)
2 medium dill pickles, chopped (approximately 1/2 cup) plus 2 tablespoons pickle juice
1 small fresh or pickled (for a milder flavor) jalapeno, finely chopped (optional)
1/8 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
3 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts (I love the spicy flavored ones)

Place drained peas in a medium size bowl.  Add the onion, eggs, bacon, cheese, pickles, pickle juice, jalapeno, garlic, salt pepper and mayonnaise.  Gently stir to combine being careful not to break up the peas and eggs too much.  Cover and refrigerate for approximately 30 minutes or until chilled through.
This can be made a day in advance and a couple of tablespoons of milk or pickle or jalapeno juice can be added if the mixture seems a bit stiff.
Sprinkle with peanuts just before serving.
Serve cold.
Serves 4 - 6 normal people.  Serves 1 at my house.


Beverley said...

I love the sound of this recipe and it sure caught my eye as I was heading up to bed. Going to give it a go minus the bacon. 3 grills and all year round, I can live with that! Thank you for a great blog xoxo

Barbara | Creative Culinary said...

This is moment of trust. I have to trust you, pure and simple because this is the most unique (OK, I thought strange) combination of ingredients ever! But then I think people put pickles in potato salad...and peas so why not. Maybe not peanuts but without them I could not dub this 'P' Salad. Save some for me. :)

Velva said...

That's not weird...I think that is a southern favorite. Looks delicious.


Karen Harris said...

You are a woman of taste Velva. It is actually a version of Iowa Pea Salad. Heck I don't know maybe it started in the south and Iowa claimed it because it is so darned good.

Kirsten@My Kitchen in the Rockies said...

Karen, 1. Love your husband for the shovel next to the grill. 2.Yes, I'll shoot you for the caned peas. I am sure they could be substituted with organic frozen ones. 3. Would love to have a taste test, because this recipe sounds like my son would really like it a lot.

Karen Harris said...

Absolutely use any kind of peas you prefer, but I'm sticking with the canned ones.

JanAnd said...

My Grandma, who came from a tiny Kansas town that no longer exists, made something like this. I don't remember pickles, but all the other ingredients were the same. She diced the cheese. Gotta make some now!

Karen Harris said...

The women in my family used to dice the cheese too. You've got to try it with the pickles. It's that sweet, savory, spicy thing going on that I love.

DaniD said...

Okay, yes, I think this sounds a little weird - but I also think I'm going to try it - I love pickles, so how could you really go wrong with this one!!

Lea Ann (Cooking on the Ranch) said...

This sounds so interesting that I've got to give it a try. And soon. I've got a simper old pea, mayo, cheese and onion salad that I've been wanting to make and blog about and I'm loving the pickle and peanut addition to this. I think I'd be like you, wouldn't be able to stay out of it.

Kate said...

Sounds delicious! I bet the flavors in the ingredients list pair wonderfully together. Sweet and tangy.

Christine said...

I have everything except the bacon (which I try not to keep in the house ... because then I'll eat it, all of it). I will attempt a no-bacon version of this for lunch today.