Craig Thomas, chef at The Red Tavern restaurant in Chico, was voted by Edible Shasta-Butte readers a Local Hero in the chef/restaurant category. He offers this recipe, which is featured this spring at the Red Tavern, 1250 The Esplanade in Chico. The restaurant is open Monday thru Saturday at 5:30. Call 530.894.3463 and visit redtavern.com.
- 2 pounds fresh peas, shucked and blanched, reserve shells
- 1 onion
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 whole carrot
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 4 ounces bacon
- 8 cups water
To make the stock add the pea shells, onions, celery, carrot, bay leaves, peppercorns, bacon and water to a pot. Bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 1.5 hours. Strain and reserve.
- 2 large shallots, chopped
- 2 ounces prosciutto, sliced into small cubes Freshly shelled peas (from above)
- 1 bunch mint, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1 large handful pea tendrils
Add the oil to a hot pan, and sauté the shallots, Prosciutto and peas for about 2 minutes. Add the mint. Combine this with the strained stock and purée it in batches adding a little butter to each batch. Purée until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve in a bowl with a dollop of crème fraîche and sautéed pea tendrils.
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons buttermilk
Combine both in a glass jar. Cover with tea towel and let stand at room temperature 16–24 hours until thick. Cover and refrigerate. Use within 10 days.
Edible Shasta-Butte is the guide to local food, dining, and gardening in Northern California’s central valley from Butte County north to the Oregon border.