One of the best things I’ve discovered that comes with adulthood is the ability to host dinner parties. I love having people over and cooking for them, preparing a menu, and enjoying the company of friends. It’s a really kind and personal gesture to invite someone over to your home and feed them. I really only started hosting dinner parties when I got married about two years ago. My first few dinner parties were, let’s say, “okay” – the food was good and we had a great time, but by the time our friends arrived, Tom and I would still be chopping and slicing (I had yet to learn the art of mise en place). We just couldn’t dedicate ourselves to hosting because we still needed to finishing preparing all the food. I attributed our less-than-stellar parties to a lack of planning. We would cook everything and clean the entire apartment the day of the party, and not realize that everything needed to go in the oven at different temperatures, and at different times. So by the time our guests arrived, we would be exhausted. Now when I plan to host a dinner party, I create a menu a few days in advance, scour through my cookbooks, decide on a theme, take out all of my platters, and visualize where the food will go (I really like this if you couldn’t tell). If I’m in an extra plan-ny mood (which I often am), I make a timeline of how long each dish will take to prepare, note which courses involve the oven, determine what I can make ahead of time, etc.
Essentially, I try to organize and accomplish as much as possible beforehand. That way, when our friends do come over, I can actually enjoy their company without having Tom frantically chopping onions for a stew we started way too late while I jump in the shower five minutes before people arrive. I tell you all of this because these crispy chorizo peas are not only delicious, but the simplest and quickest side dish you will ever make and are PERFECT for dinner parties. They take about ten minutes to make and are just so easy! Between the chorizo, lemon, mint, peas, and shallots, so many flavors are packed into this dish. And the only real prep time is measuring out the ingredients and chopping the chorizo and shallots, which only takes seconds to do! This easy, yet flavorful, side dish is a perfect sidekick to the dishes that need more attention when you’re getting ready to have people over!There are only five ingredients (not including salt), but each of the ingredients has an important way of balancing out the others. The peas get some added delicious flavor from the chorizo, while the chorizo’s richness is cut by the acid from the lemon. The shallots and mint complete the dish by adding their own intriguing flavors. While the chorizo is crisping in the pan, it releases all of its flavors into the oil. After a few minutes of cooking, remove the chorizo from the pan using a slotted spoon and add the thinly sliced shallots so they soften and become coated with the chorizo-infused oil. While all of this is going on, boil a pot of salted water and cook the peas – about two minutes. Then, right into the serving bowl, add the drained peas, chorizo, shallots, mint, some salt and pepper to taste, and squeeze the finishing touch of lemon to cut the saltiness from the chorizo. Now you have the most delicious but simple side dish ever! You can make this quickly on a weeknight, or right before your guests come over without having to worry that you’ll still be cooking them after they arrive. It goes wonderfully with roasted chicken and some fingerling potatoes!Print
Crispy Chorizo Peas
A 5-ingredient and 10-minute side dish that is filled with lemon, mint, peas, and chorizo! Perfect for company or any weeknight!
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 6-8 servings as a side
- Category: Side dishes
- 2 (16-ounce) bags of frozen peas
- 4-6 ounces of dried cured chorizo, sliced and quartered
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced (horizontally)
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons of fresh mint, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons of kosher salt
- Fill a pot (I used a 6-quart) three-fourths full of water and add 1 teaspoon of the salt and set to boil. Once the water is boiling, add the peas and cook for about 2-3 minutes (don’t over cook them – they should be bright green!) Drain, and set aside.
- Heat a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat. Once the skillet is hot, add half of the chorizo and cook for about 2-3 minutes, making sure to move the chorizo around. Once it becomes dark red and crispy, remove the chorizo with a slotted spoon and place on a paper, towel-lined plate. Repeat this for the next batch, and do not discard any of the chorizo oil.
- In the same skillet, lower the heat to medium/medium-low and add shallots, stirring often. Cook for about 1 minute or until shallots are lightly browned and soft.
- In a big bowl, combine the peas, chorizo, shallots, lemon juice, mint, and the rest of the salt and mix! Take a taste and see if you need to add more lemon, salt, or mint! Serve warm.
- Whole Foods has the chorizo I buy usually in the cheese section, pre-sliced but not quartered