Austin Daily Press
Reed’s career has spanned a number of New American kitchens in his hometown of Fayetteville, AR and in Austin, TX, including at the latter’s Parkside under nationally acclaimed chef Shawn Cirkiel. Simple, contemporary preparation and a focus on vegetable-forward cooking inform his menus, especially utilizing New World flavors in an American Southern context. Since 2012 he has brought his passion for providing thoughtful service and unique dining experiences to the Austin Daily Press fusion torta shops as Executive Chef and Director of Culinary Operations.
Field Pea “Caviar” with Mole Blanco and Chili Vinaigrette
This dish is a take on the pico de gallo-esque “Texas caviar” using all fresh ingredients that highlights Texas Summer produce. Mole blanco typically pairs with green vegetables, providing hearty richness to balance the bright, fresh flavors in the salsa. For garnish, more fresh Summer produce rounds out the plate, with the sweet and spicy chili vinaigrette laced with sesame seeds to enhance the nuttiness of the mole. The result is an appetizer complex in flavor that belies its unfussy edibility.
- 2 Cups Fresh Field Peas (Creamer, Purple Hull, etc.)
- 1 medium Poblano pepper
- ½ medium Red Onion
- ½ medium Avocado
- 1 T Olive Oil
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 1 Lime
- ½ Cup Whole Milk
- ½ Cup Vegetable Stock
- 6 Cloves
- 6 Allspice Berries
- 1 t Coriander Seed
- 1 t Cumin Seed
- 4 Bay Leaves
- ½ medium Yellow Onion
- 1 oz Stale Bread (Crust Removed)
- ¼ Cup Blanched (Skinless) Peanuts
- ¼ Cup Sunflower Seeds (Hulled)
- 4-5 Fresh Red Chilis (Jalapeno, Fresno, etc)
- 1 T Honey
- 1 t Salt
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 2 T Apple Cider Vinegar
- ½ Cup Olive Oil
- 4 T Sesame Seeds
- Thick Corn Tortilla Chips
- Mixed Grape/Cherry Tomatoes
- Cilantro Leaves
-Toast the Cloves, Allspice, Cumin, and Coriander in a small, dry saucepan over medium heat until fragrant. Pour in Milk and Stock, add bay leaves, bring to simmer, then remove from heat. Allow spices to steep in liquid for at least 15 minutes.
-Steam the Field Peas in a stovetop basket (or microwave) for 1.5-2 minutes (until tender).
-Finely dice the Poblano & Red Onion. Grate 2 Garlic Cloves and zest Lime, setting both aside. Saute the Poblano and Onion in Olive Oil over medium-high heat until lightly caramelized (about 2 minutes). Remove from heat, toss in grated Garlic and Zest, and set aside to cool. Dice Avocado into ½” chunks, and stir into cooled Peas to combine without mashing. Season with salt and a bit of the lime’s juice to taste.
-Strain the spiced liquid and clean the saucepan. Roughly chop Yellow Onion and sweat in saucepan with a small amount of oil until translucent, but not yet caramelized. Pour in spiced liquid and add Peanuts. Simmer over low heat for 5-10 minutes or until Onion and Peanuts have begun to soften. Add bread and remove from heat. Blend the mixture on high speed until very smooth. Add salt and a few drops of Cider Vinegar to taste.
-Roughly chop the Red Chili and Garlic Clove. Blend with Honey, Salt, and Cider Vinegar on high speed until nearly smooth, stopping to scrape the sides of the blender as needed. Reduce to medium speed and slowly drizzle in Olive Oil til vinaigrette looks very smooth. Reduce to low speed and add the Sesame Seeds, blending just long enough to fully incorporate.
-Spoon about 2 T of the Mole in the center of a medium appetizer plate. Using the back of a spoon, swirl in a clockwise motion to make a circle about 4-5” in diameter.
-Using the edge of a spoon, swirl 2 or 3 small dollops of the Vinaigrette in a circular motion around the Mole.
-Pack a ⅓ or ½ Cup measuring cup (approximate 3” diameter) with the Field Peas. Carefully unmold into center of Mole circle.
-Thinly slice Tomatoes crosswise (across the “equator”). Scatter 5-6 pieces along with Cilantro on the mound of Peas. Serve with Tortilla Chips on the side.