Sunday, October 27, 2013

Please Welcome Guest Linda Reilly!

Linda Reilly is our guest today, and she shares a recipe for "mushy peas."  Her Deep Fried Mysteries will be out soon from Berkley Prime Crime.

Mushy Peas  by Linda Reilly

Thank you for the invitation to Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen! When Peg Cochran first asked me if I would like to do a guest post, my immediate thought was: achh . . . I’ve got to start thinking about recipes for my first Deep Fried mystery!  Since the culinary focus of book one (as yet unnamed) will be fish and chips, I’ve chosen to post the recipe for a side dish typically served in the UK with fish and chips—mushy peas.

I began seeking out the perfect recipe—something flavorsome and yet uncomplicated. I learned that in the UK mushy peas are traditionally made from dried marrowfat peas that are soaked overnight with baking soda, then rinsed and drained and simmered for another 30 minutes or so. Interestingly, dried marrowfat peas are nearly impossible to find in the USA. After a little more internet research, I discovered a wonderful recipe published by Irish American Mom ( that didn’t require overnight soaking, and could be prepared using conventional peas. For my needs, it was perfect.

For ease of preparation, and since fresh peas are not always readily available, I tweaked her recipe by substituting frozen peas for fresh ones. Instead of melting the butter I softened it for about 15 seconds in the microwave. (I love the creamy consistency of softened butter.) The result was a delicious side dish that is sure to please everyone, even the pickiest of eaters. And while it makes the perfect accompaniment to crispy fried fish and chips, I can easily picture this tasty side served with roast chicken or turkey.


·         14 ounces frozen peas (not the petite kind – you want more pulp than skins)

·         4 to 5 tablespoons softened unsalted butter

·         2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream

·         Salt & pepper to taste


·         Boil or microwave the peas according to the package directions.

·         Drain and place in a bowl.

·         Add the softened butter, heavy cream, and salt and pepper to taste (about ¼ teaspoon of each works nicely).

·         With a potato masher, “mush” the peas until you have the perfect texture.

Gather your ingredients

Add butter

"Mush" your peas

A delicious and easy side dish!


Linda Reilly is excited to announce that she is currently working on the first book in her Deep Fried Mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime. The series will feature commercial-broker-turned-fry-cook Talia Marby, and is set in a charming shopping arcade in the Berkshires. She is also the author of Some Enchanted Murder, an Apple Mariani mystery (released by Five Star Publishing in March, 2013).



  1. Ah, another Massachusetts sleuth! I'll have to send my heroine Meg Corey over for lunch some day.

    I've seen tins of mushy peas in Irish markets, but the name is a bit unappealing. You certainly make it sound easy to do it yourself. And yours comes out such a pretty color!

    1. Sheila, Talia would love to have Meg join her for lunch one day! While plain old peas are unappealing to some, this recipe is both fun and easy, and might be a good way to persuade kids to eat their veggies.

      Just finished Golden Malicious . . . loved it! What a great ending.

  2. Welcome to the Kitchen, Linda, and I hope you'll cook for us again. My husband did a double-take when he saw your recipe. Turns out his mother made it all the time. She called it "mashed peas" and often added a scrambled egg topping. Think I will have to make this recipe for him in the near future. Congratulations on your new contract, and I wish you every success.

    ~ Cleo

    1. Cleo, thanks so much for the warm welcome and kind wishes. I think that a topping of scrambled eggs would make this a quick and nutritious meal in itself! Hope your hubby enjoys the recipe . . . perhaps on Thanksgiving?

  3. Linda, thanks so much for joining us today! I have an English friend who waxes poetic about Mushy Peas so I plan to try this! We love peas no matter what, and I think this will be a fun change of pace.

    1. Peg, thank you again for the invitation to guest blog. I'm learning that the English truly do love their mushy peas. Some recipes call for lemon and mint, but I like this one better. What's not to love about butter and heavy cream? Now if only they could figure out a way to remove the calories . . .

  4. Welcome, Linda! We'll be looking forward to some of your fried recipes in the future. I have to agree with Sheila that the name mushy peas isn't exactly appealing. They look delicious in your photos, though. Obviously, I've been missing out on something yummy!


    1. Thanks for the welcome, Krista. I'm excited about the prospect of conjuring up some creative things to "deep fry," especially desserts. Right now I'm thinking about deep fried marble cake with raspberry sauce. Looking forward to reading Murder, She Barked!

  5. Glad to have you here with us at MLK, Linda. What a nifty recipe. I've read about mushy peas for years, but didn't think they would be this appealing. How nice to have something new to try!

    Good luck with your new series. Sounds like great fun!


  6. Thank you, MJ! I'm thrilled to be guest blogging on MLK today. I think the beauty of the mushy peas recipe is its simplicity -- it can be whipped up at the last minute with very little effort. I'm glad you enjoyed the post, MJ!