ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Frozen Peas” from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, by Julia Child et. al.*
TIMING: 10 minutes
TOOLS: A small sauce pan, which is nothing special
COOK TYPE: Stovetop
HEALTH: Sure, fresh peas would be better in almost every way, but there’s nothing terribly wrong with serving up a side of frozen peas for dinner, especially when you have Julia Child making sure your frozen peas taste better than frozen peas have a right to. Let’s be honest: I always keep peas and sweet corn in my freezer, because they are two of the best frozen-to-meal veggies out there.
EXPERIENCE: I wanted a veggie to go with my classic French dinner, but I didn’t have much. I knew that I had frozen peas, though, because I always do, and I also thought I remembered that Mastering the Art of French Cooking had recipes which attempted to save canned or frozen peas. I opened up the book and yes, there they were. So, proceed.
My husband and I were both pleasantly surprised by this recipe. The peas looked a tad overcooked, but they tasted really nice. I highly recommend it.
NOTES: If, horror of horrors, you have canned peas on hand, you’ll want to source Child’s French Cooking for the recipe that she has specifically for canned peas.
- Partly defrost 10 oz frozen peas either by leaving them out or running them under cool water in a fine-mesh strainer.
- In a small sauce pan over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon minced shallots, 1/4 teaspoon salt, a hefty pinch pepper, and 1/2 cup chicken or mushroom stock. Bring to a boil.
- Add the peas, stir, and cover. Reduce heat to simmer for 5 minutes.
- Uncover and increase heat, boiling off any remaining liquid. Taste for seasonings.
Serve with almost anything, although you want to avoid serving in the springtime, when fresh peas would be available and much appreciated. These would be great whipped up any weeknight, and just as helpful and tasty on a holiday table.
*Recipe changed from the original.