Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Spring peas need to be bright green

A light, springtime favorite that goes together easily. These peas are as far away from the school cafeteria "Army men" as you can get. If you use fresh peas, they'll need to simmer longer in more chicken stock.

2 pounds frozen peas (or freshly shelled green peas)
1/2 cup diced ham
1 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning.
In a saucepan, bring the chicken broth, ham and Italian seasoning to a simmer and let the herbs steep a minute or two. Add the peas, salt, pepper and butter. Cover the pan and let the peas simmer and steam a few minutes until they're just done.
Don't overcook them, because they were cooked quite a bit before they were frozen. They should still be firm and a beautiful bright green.If you use freshly shelled peas, simmer them, covered, along with the herbs and ham for about 8 minutes, then check to see if they're done.