Monday, March 19, 2012

Pretty Peas

Warm spring weather has me thinking about gardening. I always plant the same things: tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, acorn and/or butternut squash, cucumbers, radishes, some lettuce and spinach, and my herbs. Last year, I added strawberries to my garden, and I am in love with the asparagus patch. I have tried my hand at Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower, but am not fond of the never ending battle to keep the little green worms at bay.

Basically, I am a lazy gardener. I think that is why I haven't planted green beans. I have memories of what seemed like hours and hours spent picking green beans from my mother's garden as a child. (Followed by hours and hours of sweating in a hot kitchen over a pressure cooker to can said green beans in mason jars as a store for winter.) I love green beans, but those hours and hours are lost forever...not that I probably had anything better to do.

This spring, this lazy gardener has a desire for green beans and peas. I am not sure that my small garden space can handle enough rows to be worthwhile (while still limited to few enough rows to hold my interest without seeming taxing). Pretty peas of fresh sweetness. Crisp, but tender green beans. I am thinking about it. We will see what I plant...

(adapted from Food Network Magazine)

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
flour, for dredging
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 small yellow onion, chopped 
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 cups snow peas, stemmed and sliced

Preheat oven to 200F.
Butterfly the chicken breast.
Place chicken between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet until uniform thickness.
Cut each chicken breast into 2 pieces (making 4 portions).
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
Dredge the cutlets in flour, shaking off any excess.
Cook until golden, about 2 minutes per side.
Transfer to a baking dish; cover loosely with foil; keep warm in the oven.
Add the butter to the hot skillet.
Add the onions and saute until tender.
Add the mushrooms and brown.
Pour in the broth and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
Cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
Add the cream and boil until sauce thickens slightly, about 3 additional minutes.
Stir in the snow peas and heat through.
Season with salt and pepper.
Serve the chicken topped with the creamy vegetables. (Garlic mashed potatoes are a great comfort on the side.) (Serves 4)


  1. Mmmm -- garden fresh peas!
    I was scarred by excessive green bean consumption as a youth.
    I love these melons (perfect for two people!)
    and like growing beets and arugula or chard also.

    My eccentric bachelor hermit friend likes growing broccoli for the extra bit of protein the little green worms provide.


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