Armistice Day Recipe: Give “Peas” a Chance (Peas & Mushrooms Au Gratin)

12 Nov

For a printable version of this recipe and complete ingredients listing, click here.

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You won't have to convince anyone to eat their peas with this recipe!

Yesterday was Veteran’s (Armistice) Day, and I decided to challenge myself to come up with a new recipe for peas, one of the most boring sides I could think of, with my day off work.

After tooling around with ideas from green bean casseroles I’d read and crossing my fingers that there was an answer that didn’t involve French’s brand fried pubes onions, I created a new recipe that actually turned out to be pretty decent. Also, no gross or unidentified fried curlies were harmed in the making of this recipe. You may proceed with confidence.

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Add the flour and spices directly to the onions for optimal seasoning.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Begin by melting 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Dice a yellow onion and add to the pan; saute until tender.

Add in 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (or black) pepper, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1 chicken boullion cube (or substitute salt if you don’t have any boullion). While there is still some

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Add milk slowly and stir regularly until cream sauce achieves a slow simmer.

 excess butter in the pan, stir in 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour until onion sauce is slightly thickened.

Pour 2 cups milk into the pan and stir frequently to avoid scorching or sticking. Continue to heat over medium burner until mixture begins to simmer.

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No need to thaw the peas before adding them!

Stir in 2 cups frozen peas and 1 small can mushroom pieces & stems (drained); return to simmer and cook until peas are thoroughly heated (but have not yet become little green balls of mushy poison).

Gradually sprinkle in 1/2 cup shredded colby cheese; stir until melted. Turn off heat.

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Canned mushrooms inexpensively lend a "meaty" texture and color contrast to the peas.

Transfer mixture to a small baking dish. Sprinkle additional 1/2 cup shredded cheese over top of mixture.

Top with 1/2 cup fine bread crumbs (or crushed crackers would work instead). Absolutely no fried onions–do you hear me?–or we are no longer friends. Hmpf.

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I could smell the aroma of this baking from the front porch!

Bake uncovered 10-15 minutes, depending on size & depth of baking dish.

Remove from oven when mixture is bubbling around the edges. Serve immediately.

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