Pea Pods Piper

This dish makes unique use of those de-licious-looking, crisp fresh pea pods you hate so to throw away. They are edible and taste much like Chinese peas if the tough lining is stripped off.

2 tablespoons butter or margarine 1/2 cup slivered blanched almonds 1/4 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced

2 cups shelled fresh green peas

1 cup stripped pea pods, coarsely chopped in 1-inch pieces (see following instructions for stripping off tough lining)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup regular-strength chicken or beef broth

Melt butter in a frying pan over medium heat and saute almonds until golden; remove almonds with slotted spoon and set aside. Add mushrooms to pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until juices have evaporated and mushrooms are golden; remove from pan and set aside.

Add peas, pea pods, salt, and broth to the pan; cover and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, or until tender. Return mushrooms and almonds to pan; heat about 1 minute more. Makes 4 servings.

To Strip Pea Pods. Shell peas. Hold each half of the pod about 1 inch from its stem end. Fold the pod in toward the lining. This will break the crisp, edible outside portion, but not the tough inside membrane. Holding onto the stem end with one hand and the pod with the other, gently pull the membrane down and away from the pod. It usually will come off in one sheet.

With practice, you will acquire the knack of preparing the pods very quickly. If they break or do not strip easily, throw them away. You only need 1 cup.



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