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TV Dinner Peas And Carrots

A revived take on the classic frozen side dish.
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The classic nostalgic side of peas and carrots gets a major overall. Here, these TV Peas and Carrots partner with savory sauteed onions, melted butter, and tons of fresh parsley. The result is a side brimming with fresh herbaceous highlights alongside rich savory notes of flavor.

Whether you ate them or not, there’s something nostalgic, something very American about the frozen TV dinner. In reality, the item was a novelty. Created to deal with surplus food, TV dinners were not easy to heat up nor did they have particularly fantastic results. Regardless, the image of gravy-smothered meat patties, a swirled mound of mashed potatoes, and a colorful fiesta medley of peas and carrots compartmentalized in a glistening aluminum tray was an iconic image of food novelty. The TV meal combined a variety of flash-frozen products into one meal and started a domino effect changing how people bought and consumed. Seasonality of ingredients was significantly changed, and reduced, forever changing the American diet.

While we can all go to the frozen aisle and buy ourselves a steam-able bag of peas and carrots, the results are lackluster at best, but this retro side shouldn’t be discarded to the wayside. Quick and simple adjustments can turn benign into brilliant.

Here, this recipe only calls for frozen peas. For this recipe, fresh carrots are used. Peeling, dicing, and boiling carrots yields a better texture and preserves the carrots’ natural sweetness.

After the diced carrots are boiled and the peas defrosted, go ahead, and saute your diced onions with butter.

Once they’re translucent, add in your peas and carrots, tossing well to combine.

Add in the fresh chopped parsley alongside salt and pepper.

This version of TV Dinner Peas and Carrots may seem like nothing to ride home about, but the flavors and textures are far from your average frozen side. The parsley gives the dish a fresh vegetal brightness, while the onions contribute a sweet but savory aroma and flavor. The butter coats the peas and carrots and helps the salt and pepper stick to each and every bite.

While nostalgia is always good, an occasional update every now and then doesn’t hurt.

Yield(s): Serves 4

15m prep time

10m cook time

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Ingredients
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch dices
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 10 to 12 ounces frozen peas, defrosted
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, roughly chopped
Preparation
  1. In a small pot, bring water to a boil and cook the carrots, cooking until fork tender, about 4 to 6 minutes. Strain and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt butter and sauté onions until soft and translucent.
  3. Add in peas and carrots, stirring well to combine.
  4. Cook until the peas and carrots are warm and cooked through.
  5. Season with salt and pepper. Toss in parsley.
  6. Serve and enjoy!