The ultimate Easter side dish, Creamed Peas with Bacon + Mint feature a delicious combo of flavors and textures from sweet green peas, fresh sugar snaps, salty bacon, a decadent cream sauce, and refreshing pops of mint!
Heat a large skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and butter and swirl to coat. Add the sugar snap peas, salt, and pepper, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sugar snaps are crisp-tender. Stir in the thawed green peas and cook while stirring for 1 minute more, until just heated through. Transfer the peas to a bowl and set aside.
Add bacon to skillet and cook over medium heat until crispy. Remove bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Once bacon has cooled, crumble or dice it.
Discard all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease (and if there's not enough bacon grease in the skillet, add olive oil so that the total drippings in the pan equal 2 tablespoons). Add flour to the drippings and whisk continuously for 1 minute. Slowly and gradually stir in the chicken broth, whisking until smooth. Add the heavy cream. Whisk continuously until the sauce is reduced by 1/3, about 5 to 10 minutes.
Add peas back to the sauce. Cook, stirring, until heated through, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the fresh lemon juice and season with additional salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Transfer peas in cream sauce to a serving bowl or platter, and top with crumbled bacon and fresh minced mint. Serve immediately.
To trim sugar snap peas, cut the stem end from each pod and pull downward to remove the string.
If bacon strips are too long for your skillet, cut them in half. You may also cook the bacon already diced, if you prefer.
Do not overcook your peas or they will become mushy and lose their bright green color.
A little bit of mint goes a long way, so add as much as you wish.