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Creamed Potatoes and Peas

Creamed Potatoes and Peas: A Comforting Classic

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Creamed potatoes and peas offer a taste of nostalgia, reminiscent of hearty family meals and cozy gatherings. This simple yet satisfying dish combines tender potatoes, sweet peas, and a creamy sauce infused with comforting flavors. Perfect as a side dish or a standalone comfort food, creamed potatoes and peas are sure to become a staple in your recipe repertoire.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs small potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions:

  1. Prepare Potatoes: Start by peeling and dicing the small potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Rinse them thoroughly under cold water to remove excess starch.
  2. Cook Potatoes: Place the diced potatoes in a large pot and cover them with water. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender. Drain the potatoes and set them aside.
  3. Cook Peas: If using frozen peas, cook them according to the package instructions. If using fresh peas, blanch them in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, then drain and set aside.
  4. Prepare Cream Sauce: In a separate saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in the all-purpose flour to create a roux. Cook the roux for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, until it turns golden brown and develops a nutty aroma.
  5. Add Milk: Gradually pour in the milk, whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Cook the sauce for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until it thickens to your desired consistency.
  6. Season: Season the cream sauce with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and garlic powder (if using), adjusting the seasoning to taste.
  7. Combine: Add the cooked potatoes and peas to the cream sauce, stirring gently to coat them evenly. Allow the mixture to simmer for a few minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
  8. Garnish and Serve: Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the chopped fresh parsley. Transfer the creamed potatoes and peas to a serving dish and garnish with additional parsley if desired. Serve hot and enjoy!

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Creamier Texture: For an even creamier sauce, substitute part of the milk with heavy cream or half-and-half. This will add richness and depth to the dish.
  • Cheesy Twist: Add a handful of grated cheddar or Parmesan cheese to the cream sauce for a cheesy variation. Stir until the cheese is melted and incorporated into the sauce.
  • Herb Infusion: Experiment with different herbs and spices to customize the flavor profile of the dish. Rosemary, thyme, or chives can add a burst of freshness, while paprika or nutmeg can lend subtle warmth.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

  • Keto-Friendly: To make this recipe keto-friendly, substitute the potatoes with cauliflower florets. Cook the cauliflower until tender, then proceed with the recipe as directed. Additionally, use a low-carb milk alternative such as almond milk or coconut milk, and thicken the sauce with xanthan gum instead of flour.
  • Low-Carb: For a lower-carb version, reduce the amount of potatoes or peas used in the recipe and increase the proportion of non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli or green beans. You can also omit the flour altogether and rely on heavy cream or cream cheese to thicken the sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use larger potatoes instead of small ones? A: While small potatoes are preferred for their quick cooking time and tender texture, you can certainly use larger potatoes in this recipe. Simply dice them into smaller pieces to ensure even cooking.

Q: Can I make this dish ahead of time? A: Yes, creamed potatoes and peas can be prepared ahead of time and reheated before serving. Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.

Q: Can I freeze creamed potatoes and peas? A: Cream-based dishes like this one may not freeze well due to the dairy content, which can separate and become grainy upon thawing. It’s best to enjoy this dish fresh for the best texture and flavor.

Q: Can I add protein to this dish? A: Absolutely! You can add cooked chicken, ham, or bacon to the creamed potatoes and peas for added protein and flavor. Simply stir in the cooked protein along with the potatoes and peas before serving.

Creamed potatoes and peas offer a comforting and satisfying meal that’s perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re looking for a cozy side dish to accompany your favorite entrees or craving a simple yet delicious comfort food fix, this recipe fits the bill. With its creamy texture, savory flavors, and versatile nature, creamed potatoes and peas are sure to become a beloved addition to your culinary repertoire. Give this recipe a try and savor the warmth and nostalgia it brings with every bite!

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