America’s most popular vegetable is the potato. We enjoy them boiled, baked, fried, microwaved, steamed, roasted, and mashed, with or without their peels. By themselves potatoes are quite low in calories and loaded with nutrients.
“Creamers” or “new potatoes” are terms used to describe all small waxy potatoes, but technically it refers just to immature potatoes harvested in the spring and early summer. You can tell if a potato is truly new by its skin. Immature potatoes have flimsy, parchment-like skins that you can peel off with your fingers. Creamers are prized for their high moisture content, smooth texture, and because they can be cooked whole. They are especially good steamed or roasted. New potatoes are more perishable than other varieties, and need to be used within a few days of buying them.
To prepare Creamers in Dill Sauce:
- 1 pound of creamers
- 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
- 1 shallot, minced
- 4 tablespoon dill, roughly chopped
- 2 cups medium béchamel sauce
Cook potatoes until tender by gently boiling. Prepare the béchamel sauce. (Sauté the shallot in the butter used to make the roux before adding the flour). Add the peas, dill and potatoes to the sauce. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.
Some information about Potatoes:
- 1 lb of potatoes equals 4 cups diced or 1 3/4 cups mashed.
- Best for baking is the russet potato
- Best for potato salads, gratins, and scalloping are the Yellow Finn, new, red-skinned, white round, and purple potatoes.
- Best for mashing are the russet, Yukon gold, Caribe, and purple potatoes.
- Best for soups and chowders are the Yukon gold, Yellow Finn, red-skinned, white round, and purple potatoes.
- Best for pan-frying are the red-skinned, white round, new, and fingerling potatoes.
- Best for French fries are russet, purple, and Bintje potatoes.
- Best for purees are fingerling potatoes.
- Best for roasting are new, and fingerling potatoes
Potatoes with a high starch content, like russets, bake well and yield light and fluffy mashed potatoes. Those with a low starch content, like red-skinned potatoes, hold their shape after cooking, and are great for making potato salads and scalloped potatoes.
- Store potatoes in a cool, dark, dry, well-ventilated location.
- Do not refrigerate uncooked potatoes, doing so converts some of the potato’s starch to sugar.
- Do not expose potatoes to direct sunlight, it will turn them green and makes them bitter.
- Scrape away any sprouts or green spots, as they might contain a mildly toxic compound called solanine.