Welcome to installment #3 in the CEBH Cashew Cream Recipe Series! Today I’m sharing a recipe for cashew “creamed” peas & potatoes that take me right back in time to my childhood!
My grandparents were highly influential in my life when I was growing up. My brother and I spent many weekends with them on their acreage in rural Iowa, or at their summer place along the Mississippi River. Back in the 1950’s and early 60’s they owned and operated a small local cafe. After they closed their restaurant my grandpa became the head chef at a small private college. My grandma was a fantastic home cook as well, so when we were with them we always knew we’d have fun, we’d get put to work, we’d laugh…a lot, and we’d eat really well!
Of course, living in the country they tended a huge garden every summer. When I think of all the wonderful meals that came from that garden it makes nostalgic for the good ol’ days! One of my favorite dishes that my grandma made with her fresh garden produce was creamed peas and new potatoes. It’s one of my all time favorite foods – a comfort food in so many ways for me! It reminds me of hours spent sitting on the porch shelling peas with my grandma. It reminds me of sitting at the table in her kitchen just visiting while she cooked dinner. And it reminds me of my grandpa who typically was outside tending to the few animals they had, and who always came in late for dinner!
This recipe hits all the right notes for me! Some fake-out recipes are just that….fakes! But this one knocked my socks off when I made it! It tastes EXACTLY like the creamed peas and potatoes of my youth! I gave my mom a dish and even she had no idea that it wasn’t the old fashioned cream sauce made from butter, flour, and milk! I figure if I can fool my mom then I’ve really accomplished something big!
Ideally I would have liked to use fresh peas and new potatoes, but alas….there were none of either to be found at farmers market. I did however, get a bag of baby potatoes from the store, and a bag of petite frozen peas that worked perfectly in this recipe! The only other thing I tweaked was that I added some fresh dill. I feel like it brightened the flavor of this dish tremendously – it was just what it needed to become a modern version of a classic recipe!
Ingredients are so simple for this dish! Potatoes, peas, cashew cream, salt & pepper, and fresh dill! The real secret, and this is very important, DO NOT OVERCOOK THE POTATOES!!!! I don’t mean to yell, but overcooking the potatoes is a critical error that people tend to make quite often when cooking with potatoes. In my opinion, the only time potatoes should be cooked to complete softness is when they’re bound for the masher! Otherwise, for heaven’s sake, cook the potatoes to just al dente. You’ll be so much happier with your finished dish! I promise you that this is more important than you might think. Mushy potatoes break up when combined with the rest of the ingredients, and they also tend to soak up all your creamy sauce, so the result is just dry and pasty and not at all appetizing!
First you’ll need to clean and cut the potatoes into large bite-sized pieces, then boil them in very lightly salted water until they’re almost al dente. Then toss the peas into the pot with the potatoes and continue cooking just a couple more minutes – really just long enough to ensure that the peas are heated through. Remove from heat, drain the water and pour into a serving bowl. Add the cashew cream, the fresh dill, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir it all together and serve hot. If your cashew cream is cold from the fridge mix the peas and potatoes in the pan they were cooked in. This should be enough to heat the sauce, but if not, warm the cashew “creamed’ peas & potatoes over low heat until it’s all evenly warmed! See…easy peasy! Get it….”peas”y! Sorry, I crack myself up!!
- 2 lbs potatoes, cut into large bite sized pieces
- 2 cups fresh or frozen peas
- 1 cup cashew cream (recipe link found above or at cookeatbehealthy.com)
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
- 1 clove, or about 1 tsp minced garlic
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Place potatoes in a large pot of lightly salted cold water and bring to a boil.
- Boil potatoes until almost al dente, then add peas and continue to cook until they are heated through, about 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and drain.
- Stir in cashew cream, dill, garlic, and salt & pepper.
- Serve immediately.
- Add more cashew cream as needed to reach desired consistency.
- Leftovers can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for several days.
- When reheating you may need to add a little water to thin the "cream".