Creamed potatoes are a Grandma thing. I don’t think my Mother ever made them but when we had special meals at Grandma Lil’s, I loved those creamed potatoes. I’d never thought to make them until recently. Creamed potatoes were one of the choices at the VFW fish fry the other night and someone’s grandma must have made them. They were creamy perfection!
I went home and did my handy-dandy Google image search for “creamed potatoes”. About 98% of the pictures that came up were pictures of mashed potatoes! Really, has nobody had a grandma who made them in chunks? Creamy, melt in your mouth chunks of deliciousness?
I finally found a recipe on Saveur for Sister Mildred’s Creamed Potatoes. Sister Mildred was from a Shaker colony in Maine and the recipe looked simple and how I remembered them. Well there wasn’t a picture, but they seemed right. I read the comments and silly people needed more fluff and stuff added, they thought they were boring. That was the charm of creamed potatoes, people! Potatoes, butter, cream, salt. Simple perfection.
I peeled and cut 4 medium russets and put them into a saucepan with enough cold water to cover. I let them come to a boil then reduced the heat to medium and let them cook for 3 minutes. That was enough for a good start, they’d simmer more later.
I drained the potatoes and set them aside in a bowl. I added the butter and cream to the saucepan with a large pinch of salt and let them heat until there were bubbles around the outsides.
I added the potatoes back to the saucepan, stirred well and let them simmer for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so.
When the cream was mostly all absorbed into the potatoes they were done. I taste tested for seasoning, adding more salt and a little pepper. They were ready to eat!
My P.S. (Plays at Smoking&Grilling/hubby) grilled us chicken thighs he’d marinated in a Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette and I served up the creamed potatoes and some steamed asparagus. Crispy, fruity grilled chicken with the creamy potatoes and slightly crunchy asparagus.. Life was good.
My recipe was for 2 large sides. You could serve 4 small sides or just increase the recipe to serve more people.
3 large russet potatoes (I used 4 smaller potatoes)
8 tablespoons butter (1 stick)
1 cup half-and-half (or be wanton and use heavy cream)
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh parsley or chives (optional)
Peel and cut potatoes into ½” cubes. Put into a medium pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until potatoes are fork tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Melt butter in same pot over medium heat. Add half-and-half and bring to a gentle simmer. Add potatoes, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring very gently from time to time, until nearly all the cream mixture has been absorbed by the potatoes, about 20 minutes. If the mixture gets too thick add more cream or milk.
Add salt and pepper to taste and garnish with chopped fresh chives or parsley, if desired.
Adapted from Saveur