One of my favorite meals this time of the year is creamed new potatoes (I prefer reds) with either peas or beans, or both, along with a couple of fresh tomatoes and maybe a sliced cucumber in a little vinegar (you also could add some onion).
I’ve come up with pretty good bechamel (white) sauce for the vegetables, which is an improvisation of one in my Fanny Farmer cookbook.
However, there is one that I’ve found comparable. I’ve had it at Al’s Grill and Catering on Gateway Drive in Grand Forks. It’s also served over small new potatoes.
A reader, Jan, recently wrote and asked if I had any idea where she could find a recipe similar to the white sauce used on the baby reds at Al’s. Being pretty proud of my white sauce, I’ve decided to share the recipe for it with her and the rest of my readers.
New Potatoes and Peas with Bechamel Sauce
6 to 8 small new potatoes, with skins
2 cups shelled peas or 2 cups string beans, ends removed
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 to 3 tablespoons flour
1¼ cups milk
Steam potatoes and peas (or beans or both) in separate pots until tender. Set aside.
Melt butter in a saucepan and add olive oil. When pan is hot, add flour and stir into butter and olive oil, making a paste. While the paste is forming, warm the milk, either in the microwave or another pot. Once the flour/butter mixture starts to bubble, add the warm milk and mix until sauce thickens. Pour potatoes and peas and serve.