I am a big fan of mashed potatoes and, unless I’m eating them every night with dinner, I don’t tire of them easily. But as with chocolate chip cookies, I like a little variety now and again and don’t want to make the same recipe over and over without trying anything new. In this case, the “new” recipe I’m talking about is an old one: Duchess Potatoes. Duchess potatoes are potatoes that are mashed with eggs, butter and seasonings, then piped into swirling shapes and baked until golden.
Start this side dish, you simply boil potatoes and mash them up, then let them cool enough to mix in some butter, an egg and some seasonings. I’ve kept it very simple in this recipe, using just butter, salt and pepper. You can dress them up by mixing in some Parmesan cheese, roasted garlic, fresh rosemary or any other herb that you might pair with potatoes. The mixture should be stiffer than regular mashed potatoes because you want it to hold its shape when piped. The finished product is a potato this is crisp on the outside, creamy on the inside and a great accompaniment for any meal.
Duchess potatoes are fun to make because they let you play with your food a little bit, and they make for a very nice presentation when you serve them. You’ll need a piping bag and a large star tip to really get the best results, and I’d highly recommend using a sturdy piping bag – not just a Ziploc bag, which you can substitute in when piping frosting – because the potato mixture is thick and will be difficult to handle in a thin bag. Although I start this recipe from scratch, you can use leftover mashed potatoes (warmed to room temperature) in place of the freshly cooked potatoes and incorporate the same extra ingredients to make those leftovers something special.
As with any mashed potato recipe, feel free to use a few more or a few less potatoes and to adjust the seasonings to your personal tastes!
2 lbs russet/baking potatoes
1/2 cup butter, plus additional for topping
salt and pepper, to taste
1 large egg
Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
Peel and quarter potatoes and place in a large pot of boiling water. Cook until fork tender (time will vary by size of the potatoes). Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
Add butter and seasonings and mash potatoes well. Allow mixture to cool for 10-15 minutes, until potatoes are not hot to the touch, then mash in the egg until potatoes are smooth.
Transfer potatoes to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe potatoes onto baking sheet to form swirling peaks (about 2-inches across). Brush gently with additional melted butter.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.