Duchess Potatoes! This elegant potato side dish is both beautiful and flavorful! A perfect companion for a steak dinner or special entree.
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Potatoes are one of the best side dishes for so many types of meals: steak dinners, roasted chicken, vegetarian mains, you name it! Although they're quite delicious in just about every form, sometimes it's nice to give them an elegant upgrade. Duchess Potatoes are just the recipe you need when you want to elevate your 'tater game.
What are Duchess Potatoes?
Duchess potatoes are soft, mashed potatoes that are piped into decorative swirls and baked until golden brown. As they bake, they remain creamy on the inside and lightly crisped on the outside for a mouthwatering bite that is similar to the filling of a twice-baked potato. Due to the addition of egg yolks (which help give them structure) and other ingredients such as butter, and in this recipe Boursin cheese, these pretty potato mounds are rich and decadent -- a perfect addition to a fancy dinner.
How are they made?
Don't let the elaborate look fool you, these potatoes aren't terribly difficult to make. You'll need potatoes, egg yolks, butter, and Boursin cheese for this particular recipe.
Duchess potatoes start off the same way as mashed potatoes -- peel the potatoes, cube them, and boil until tender. Then drain the potatoes and let them sit for a few minutes to dry out and cool down.
Next, the cooked potatoes are mashed with the rest of the ingredients -- eggs, butter, cheese, etc. -- until smooth, and scooped into a piping bag with a decorative tip. The mashed potatoes are piped into swirly mounds, just like the frosting on a cupcake, or into desired shapes, then brushed with butter and baked until lightly golden on the outside.
That's it! The results are impressive, but the preparation isn't terribly difficult!
What type of potatoes should I use?
For this recipe, I used Yukon gold potatoes -- they're creamy and buttery in texture with a pretty yellow hue and moderate starch content. However, Russet potatoes are a good alternative with their high starch content and fluffy texture when mashed or whipped.
What if I don't have a piping bag?
No piping bag? No problem. You can either use a zip top bag with the tip snipped to pipe the potato mixture into mounds, or simply spoon mounds onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, then use the tines of a fork to create decorative ridges. (This is what makes them look pretty when they brown in the oven.)
How to Make Ahead
One of the best things about these potatoes is that they can be prepped ahead. Follow the directions as noted, then pipe the potato mixture onto a parchment-lined baking pan. (Hold off on brushing them with butter until you're ready to bake them.) Carefully cover the pan with a piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. When you're ready to bake them, remove them from the refrigerator and brush them with melted butter and bake as directed.
Tips for Duchess Potatoes
There are a few things that will help make these potatoes perfect:
- Let the potatoes cool a bit before adding the egg yolks, otherwise you could end up scrambling the eggs.
- Mash or mix the potatoes until they're just smooth. I use my hand mixer, but you can also use a potato masher or ricer. Over-mashing or mixing potatoes will cause the mixture to become gluey, like wallpaper paste! Just mash until the lumps are gone.
- Smoother potatoes pipe better! While you don't want to over-mash, it's important that the mixture is smooth so that it doesn't clog the piping tip when you're creating your swirls. You can also use a larger star tip to ensure that there's plenty of room for the mixture to extrude through the tip.
- Get creative with your piping! Try different types of tips for unique swirls or try piping the mixture into shapes such as hearts
- To ensure that the potatoes don't spread and lose their shape and definition while they bake, it's best to place the pan of piped potatoes into the freezer for about 15 minutes before baking. This will help the mounds harden a bit and help them retain their shape.
- Some recipes call for an egg wash to be brushed onto the potatoes before baking, but I find that melted butter works just fine. Use a pastry brush to gently brush the butter onto the mounds, being careful not to flatten the swirls and ridges.
This recipe made some scrumptious potatoes, but there are other variations that would be just as good too!
- Cheesy Duchess Potatoes. Try using different cheeses such as Parmesan or Grana Padano in your potato mash to give the potatoes a cheesy twist.
- Herbed Duchess Potatoes. Finely chop some herbs and add them to the potato mixture for a fragrant punch! Rosemary, parsley, and chives are all great options.
- Roasted Garlic Duchess Potatoes. Sweet, deeply roasted garlic turns into a paste that can be added to mashed potatoes or to the potato mixture here for an aromatic take on the recipe.
- Duchess Potato Casserole. Instead of piping individual mounds, pipe the mixture into a baking dish for a casserole-style presentation. (You can also use the mixture on top of a dish like shepherd's pie instead of using plain mashed potatoes.) If you don't feel like messing with a piping bag, you can simply spread the potato mixture into a greased casserole dish, create swirls using the back of a spoon or the tines of a fork, and bake at 425 degrees for 30-40 minutes.
More Potato Side Dishes
If Duchess Potatoes aren't your thing, fear not! I've got several potato side dishes that are absolutely delicious and easy to make:
- 2 pounds yellow potatoes (or potatoes of your choice) peeled & chopped
- 5 tablespoons butter divided
- 2½ ounces Boursin garlic & herb cheese (half of a package of Boursin cheese)
- 3 egg yolks
- ¼ cup whole milk
- Fill a large pot with generously salted water. Place potatoes in pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat for about 12-15 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain and let potatoes cool and dry out for about 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a large baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Place the cooked potatoes in a large bowl; add 3 tablespoons of butter, Boursin and egg yolks (I found that mine didn't need salt, but season to taste.) Mash or mix until mostly smooth, then add milk and mix until everything is smooth and fully combined.
- Scoop the potato mixture into a large piping bag fitted with an open star tip. Pipe the mixture onto the lined baking pan into desired decorative swirls.
- Melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and gently brush over piped potato mounds, careful not to flatten the swirls.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm, garnished with fresh herbs if desired.