Duchess 

I think a lot of you probably know this by now, but in case you don’t, I’ll mention it again – Shane does not like fruits and veggies.  There are very few exceptions to this rule.  He eats potatoes, and he likes tomato sauce on his pasta, but I haven’t had much luck convincing him of the deliciousness of other options.  When it comes to potatoes, it’s white potatoes only – even though I’ve assured him several times that sweet potatoes are just as good (if not better – especially when loaded with brown sugar and cinnamon, right??) as white potatoes.  In other words, white potatoes are on the menu fairly often for dinner here and even though I’m not eating them every time he does, I still like to switch things up so it’s not always just a baked potato or roasted wedges on his plate.  Variety is a good thing when your side dish options are so limited!

Duchess

This is one of the recipes I turn to when making potatoes, and we both love them.  They’re basically just a rich mashed potato piped decoratively and baked until they have a slight crust on the outside and a creamy interior.  Two of my favorite things about this recipe – first, I get to break out my piping bag, which always makes me happy.  The potatoes pipe beautifully and mostly maintain their shape in the oven.  They spread/shrink just slightly, so keep that in mind when deciding how tall/wide to make your mounds.  The other great thing about this recipe is that you can make the potatoes ahead of time, pipe them onto the baking sheet and refrigerate for up to a day until you’re ready to bake.  It makes them the perfect option for company then since all you need to do is remove them from the fridge and bake for 15 minutes when dinner is almost ready – couldn’t be more simple! 

Duchess Potatoes

Duchess Potatoes
from Cook’s Country

3 pounds russet potatoes, scrubbed
1 cup heavy cream
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes and softened
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
pinch nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 475 F and place a rack in the upper third of your oven. 

Using a fork, pierce the potatoes all over.  Place them on a microwave safe plate and microwave until tender, about 18-25 minutes.  (We have a baked potato button on our microwave that I always use so I haven’t verified the time the recipe suggests here.)  Turn the potatoes over after 10 minutes.

When you remove the potatoes from the microwave, cut them in half and then let them cool enough that you can handle them.  Scoop the flesh of the potatoes into a large bowl and mash until no lumps remain (for the most smooth texture, use a food mill or ricer to mash the potatoes – I’ve used my ricer each time I’ve made these & had good results).  Add the cream, 3 tablespoons of the butter, the egg and egg yolk, salt, pepper, nutmeg and baking powder and stir until combined and smooth.  Let the potato mixture cool to room temperature (this will just take a few minutes) and then fold in the remaining butter until evenly distributed. 

Transfer the potato mixture to a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch star tip (if you don’t have a piping bag or tips, you can also use a resealable plastic bag to pipe the potatoes).  Pipe eight 4-inch-wide mounds of potato on a rimmed baking sheet.  Spray the mounds lightly with cooking spray then bake until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. 

To make the potatoes ahead: After piping them onto the baking sheet, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.  When you’re ready to bake, don’t forget to spray lightly with cooking spray before placing the potatoes in the oven.