Duchess Potatoes

December 4th, 2020

These beautiful piped Duchess Potatoes make the perfect accompaniment to any holiday dinner. The added advantage is that you can pipe them ahead of time onto the baking sheets and bake them right before dinner.

Duchess Potatoes are mashed potatoes that are flavored with butter, cream, nutmeg and egg yolks. The potato mixture is put in a pastry bag using a star tip. My Daughter-In-Law made these over the Thanksgiving holiday and our 9 year old Grandson loved them. He said the crispy edges made the mashed potatoes delicious.

All of us are scaling back this Christmas. But we can still enjoy good food and the love our families, even if it is at a distance.

Duchess Potatoes

  • 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 egg yolks

1 Boil the potatoes: Place potatoes in a medium to large pot (3 qt) and cover with a couple inches of cold water. Add a couple teaspoons of salt to the water. Bring to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender (the tines of a fork easily pierce), about 20-25 minutes.

2 Melt butter, preheat oven: While the potatoes are boiling, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and set aside. You will use this butter to coat the potatoes right before they go in the oven. Preheat the oven to 425°.

3 Drain potatoes and let them release steam: When the potatoes are cooked, drain in a colander and put the potatoes back in the pot set over low heat. Allow them to release steam for a minute or so.

4 Using a ricer, run the potatoes in batches through the device into a large bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of butter and mash the potatoes until the butter has been incorporated. Add the nutmeg, black pepper, heavy cream and continue gently stirring the potatoes.

Once everything is incorporated, add salt to taste and the egg yolks.

Continue to mix until the mixture is smooth. Do not over-mix or your potatoes will end up with a gluey consistency.

5 Pipe onto a baking sheet, brush with melted butter: Using a piping bag with a large star point, pipe the potatoes onto a cookie sheet. Alternatively, you can just fill a casserole dish with the mashed potatoes, and use a fork to create lots of peaks on the surface.

The swirled edges from the star-point piping bag forms or the peaks of mashed potatoes in a casserole dish will brown nicely in the oven. The browned parts taste great, so you want to maximize them.

Whether you make piped portions or a casserole, paint the potatoes with the melted butter.

6 Bake: Bake in the 425°F oven until nicely browned, about 20 minutes.

Printable Recipe

Bubble and Squeak

October 31st, 2013

I created this quintessential version of British pub fare out of necessity.  I had leftover mashed potatoes and a half of a head of Savoy cabbage just waiting in the crisper.  The British dish of bubble and squeak is said to have been named after the sounds that the potato and cabbage mixture makes as it sautes.  Our trip to England a few years ago was an impressive experience on many levels.  But the food was not one of them.   However there are many dishes that the British do well.  I love Jamie Oliver’s Steak and Guinness Pie that I blogged about here.  I did a French version of Shepherd’s pie on this post.  Bangers and Mash are right up my alley.  And now I can wholeheartedly recommend Bubble and Squeak.

What is not to love about buttery mashed potatoes paired with sauteed cabbage.  If you leave it in the skillet for a while it will develop a nice brown crisp exterior.  I did not cook my mixture to a crisp, but loved the way that it is easy to mold it into a round disc of goodness.  The cabbage lightens the potatoes without being intrusive.  As a matter of fact, I would call this a perfect marriage of ingredients.

This went particularly well with the pork roast I had made.  British food may not be my favorite cuisine, but you have to give them credit for their imaginative food names.  How many of the following can you identify:  Sussex heavies, brewis, covach, water souchy, buckings, solloghan, whipped syllabub, oon, rumbledethumps, inky pinky, baps, haggamuggie, snoodie, clod, claggaum fadge, blaaad, curlie-murlies, or fairy butter?  For now, I am sticking to bubble and squeak.

So bubble, bubble, toil and trouble.  Happy Halloween everyone.  The above picture was taken at a recent visit to Replacements LTD, a wonderful warehouse and showroom for your favorite china patterns and more.

BUBBLE AND SQUEAK (Adapted from Gourmet Magazine)

1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 pound Savoy cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cover potatoes with cold salted water and bring to a boil, then boil, uncovered, until tender when pierced with a sharp knife, about 18 minutes.  Drain in a colander.

Heat butter in a 10-inch heavy nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then saute cabbage with salt and pepper, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 minutes.

Add potatoes, mashing and stirring them into cabbage while leaving some lumps and pressing to form a cake.

Cook, without stirring, until underside is crusty and golden, about 10 minutes.

Printable recipe

Parmesan Baked Potato Halves

May 16th, 2013

This is one of my favorite ways to do baked potatoes for a crowd.  I have always done a version of these, but was able to update my procedure from a recipe that appeared on Pinterest.  It came from the blog Family Favorite Recipes.  I had always cut baking potatoes in half, added salt, pepper and spices or herbs, then put a pat of butter  on each cut side and cooked them cut side down on a cookie sheet in the oven.  This recipe had a few additions and tweaks  and that made all of the difference.  Crusty parmesan went a long way to take these potatoes over the top.

These potatoes are baked in a 9×13-inch pan which has been coated with melted butter, grated Parmesan cheese, garlic powder and any herbs or spices that you prefer.  The recipe can be adjusted to the number of people that you are serving.  Since I am a lone diner this week, I made 3 potatoes and plan to make several meals from them.  If you have a crowd you can double the recipe and do two pans.  Serve with sour cream and chives or do like I do and add a splash of vinegar.



  • 6 medium baking potatoes, scrubbed and cut in half
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • grated Parmesan cheese to taste,
  • garlic powder
  • other seasonings (to personal preference)


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt butter and pour into a 9×13 inch pan and spread evenly across the bottom. Generously sprinkle parmesan cheese and lightly sprinkle other seasonings all over the butter. Place potato halves face down on the butter and seasonings. Place in preheated oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan. Serve on a plate with a side of sour cream for dipping.

Printable recipe

Individual Potato Gratins (Gratin du Jabron)

February 13th, 2013

What could be better than a crispy, crusty potato gratin?  When cooked in a single large casserole that crispy goodness is limited to the edges.  But when cooked in small gratin dishes it is everywhere.  I improvised by using my small tartlet pans because that was all I had.  I had to wrap the bottom and outside with foil so that the butter and cream wouldn’t seep out.

I bought a big wedge of Gruyere cheese while at Costco last week.  It is one of my favorite cheeses for potato dishes and quiches.  It was wonderful on this gratin.  I adapted the recipe from one in a Patricia Wells cookbook.  She says the recipe was named for the Jabron river in the Drome region of France.  It is served at the Relais and Chateaux designated hotel and restaurant La Bonne Etape.

The charming restaurant has earned one Michelin star and, although it is elegant, it is known for its classic bistro-style cooking.  I love the beamed ceiling and antique furniture.  The grounds include an organic garden, swimming pool and lovely outdoor seating.  It has been run by the Gleize family for generations.  It would be a great vacation destination someday.  It won’t be this year, although we are going back to France.  Our summer trip this year will be a motorcycle tour led by our intrepid French friends Laurent and Carole.  They have traveled the world on their bike.  Laurent wants to start a motorcycle tour business and we and our riding buddies from our Alaska trip will be his first customers.  He is taking us from the Loire Valley up to Normandy and Omaha Beach, then down into Dordorgne, Perigord and into Provence.  It will be a two week ride.  David and I will then spend three days in Paris before flying home.  I can hardly wait to go back.

In the meantime I will enjoy this little taste of France.



4 medium to large russet potatoes, peeled
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 large cloves of garlic, finely minced
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 to 3/4 cup freshly grated Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup heavy cream

Place the potatoes in a single layer in a saucepan.  Cover with water, add salt to taste.  Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until nealy cooked through but still firm in the center, about 15 minutes.  Drain and let cool.  Cut into thin slices (This step can be done several hours in advance.)

Preheat the broiler.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  When hot, add the potatoes and garlic and saute, shaking the pan from time to time, until nicely browned, about 10 minutes.

With a spoon, transfer the potatoes to 4 individual 6-inch round gratin dishes.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle with cheese, dot with the cream.  Broil until brown and bubble, about 2 minutes.  4 servings.

Printable recipe

Austrian Potato Salad

January 17th, 2013

I have always been aware of French potato salad, hot German potato salad and good old American potato salad.  But Austrian potato salad is a new one to me.      I know now that Wolfgang Puck has a wonderful recipe for warm Austrian potato salad.  I found this particular recipe because I could not sleep.  Sometimes we insomniacs get up in the middle of the night to read in the hopes that it will lull us back into sleep.  I finished the last 20 pages of the novel I was reading and still wasn’t tired.  There was a stack of  old Cooks Illustrated magazines sitting on my book shelf, so I dragged them out hoping that another half hour of perusing their pages would do the trick and send me back to bed.  I found the recipe for this potato salad and became intrigued, as I always am by any potato recipe.  But the question that nagged at me was – “What makes Austrian potato salad different from German potato salad?”  Or American for that matter?

The difference is American potato salad is mayonnaise-based.  German potato salad has bacon in it.  Austrian potato salad is lighter; using very little fat.  Instead it uses the starch from the potatoes by mashing a few chunks into chicken broth to form a thick and velvety dressing.  It still has the tang of vinegar and a crunch with cornichons and diced red onions.  Unfortunately, when I made it the next day I did not have cornichons.  So I substituted the pickled red onions that I had made in my previous post.  Also instead of chives, I used parsley.  The dish is forgiving of these substitutions.

Traditionally Austrian potato salad (erdapfelsalat) is served with Wiener Schnitzel.  We had it with grilled barbecued ribs.  I highly recommend it.  Sometimes insomnia is a good thing.



2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (about 4 large), peeled, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
Table salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 small red onion, chopped fine
6 cornichons (pickles), minced (about 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
Ground black pepper

1. Bring potatoes, broth, water, 1 teaspoon salt, sugar and 1 tablespoon vinegar to boil in 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook until potatoes offer no resistance when pierced with paring knife, 15 to 17 minutes.  Remove cover, increase heat to high (so cooking liquid will reduce), and cook 2 minutes.

2. Drain potatoes in colander ser over large bowl, reserving cooking liquid.  Set drained potatoes aside.  Pour off and discard all but 1/2 cup cooking liquid (if 1/2 cup liquid does not remain, add water to make 1/2 cup).  Whisk remaining tablespoon vinegar, mustard, and oil into cooking liquid.

3. Add 1/2 cup cooked potatoes to bowl with cooking liquid mixture and mash with potato masher or fork until thick sauce forms (mixture will be slightly chunky).  Add remaining potatoes, onion, cornichons, and chives, folding gently with rubber spatula to combine.  Season to taste with salt and black pepper.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

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© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.