Long considered way too fancy to make at home, duchess potatoes are actually insanely easy to make at home. Perfect for a flashy appetizer or just for a decadent side dish, these attractive potatoes are surprisingly suited to home cooking.
Looking for inspiration for dishes that you can serve with your duchess potatoes? Why not learn How to Cook a Perfect Porterhouse Steak? Or, for a fish option, try this Fast and East Lemon Garlic Grilled Salmon!
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Duchess potatoes are that one dish you see at fancy restaurants usually served alongside a super expensive steak.
Instead of a glob of thick mashed potatoes, duchess potatoes are usually beautifully piped and browned and seem impossible to try and make at home.
However, with the right ingredients and a piping bag, you too can make these gorgeous little puffs of potato to serve to your guests as an appetizer or just eat them on your own at home as part of a big fancy meal for a treat.
What Are The Best Potatoes For This Recipe?
While most people probably just assume that any potato is usable for any kind of potato dish, there is actually a huge amount of differences between two even very similar-looking types of potatoes.
Generally speaking, all potato varieties exist in one of two types: waxy or starchy.
Starchy potatoes, as the name would suggest, have a ton more free starch floating around in their flesh, whereas waxy potatoes have less and are a lot waxier. Interestingly, waxy potatoes will fall apart less after cooking.
For this kind of recipe, any kind of starchy potatoes, such as a Yukon Gold or a nice, thick Russet, would work best. These types of potatoes have a huge amount of excess starch and then break apart really well and blend up nicely with all of the rest of the ingredients.
What Cheese Could You Use Instead Of Parmesan?
Parmesan cheese is frequently recommended for use in these kinds of recipes for a good reason – not only does it have a ton of salty, umami flavor, but it is also capable of blending in and acting as a flavor enhancer for other ingredients.
While parmesan is probably the perfect cheese for adding a bit of subtle cheesiness to your duchess potatoes, you absolutely could substitute them for something else.
There are other cheeses that are very similar to parmesan, like pecorino, but you could totally use an entirely different type of cheese instead.
A sharp cheddar grated really fine would also work really well, thought it might make it taste a bit too cheesy.
If you wanted to avoid using cheese altogether, you could even try using nutritional yeast! This powdery, umami-filled yeast has a really strong cheese flavor, so it is perfect as a vegan substitute for cheese.
Why Is There Nutmeg In This Savory Recipe?
A lot of savory recipes that involve a solid carb base, like Mac and cheese or many potato dishes, will use a surprising ingredient: nutmeg.
To most people, nutmeg is purely a sweet spice, meant to be added to pumpkin pie or cookies to enhance other sweet flavors, so what is it doing in this potato recipe?
Well, nutmeg is just one of those surprising little spices that can manage to work their way into all sorts of different recipes.
Nutmeg Amplifies Comforting Flavors
When added to a sweet dessert, nutmeg helps to amplify and reinforce those warming, comforting flavors.
However, when added to a savory dish like this one, nutmeg does something really special – it almost disappears.
A bit like a tiny touch of espresso powder in a brownie or using only a little bit of cayenne in almost any recipe, nutmeg has the ability to disappear subtly but still amplify all of the other ingredients.
There’s a reason basically every carby comfort food usually includes nutmeg alongside sausages and plenty of other meat recipes.
Nutmeg just works! Its warming, enriching, and gives duchess potatoes that little extra zing, so definitely don’t skip it!
Looking for more delicious potato Side Dishes recipes? Try these out:
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- Prep Time
- 30 minutes
- Cook Time
- 25 minutes
- Karlynn Johnston
- 2 pounds potatoes (Yukon gold or russet peeled and quartered)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 6 Tablespoons butter (divided)
- 2 large egg yolks
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper or black pepper
- 1 teaspoon heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated (for garnish)
- 1 chive (for garnish)
- Prepare a piping bag with large open star tip. Grease a baking sheet. Set aside.
- Peel and slice potatoes into 1 inch chunks. Fill a 3-quart pot with 4 inches water and 1 teaspoon salt. Add potatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain; return potatoes to the pot.
- Heat the potatoes over low heat until remaining water steams off, about 4 minutes. Let cool, at least 15 minutes.
- Place potatoes in a large bowl and use a potato masher until smooth. Let the potatoes stand for 5 minutes. Add 4 tablespoons butter, egg yolks, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, nutmeg, and pepper. Mix until just combined; spoon into the piping bag. If the piping bag is too hot place it in the fridge for 10 minutes.
- Pipe potato mixture onto the prepared baking sheet into 8-10 half cup rosettes with a circular motion, finishing with a small peak in the center. Leave a 2 inch gap between each.
- Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and gently brush the tops of the rosettes with the butter.
- Refrigerate until slightly firmer, about 25 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 420°.
- Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, 15-20 minutes.
- Feel free to garnish with chopped chives or fine grated Parmesan or herbs and spices!
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.