Potatoes are served with many main meals, therefore it is a good idea to look at alternative ways of serving the humble potato. Duchesse potatoes are made from a rich creamed potato mixture that is then put into a forcing bag and piped out onto a baking tray in large swirls. The decorative potato swirls are then oven baked until golden and served with the meat or protein dish.
If one intends making Duchesse potatoes then it is essential to buy floury potatoes that will cream well. Desiree, Maris piper and King Edward are a few of the floury potatoes that will cream exceptionally well. Cook at least one large potato per person and allow a extra couple for good measure.
To make the Duchesse potatoes the potatoes will be peeled and eyed in the normal way. Place the prepared potatoes into a pan of cold lightly salted water. Bring the potatoes to the boil and then turn the heat down until the potatoes are simmering gently. Cook the potatoes for about 20 minutes or until soft. Drain the potatoes. Once the potatoes have been drained then place the pan over a very low heat for a few seconds. Gently shake the drained potatoes to dry them off. Once the potatoes are dry they will look fluffy.
To make Duchesse potatoes the dry floury cooked potatoes then have to be creamed. Use the potato masher to break the potatoes down into small pieces. Keep working the potato masher through the potatoes until there are no lumps. Because the potatoes are going to be put into a forcing bag and piped out through a large star shaped nozzle the potato mixture needs to be soft. Add a little seasoning and a good sized nub of butter to the pan. Mix again until the seasoning and butter have blended in.
Take three eggs. Break one egg into a bowl and separate the other two eggs. Place the two egg yolks into the bowl with the whole egg and beat them together with a fork. Add the egg mixture to the mashed potatoes. Take a wooden spoon and whip the potato mixture, the more the mixture is whipped the creamier it will become. If the potato mixture still seems a little firm then add a drop of cream to it.
Lay a clean lightly oiled baking tray on the kitchen counter. Take the forcing bag and place a large star nozzle into the bottom of it. Fill the forcing bag with the creamed potato mixture. Begin to pipe out large swirls of creamed potato onto the baking tray. Leave ample room between swirls to lift them when they are cooked. Place the tray of Duchesse potatoes into a hot oven until the tops of the swirls are crisp and golden.
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