Friday, November 14, 2008

Easy and Elegant - Duchess Potatoes for Weekend Herb Blogging #158

Russet Potatoes

With its dull, flaky and nicked complexion, no one could accuse the potato of being a great beauty, but like all things superficial, the plain is only skin deep. A bit of exfoliating, a massage, and some rich, nourishing emollients transform the homely and humble spud into a duchess of distinction. It's amazing what a little salon treatment can do.

Duchess Potatoes

Duchess Potatoes – My own recipe (based on many variations available)


4 large potatoes (I used russet), peeled, washed and cut into large cubes

2 tablespoons butter
1 large egg, slightly beaten
½ cup grated cheddar cheese or other cheese of your choice (optional)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika mixed with just enough water to form a thick paste (optional garnish)
1 tablespoon chopped parsley (optional garnish)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large pot of water over high heat, boil potatoes until they are tender but not mushy. Drain potatoes and return them to the empty pot to dry of any excess moisture. While still hot, transfer potatoes to a large bowl to mash, beat or rice them smooth without any lumps. Beat in butter, egg and cheese, then the salt and pepper. Spoon or pipe potato mixture into oven-safe ramekins or custard cups. Using a pastry brush, lightly touch paprika paste onto potato mixture and top with chopped parsley. Bake on middle rack of oven for 30 minutes or until edges are evenly browned. Serve immediately while still hot. Serves 4. –

Duchess Potatoes

This post is for Heather of Diary of a Fanatic Foodie, hosting #158 of Weekend Herb Blogging, the ever-popular weekly food blogging event, now organized by Haalo of Cook almost Anything at least once.

Been There, Done That ~

Kroppkakor - Swedish Stuffed Potato Dumplings
Potato Gnocchi with Butter and White Truffle Oil
Rosemary Roasted Blue Potatoes

Other People's Eats ~

Oriya Mashed Potatoes
Perfect Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
Buffalo Potato Wedges


The Sweetest News: My Double Coconut Lamingtons have been featured in Desserts Magazine, a beautifully presented online publication, now in its fourth issue. It's truly a treat to "flip" through the pages. I'm sure you will enjoy all the delights awaiting you.


Many Apologies for the recent lag in my posting schedule, as well as not commenting on your great sites with the same pleasurable frequency that is the norm for me. In addition to having been ill for over a week, I've had frustrating operating difficulties with my browsers. Troubleshooting is in the works. I also will be tackling my meme backlog and updating my blogroll, currently highlighting just a fraction of the sites that I read and subscribe to. Thanks for your patience. I have missed you all.


  1. Oooooooo! Duchess potatoes! I haven't seen or thought about them in years, but when I was a kid I thought these were the height of sophistication and always wanted my parents to take us to the only restaurant that made them. Now that you've reminded me, I'll have to make my own!

  2. Congratulations, hope you are feeling better and YUM!!!

  3. Wow--congratulations on the magazine!! Fabulous. And I am making these potatoes TONIGHT for my hubby--it's his birthday and he will LOVE this!

  4. That is just wonderful, Susan! I'm so happy for you. And I love those brilliant red ramekins.

  5. Love to see the lowly potato all dolled up like this! I'm bookmarking this recipe for the holidays. And congrats on the magazine feature.

  6. They are like works of art - almost too cute to eat ;)

  7. Hi Susan - hope you are all better.
    The light in your photos is breathtaking.
    Haven't seen Duchess potatoes in a long time, your recipe sounds excellent.

  8. Lovely make-over! Looks so delicious, I have this bookmarked! :)

  9. I have never seen a pretty potato dish!

  10. I hope you feel better now. As you know, I love your photos: in this set I LOVE the middle one, with its atmosphere of mystery. The paprika decoration is a very elegant touch. Congratulations! And thanks for sharing the news with us. I did not know the magazine.

  11. They look so pretty!

  12. quite simply, amazing photography. I envy you. Found on you tastespotting, cheers!

  13. I saw this photo on Tastespotting and had to come check out the original post.

    What you've done with these potatoes and their presentation is elegant, as well as an addition I'd like to make to my own holiday table this year!

  14. Susan, that is a positively gorgeous presentation. I hope you are feeling better now. And congratulations on the magazine inclusion!

  15. I think I should send my potatoes for your salon treatment,,,they look so pretty after the makeover!!!

    Take good care of yourself...


  16. I love mashed potatoes and I make very good ones but they are always so humble which is fine 98% of the time. These are so beautiful.
    Congratulations on the magazine, by the looks of your blog it is well deserved.
    Also, I use blogspot, why are your photos so much larger than mine? Is it the layout you use.

  17. No great surprise from me that you would be selected for the mag! :-)

    Gosh, those little swirls look like heaven.

    I'm certain that heaven is full of burnished potato dishes as seductive as those images of yours.

    Reason eoungh to be a Good Person, no?

  18. I've never seen such beautiful potatoes before! I will mark this one to try as it will go nicely with one of my favorite "company" main dishes!

  19. Can I come over for some salon treatment?

    Congrats on your recipe being chosen for Desserts Mag. And get completely well soon.

    I hope to be able to make the WHB deadline myself today.

  20. Susan, that is some great salon treatment you've given to your potatoes...looks so gorgeous. and I'm a bit jealous of those gorgeous ramekins of yours ;-)

    Hope you're feeling better now :-)

  21. congrats on your recipe being featured! your duchess potato is such an elegant and tasty creation ... you are a genius for coming up something like this :) Hope you are feeling better now...take care!

  22. Your dutchess potatoes are so lovely and I can't wait to try them.

  23. I left you a comment on FoodBuzz - and then there you were on the front page of TasteSpotting with me....let me say again this looks great!
    Hope you're feeling better.

  24. This is definitely making it to my table this holiday!

  25. This looks so beautiful. That's some salon treatment.
    It sure works for potatoes. Would it work for me? :)

    I saw your lamingtons in Desserts. Look delicious.

    Hope you are better now. Take care.

  26. Susan, your photos are just drop-dead gorgeous! No one could ever accuse the potato of ugliness after this!

    And congrats on having your work featured in the Magazine! I'm not at all surprised...

  27. Killer presentation. Absolutely gorgeous, Susan.

    And many congratulations. Coconut lamingtons are in my bookmarks. They are mighty cute.

  28. such a beautiful picture Susan. I liked this recipe so much. My hearty congrats on your wok featured in the Magazine.

  29. Hi,everyone! Please give me another week or so to catch up on your very generous comments. I have many blogging activities (including hosting SHF next week) that have slowed me down considerably, not to mention the Thanksgiving holiday coming shortly. I do *promise* to answer each comment and swing over to your blogs ASAP. Thanks for taking the time to visit me! I appreciate it greatly. : }

  30. wow! potatoes have never looked this pretty!! I love the idea Susan!:)

    and Congrats on the Desserts Magazine gig! your photos and recipes are truly deserving:)

  31. Laurie - Glad they brought back some good memories. Despite their sophistication, they are, as you know, very easy.

    Thanks, dear Wendy!

    Ricki -- Thank you! Birthday's always call for special eats. Hope your husband had a good day.

    Hi, Susan -- Thanks so much for your well wishes. Those ramekins are fun, no?

    Thank you, Lydia. Leave it to the French.

    Thanks, Haalo! Try hard to take a poke at one with your fork, as pretty as they are. : )

    Thank you, Lori Lynn. The classics seem to have fallen out of favor. Shame.

    Hi, Ning! Thank you!

    Thanks, dear Simona. I love the middle one, too. : }

    Welcome, Veggie Wedgie! Thank you very much.

    Hi, Mattatouille! Welcome. Thanks for your kind words.

    Greetings, Sandie! I hope you enjoy them. Thank you!

    Lisa -- Thanks very much on all counts.

    Dearest Shn -- Thank you! I hope you are well. Miss you.

    Hi, Amber! I have no complaint about "humble" potatoes, but every once in a while, it doesn't hurt to go fancy. Thank you very much!

    Lucy - Thank you. Heaven better be full of spuds; otherwise, I am turning back. ; )

    Welcome, Patsyk! Thanks so much! Your company will be impressed. Don't tell them they were easy. ; )

    But, of course, Sra! You know, butter, cheese and potatoes are very good nutrition. It's much more what you eat than grace you face with that proves the beauty treatment. : )

    Dear Sunita -- So good to see you. Thank you so much. Ramekins come in a remarkable array of colors if you keep your eye out for them.

    Wiffy -- Thanks, sweets. : }

    Hi, Dragon! Thank you!

    Welcome, Timeless Gourmet! Thanks so much for your kudos and well wishes.

    Merci, Virginie. Très bon vous voir.

    Cynthia -- Thanks, girl! They do lend a festive touch.

    Dear Aparna -- Thank you. So good to see you.

    Toni -- Thanks very much for your kind words.

    Suganya -- Thank you. The lamingtons are addictive, so beware!

    Thank you very much, Sharmi.

    Mansi -- Thanks so much!

  32. Any idea how I might do duchess style beets maybe with potatos?

  33. Hi, Anon. You could boil and puree a few beets (or press through a seive), then mix with mashed potatoes and sour cream, leaving out the cheese. (I think this would work even if you forgo the egg.) Sprinkle tops with chopped chives and bake. You could also use golden beets, which IMO have a milder flavor.

  34. Just tried these.. Did you use a sac-à-poche to make them? I tried but is was supercomplicated as the mashed potatoes are very dense!

  35. Hi, De(au) Gustibus - Yes, I did use a pastry bag with a very large star tip. Sorry you had trouble. Spooning into the ramekins works just as well, swirling the mixture on top with the back of the spoon. It would look like the frosting on a home-made cake, informal but attractive.

  36. Hi Susan, I have just baked these beauties and I loved them so much! I didn't use the "makeup", but certainly will next time. I'll post it on my blog and link back to yours. Thanks for sharing!!