Duchess Potatoes Are As Pretty (And Delicious) As They Sound

You're not a true potato fan if you've never asked someone, "What's your favorite way to eat potatoes?" When you think about it, this question can tell you a lot about a person. It gives you valuable information on their general preferences, and one thing's for certain: A potato fan will always stick up for spuds. They're not bland, and they're not boring. Earth's boundless cuisines present us with many methods of potato consumption, including the French duchess potatoes.

Duchess potatoes combine mashing and baking techniques for a hybrid of spud's very best. Known as pommes duchesse in French, they are piped potatoes that are equally as mouthwatering as they are beautiful. They come in bite-sized little swirls that are packed with flavor from cheese and garlic. Duchess potatoes are one of many amazing ways to use leftover mashed potatoes but are also worthy of making from the very start.

Duchess potatoes are an impressive appetizer

Duchess potatoes are a step up from your average mashed potato or roasted potato wedge. They must go through many stages to reach their final form, including boiling, mashing, and baking. It starts with what you would encounter in a simple garlic mashed potato recipe but gets elevated to a mixture with a dough-like texture. The inclusion of egg yolks adds richness and binds the ingredients. Some versions may also incorporate cheese that melts into the hot potatoes. This "dough" is almost frosting-like and gets passed through a piping bag with a star tip to form perfect little swirls on a baking sheet. These swirls are put in the oven — their second time being cooked after boiling — and come out with a light crisp on the outside and delicate fluff on the inside.

Duchess potatoes make an amazing appetizer and will wow any potato fan. They also have room for customizability, especially regarding the cheese. Gruyère cheese is very meltable and malleable, and a good choice for a bouncy potato. It's nutty and creamy and will enhance the potatoes' flavors. Parmesan is another good pick — it goes well with garlic and provides a salty bite. Cheese and garlic are practically a must for duchess potatoes, and nutmeg is often used to season them. Just a small amount of this spice gives the dish aroma and warmth.