Duchess Potato Mounds

 photo B13F56B7-2884-4B7E-8682-164A6355A1A3_zpsycljflmn.jpgDuchess potatoes are mashed potatoes combined with egg, butter, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and forced from a piping bag into various shapes or sizes and baked until golden.  

They make a gorgeous presentation when wanting to go that extra mile for a special occasion.  They definitely bring the "wow factor" to any meal.

When finished baking they can be kept warm, then moved to a serving platter or plated with the meat, poultry or fish you are serving.

I also like to make batches of twice baked potatoes then freeze ahead for meals.
I've also prepared sweet potatoes  for deep frying.
Duchess Potato Mounds
  • 2-1/2 pounds white potatoes, cleaned (about 8 medium-size)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 Tabs. softened butter cut into small pieces
  • 2 eggs  lightly beaten, saving 2 tablespoons for brushing
  • 1/2  tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper 
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • (optional)1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • Preheat oven to 425.
    • Pierce potatoes and bake until tender. Scoop out flesh into a bowl and mash until there are no lumps, or use a potato ricer. Or, cook potatoes in salted water until fork tender. Drain, then mash until there are no lumps or use a ricer. Do NOT use a blender or food processor as it will make potatoes gummy. 
       photo IMG_9305_zps8fd7922a.jpg

      Add cream, half the butter, eggs, salt, pepper, nutmeg, cheese if using, and baking powder.  Mash, combining all until smooth, then cool about 15 minutes. Add remaining butter pieces and mix in so flecks of butter can be seen. 

        Transfer mixture to piping bag fitted with 1/2 -inch or larger star tip. Pipe 4, 4-inch-wide swirled mounds of potato on sprayed baking sheet. Or, make 8 smaller mounds. 

        Spray lightly with cooking spray, brush with beaten egg, and bake at 400 degree oven until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on size. Serve while warm.  Serves 4 - 6

            MAKE AHEAD:  Once piped on the baking sheet, potatoes can be covered loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerated for 24 hours. Remove plastic and spray lightly with cooking spray and apply egg wash before baking. If baking refrigerated mounds, baking time may take longer.  

            Some cooks make large batches and freeze on baking sheets then remove and store in freezer containers. Take out as needed, then bake until heated through and golden.

          Estimated cost: $1.00 or less; .25 cents a serving or less.

          Salmon Quiche

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          Quiche and a salad make a terrific lunch or dinner.  I've been making this Salmon Quiche with canned salmon for about 10 years, after seeing the recipe in my local newspaper.

          I watch for canned salmon sales and also small cans of sliced mushrooms, then stock up.  Canned salmon on sale should be around $2.50 or less.  I also use it for salmon patties and salmon croquettes.  

          If you've never used it, be aware it's processed with bones which are very brittle due to the canning method, but they disintegrate when mixed. However, I do remove larger pieces and some of the darker skin before using in recipes.

          Salmon Quiche

          1,  9 or 10-inch pie shell homemade or commercially made
          2 Tabs. butter
          1 small can sliced mushrooms ( or 1/4 pound fresh)
          1/4 cup minced onion
          1- 1/2 cups poached fresh salmon flaked, or 1, 14 oz. can
          3 eggs
          1-1/2 cups heavy cream (milk or half&half can be used instead)
          1/2 tsp. kosher salt
          1/4 tsp. pepper
          1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg
          2 Tabs.. chopped fresh dill, or 2 tsps. dry dill seasoning
          1 cup grated cheese, Gruyere or Cheddar
          1/4 tsp. paprika

          Preheat oven to 375.  Pre-bake pie-shell 10-12 minutes to firm up before adding other ingredients.
          Melt butter in skillet and saute mushrooms and onions until lightly browned.  Combine mixture with salmon and 1/2 cup of cheese and spread on bottom of pre-baked pie shell.

          Whisk eggs, cream, salt, pepper, nutmeg and dill and pour to fill shell.  If using 9-inch shell there will be extra which can be baked in muffin tins if desired.  Top with remaining cheese and paprika.

          Bake 40-50 minutes or until tester inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm, with lemon wedges, or a mayo-lemon sauce.  Serves 6-8.   This can be made ahead, refrigerated or frozen and reheated.

          Estimated cost: $6.00: $1 or less per serving.

          Recipe also featured at:

          Salad Dressings from Scratch

          I seldom buy "bottled" dressings, and for years have clipped homemade dressings from magazines or newspapers, copied ingredients seen on TV and/or traded recipes with friends.  

          For very little money it's easy to have a variety of gourmet dressings available with no preservatives! 

          We have a salad nearly every night, so being able to serve different dressings keeps them from becoming "boring."  As it's been said  "variety is the spice of life."  Some dressings serve a dual purposes by using as marinades and/or sauces.

          Most recipes simply call for vinegar or lemon juice, oil, and spices. Once you discover the ease of making and the fresh taste, you'll want to use different types of vinegars and several oils.  Most often I use either canola or olive oil, white vinegar, red wine vinegar, or bottled lemon juice.

          Dijon Dressing
          1 Tab. Dijon mustard
          3 Tabs. white vinegar
          2 Tabs. lemon juice
          1/2 cup vegetable oil
          1 clove of minced garlic
          1/4 tsp. salt, then pepper to taste
          Whisk all together until slightly thickened and creamy.  Makes about 3/4 cup. Store extra in refrigerator.

          Honey Dijon Dressing
          2 Tabs. Honey
          2 Tabs. white vinegar
          Heat in small pan until honey is dissolved.
          Whisk in 1/2 cup mayo, 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard, 1 Tab. parsley and 1/4 cup oil.  (optional tsp. of celery seed, tsp. finely chopped onion.  I usually double this recipe and store extra in refrigerator.

          Lemon Sauce/Dressing
          1 egg at room temperature
          2 tsps. Dijon mustard
          2 large garlic cloves, chopped
          1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons) or bottled
          2 tsps. kosher salt
          1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
          1 1/2 cups olive oil
          1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

          Place egg, mustard, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in food processor until smooth.

          With processor running, slowly pour olive oil in and process until thick.  Add 1/2 cup grated Parmesan and mix in. Store in jar in refrigerator. Makes about 2 cups. Can be used cold for spinach leaf salad or spring mix lettuce salad; or warmed as sauce on fish, shrimp or veggies such as green beans, asparagus, peas. It's like having hollandaise sauce/dressing on hand whenever you need it.

          Sweet Sour French Dressing
          2/3 cup ketchup
          2/3 cup oil
          1/4 cup honey
          1/4 cup cider vinegar
          1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
          1 tsp. lemon juice
          1/4 tsp. salt
           Combine all ingredients in a jar with lid and shake well to blend.  Refrigerate.

          Caesar Salad Dressing
          1/4 cup lemon juice
          1 Tab. Dijon mustard
          2 tsps. Worcestershire sauce
          1 Tab. mayonnaise
          Several dashes of hot pepper sauce to taste
          1 cup olive oil
          4 mashed anchovy fillets
          Whisk first 5 ingredients together until blended; add mashed anchovies, then slowly whisk in oil. Serve with romaine lettuce, croutons and shaved Parmesan cheese.

          Sweetn' Sour Wilted Spinach Dressing or Sauce for Veggies
          5 slices chopped bacon
          1/2 cup water
          1/2 cup white vinegar
          1/2 tsp. salt
          1 medium onion diced
          3/4 cup sugar (I use Splenda)
          1 chicken bullion cube
          1/2 cup cold water, mixed with 1/8 cup cornstarch

          Cook chopped bacon, fry until crisp and drain off fat. Add diced onion and saute until transparent. Add water, vinegar, sugar bullion and salt. Bring to a boil. Add cornstarch mixture.
          Simmer for 5 minutes. Store in jar in refrigerator.

          To serve take what you need and heat. May thin, if needed, with water. Pour and toss over romaine lettuce, or baby leaf spinach. Also good on green beans, or mix veggies.
          Optional: chopped hard boiled eggs good with spinach salad and a few halved cherry tomatoes for added color. Make about 3 cups.

          Poppy Seed Dressing
          4 Tabs. honey
          1/2 tsp. dry mustard
          2 Tab. lemon juice
          2 tsp. vinegar of choice
          1/2  cup oil of choice
          2 tsp. poppy seeds
          Blend all ingredients except poppy seeds and oil, then slowly add oil, and stir in seeds last. Makes 2/3 cup.  Refrigerate in jar.

          Creamy Italian Salad Dressing
          1/2 cup  olive oil
          1/4 cup. red wine vinegar
          1/3 cup Mayonnaise
          Tabs. grated Parmesan cheese
          2 cloves of minced garlic
          1 tsp.dried Italian herb blend
          salt and pepper to taste
          Whisk together in a bowl or blend all ingredients in a food processor. Store in a covered jar.  Makes about a cup.