1 ½ Tbsp. Kosher salt
½ Cup Gruyere cheese, finely grated
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
3 Tbsp. half-and-half
1 Tsp. Freshly ground black pepper
4 large egg yolks
1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh chives
1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, tinfoil or a silpat.
2. Peel the potatoes and quarter each potato. Place the potatoes and 1 tablespoon of kosher salt in a large pot of cold water. Make sure the potatoes are covered. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are very tender and can be easily pierced with a fork so they are easy to mash. This should take about 18 – 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander. Place the empty pot back over medium heat and add 3 tablespoons of the unsalted butter. When the butter is melted, add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add 3 tablespoons of half and half, the remaining ½ tablespoon of kosher salt, and 1-teaspoon black pepper and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat.
3. Add the cooked potatoes and mash with a potato masher until smooth. Add the Gruyère and stir until melted. Add 4 large egg yolks and stir until they are fully incorporated into the potatoes.
4. Transfer the potatoes into a large piping bag fitted with a star tip or a large zip-top bag with the corner cut off. Pipe the potatoes into 12 mounds on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them at least 1-inch apart. The piping bag may be hot so just use kitchen mitts to handle.
5. Place the remaining 3 tablespoons unsalted butter in a small bowl and microwave until completely melted. Brush all of the butter over the tops of the potatoes.
6. Bake until the potatoes are golden brown, 16 – 20 minutes. Sprinkle the chives over the potatoes and serve immediately.
NOTE: When you need an elegant potato side dish, this is it. This dish is so pretty and incredibly easy to make. Just a little effort on the presentation side and you’ve got a stunning side dish for date night, guests and of course, the holidays.
There are a couple of keys to this dish that will make it perfect every time. First, finely grate your cheese. You want it to melt into the potatoes and not get stuck in the piping bag. When it comes to cheese, I’ll shake it up using different types of cheese from Parmesan to Pecorino to good old Swiss or cheddar.
Use milk, cream or half and half in this recipe. I’ve also used skim milk with no problem but you want the potatoes to be able to stand tall so don’t overdo the liquid.
Mash really well. You don’t want lumps in this mixture. Word of caution: NEVER put your mashed potatoes in a blender or food processor thinking you can speed up the process. They turn out like gummy paste…not pleasant at all. Mash and whip until you get the right consistency.
As you can tell from the photos, these little nuggets of deliciousness are piped onto a baking sheet. Don’t panic. You can buy disposable pastry bags that come with plastic tips right in most supermarkets. If you can’t find them, just order online. Use the bag once, and throw it out. Keep the plastic or metal tips and use with replacement bags. You can up your whole presentation game with this one simple, inexpensive item. (Think whipped cream on everything!!!) Of course, you can also buy a more elaborate set of bags and tips giving you all kinds of options for cake decorating and more. Here is a set that’s on my wish list: Cake Decorating set
I’ve had the same metal star shaped tip I got at amazon for years. I just buy small batches of replacement bags as needed. So, you decide.
While the potatoes would still taste good if you just put small mounds on the potatoes on the baking sheet, I think you’d miss the whole “Duchess” part of the recipe!!! LOL
One other major tip: This is a great make ahead dish. I do everything, pipe the potatoes on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge until I’m ready to bake them. Don’t brush them with butter until you are ready to bake. Also, give them about 2-3 extra minutes if coming right from the fridge. Talk about a fabulous make ahead dish for the holidays…this is it. Enjoy.