The hardest line cook job I ever had was working the broiler station at the Carnelian Room, where on a busy night I’d prepare over 250 steaks and chops, which wasn’t even the most difficult part. No, the biggest challenge was actually frying these potato puffs to order, to go on all those plates.
It was a lot of work, but a labor of love, since pomme dauphine, as my French friends would call this, is one of the greatest foods ever invented, especially for potato fanatics like me. However, as with most fried foods, they can be messy to make, and unless you have an industrial-strength hood fan, your kitchen will smell like a deep fryer for days, which is why I wanted to try and do a baked version.
I was very happy with the results, and while the outside wasn’t dark and crispy like the fried version, the inside was virtually identical, and thoroughly enjoyable in their own right. Whether you’re making them as a warm snack with a dip, or to go alongside some eggs, or a grilled steak, the baked version should work out just fine.
Of course, since we’re getting close to Thanksgiving, if you are one of these people who deep-fries the turkey, I would probably go with the traditional method. Especially since you’ll be cooking outside where sneaking a few of these while you’re working will be pretty easy to get away with. Either way, I really do hope you give these potato puffs a try soon. Enjoy!
Ingredients for 12 Small Baked Potato Puffs:
(I did a tiny test batch, so I highly recommend doubling or tripling the recipe)
1 cup cooked, plain mashed potatoes (Yukon or Russet)
salt and cayenne to taste
small pinch of freshly grated nutmeg butter for the muffin tin
For the pastry dough:
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
pinch of salt
1 large egg
– For a mini muffin tin*, butter well, and bake at 450 F for about 20 minutes, or until browned and puffed.
– Or, deep-fry at 375 F for a few minutes until browned and puffed.
* These might work in a regular muffin tin, but you’ll need to bake longer.