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This is one of the most elegant and sophisticated potato dishes in the classic French repertoire. They do take some time to prepare but the results are well worth it. What you'll experience in the end are potatoes that are light with a crispy inside. Definitely a dish that your family will want you to make again! The recipe is prepared in 2 parts. First you make the Duchesse Potatoes, then the Pate a Choux. Stir both together and then fry to become Potato Lorette.
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- For Duchesse Potatoes
- 1 lb. Idaho Potatoes, peeled and diced 2"
- 1 Tbsp. Butter
- 1 each Extra Large Egg
- 1 each Egg Yolk
- 1 1⁄4 tsp. Salt
- 1⁄8 tsp. Black Pepper, ground
- For Pate a Choux
- 1⁄2 cup Water
- 1 Tbsp. Butter
- 1⁄2 tsp. Salt
- 1⁄8 tsp. Black Pepper
- 1⁄8 tsp. Nutmeg, freshly grated (optional)
- 1⁄2 cup All Purpose Flour
- 2 each Extra Large Eggs
- For Frying
- 4 cups Vegetable Oil
To make the Duchesse Potatoes
- Peel potatoes and cut into 1" pieces. Cover potatoes with cold salted water by 1" in a 2 quart pot, then simmer, uncovered, until tender, about 15 minutes.
- Drain potatoes in a colander and return to pot. Dry potatoes by shaking pot over low heat until all moisture is evaporated and a film begins to appear on bottom of pot, about 2 minutes.
- Force potatoes through ricer or mash VERY well into a bowl.
- Add butter, whole egg and yolk, salt and pepper and stir with a wooden spoon until very smooth. Keep potato mixture warm, covered and move onto the next step, the Pate a Choux.
To make the Pate a Choux
- Bring water, butter, salt, pepper and nutmeg to a boil in a 1 quart heavy saucepan over high heat, then reduce heat to moderate.
- Add flour all at once and stir briskly with a wooden spoon until mixture pulls away from side of pan, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool about 1 minute.
- Add eggs 1 at a time, stirring well after each addition.
- Add the Duchesse Potato mixture and stir until combined well.
To form and fry the potatoes
- Heat 2 inches of oil in a 5-6 quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until thermometer registers 350 F to 360 F.
- With 2 teaspoons, fashion approximately a 1" diameter ball of potato mixture in the well of one spoon using the second spoon to shape and then scrape the potato mixture into the hot oil. (Be careful not to splash.)
- Quickly repeat with additional mixture until you've made 6 to 8 at a time.
- Fry, turning potatoes over occasionally until all sides are well browned and crisp.
- Remove Lorette Potatoes from the hot oil with a slotted spoon or skimmer and allow them to rest on absorbent paper towels while finishing the remaining potatoes.
- Salt and serve warm.
Nino Salvaggio http://www.ninosalvaggio.com/