Duchesse potatoes are egg- and cheese-spiked mashed potatoes that are piped into swirly shapes using a pastry bag, then baked in the oven so you get a crispy exterior and a creamy interior. They're great for a crowd because the potato mixture can be made up to a day ahead, then shaped and baked just before serving. If you don't have a pastry bag, use a small ice cream scoop and the back of a spoon to shape the potato mounds.
French Sides & Salads
This updated version of a classic French terrine brings back the flavors of summer in a way that doesn't feel out of place on a harvest table. Agar powder, a vegetarian substitute for gelatin, is available at natural-food stores and Asian markets. Garnish with Parsley-Garlic Crème.
In France, fresh truffles are sometimes referred to as “black diamonds,” fetching as much as $500 per pound. Truffle oil provides the same complex flavor at a fraction of the price. (Truffle oils vary in intensity, so start with the smallest amount recommended and adjust according to taste.)
The key to this colorful dish is to boil all the vegetables separately, in order to respect their different cooking times. For an authentic finishing touch, use the optional fleur de sel, a fragrant sea salt that’s hand-harvested off the coast of Passard’s native Brittany.
Duxelles (pronounced dook-SEHL) is a paste of finely chopped mushrooms and shallots used to flavor classic French dishes. A food processor makes quick work of the chopping. The mixture is extremely versatile—try it spread on toast as an appetizer. This recipe is also a good way to use tough stems from shiitake and portobello mushrooms.
A classic French recipe, this creamy sauce thickened with a roux can be used as a base for many other sauces as well as in casseroles and soufflés.
“Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Tomatoes aren’t tinny-tasting like some canned varieties,” says Beverly Lynn Bennett, author of Vegan Bites and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Vegan Cooking. Fire roasted over natural hardwood, they have a sweet, smoky flavor that's great in soup.