Cream Puff Potatoes
I served these as a side dish with steak, but they would make an interesting starter course. Mine were also filled with creamed spinach, but they are quite fine on their own. They might make a good way to serve potatoes if you are serving from a buffet. You could make them small enough to be manageable as finger food, although in that case I suspect you should bake them for a slightly shorter time.
It has to be admitted this is a bit of a gimmick, but it's one that is both do-able and eat-able (with pleasure), which is more than can be said of a lot of foody gimmicks.
4 to 6 servings
8 to 16 cream puffs
40 minutes - 10 minutes prep time
NOT including baking the potatoes
1 cup very smooth mashed potato (2 medium)
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup potato starch
other seasonings to taste, such as pepper, nutmeg, or chives
2 large eggs
Bake the potatoes until tender then cool them, and run them through food mill. This can be done up to 24 hours in advance.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Melt the butter in large heavy bottomed pot with the salt; mix in the finely mashed potato. Mix in the potato starch and seasonings - you want at least a little pepper, but season them to taste - until it comes together to form a ball. Remove the pot from the heat.
In a few minutes when the mixture is sufficiently cool not to set them, beat in the eggs one at a time with an electric mixer. Beat for 2 minutes. Form the mixture into little buns spread out on the parchment paper, and bake them for 15 minutes. Reset the heat to 325°F and bake for 15 minutes more. Serve at once.
Last year at this time I made Beet Mousse. Yeah, yeah: mid December is when I tend to have fits of playing with my food.