Here is one of our favourite ways of eating potatoes with a big meal, like the Christmas lunch. Puffballs are deep fried balls of potato and choux pastry mix - they are light and very tasty, here's how to make them.
We'd eaten this recipe for 40 years at my folks' before we discovered the "proper" name for them is "Pommes Dauphine", and they were quite popular in Eastern Europe too.
Step 1: First collect the ingredients
1lb, or 450 gms of mashed potatoes
1/4 pint 145mL of water
3 eggs (1 yolk and 2 whole eggs)
2.5 oz (71g) of plain "all purpose" flour.
3 oz (85g) of butter (1 oz and 2oz)
Step 2: Make mashed potato
The mash MUST be very dry. The best way I found was to cook the potatoes in the microwave until soft. Prick the potatoes all over first. Peel them when still hot, and mash them. Let them cool down on a tray, which also drives off a bit more water.
Step 3: Make choux pastry
Choux pastry, the basis of the chocolate eclair is a very versatile element of cookery. It will be providing its light fluffy texture to our puff balls.
Bring 1/4 pint of water gently to the boil, melting 2oz of the butter into the warming water.
Step 4: Choux 2
...when the water boils, remove from the heat and add ALL the flour. Stir like MAD to make a thick paste.
Step 5: Choux 3
Break the first whole egg and "chop" or cut the egg into the flour paste. It will look AWFUL at this stage ! Persevere. After a few seconds the mixture will turn into a glistening smooth paste. At this point, add the other egg ! This time, it will take longer to mix in, but again, it will clear to the paste.
CHILL the paste (this is important)
Step 6: Back to the mash
After everything is chilled down, blend in 1 oz of flour, and an egg yolk into the cold mashed potatoes.
Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste.
Once mixed, fold in the choux mixture.
Step 7: Final mixture
Here is a picture of the final mix, should be an even colour, if the mixing is right.