Ghost Potatoes

I've been making these every Halloween since I first saw the recipe In Gourmet Magazine in 1995. Serves 10-12.

  • 6 lbs large red potatoes
  • 9 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1-3/4 cups + 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • Caraway seeds for eyes

Peel and quarter potatoes, and in a large saucepan, cover with salted cold water by 2 inches. Bring water to a boil and simmer potatoes until tender, about 15 minutes.

While potatoes are simmering, in a small saucepan, heat butter with milk over moderately low heat until melted and keep warm.

Drain potatoes in a colander and force through a ricer or food mill into a bowl. With an electric mixer beat in milk mixture, yolks, and salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Spread about one third potatoes in a buttered 2-quart gratin dish and transfer remaining potatoes to a pastry bag fitted with a 3/4-inch plain tip. On potatoes in dish, pipe potatoes close together into pointed mounds to form "ghosts" and garnish each mound with 2 seeds for ghosts' "eyes." Potatoes may be prepared up to this point 1 day ahead and chilled, covered loosely.

Bake potatoes until heated through and tops of "ghosts" are golden, 15 to 20 minutes.

Susan JohnsonComment