Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Celebration of the return of Downton Abbey

My favorite show of all time returned this past Sunday, Downton Abbey.  In celebration my husband and kids and I made a special Downton themed dinner.
Duchess potatoes, glazed peas and carrots, cucumber salad, and broccoli mornay stuffed chicken.  Oh this was SOOO good!  And fairly simple to make.
 Duchess potatoes are just fancy mashed potatoes meets twice baked potatoes.  Make your favorite mashed potatoes, fairly stiff not too creamy, and pipe onto a cookie sheet, spray with oil and bake till the outside is a bit crisp and browned.  Eliza adored making and eating these.  My favorite way to make mashed potatoes for something like this is to use a potato ricer.  Cut the unpeeled potatoes in half and boil them in salted water, then put them in a ricer and tiny bits of cooked potato shards come out.  Then simply fold in some butter or oil, milk or almond milk or broth, and seasonings and you have perfectly smooth potatoes.  I used butter, milk, salt, and Penzey's Forward.  It is like the best seasoned salt without salt, and it has paprika, turmeric, black pepper, and other seasonings that just work great with potatoes.

Set the oven for 350 when they are near ready to go in.  We were baking the chicken too, so that went in first.  Great thing about these potatoes is that you can make them well ahead and just brown them when it is time to eat.  Easy way to fancy food.

Next was the chicken.  Before I tell you how it was made, does anyone else see a TIE fighter here?  This is how Rich put the chicken in the dish, and we both said TIE fighter at the same time :)  We made this chicken dish because we had leftover broccoli cheese dip, made from cream cheese, cooked broccoli, sour cream, cheddar cheese, and Penzey's Italian dressing mix.  It is served warm and is heavenly, and is a moldable consistency when cold, perfect for making a filling.  Also has the same ingredients as a mornay.  So we pounded chicken tenders, wrapped the thin chicken around a cylinder of dip, coated in cornmeal, flaxmeal, salt, herbs, and grapeseed oil combo.  The unused dip was warmed with a little white wine and milk to make a delicious sauce for the top.

Glazed peas and carrots are just carrots sauteed slowly in butter till just starting to brown and thoroughly cooked, and stir in salt pepper honey and frozen peas and cook through till glazed and tender.  Easy and yummy, especially with our own herbaceous honey.

CJ was a big help stirring up the cucumber salad.  Cucumber chunks, thin strips of yellow bell pepper, salt, seasoned pepper, lots of fresh parsley and a bit of good mayonnaise.  It was really good, and the whole bowl got eaten up fairly quickly.

There you have it, Downton themed dinner, we all had fun making together.  Next to play the return of Game of Thrones dinner!


  1. Okay, so it looks like we'll be making the Williamsport area our home for the forseeable future. How about you guys move out so that you can motivate me to do cool projects like this and homeschool my kids? :-D

  2. This is just awesome, awesome, awesome! Love the pictures. Can't wait to feature it on The Joyful Homemaker.

  3. Diana, while it is a little far to move, we totally need to do some skype projects! Also, hoping to visit in the spring! Megan, glad you are able to share it on your site :)