I love it when someone comes up with a great "aha" moment. It's one of those, "Why did no one ever think of this before?". Kind of like the EJ Dale method of wine preservation I reported in this blog some years ago.
The standard cooking methodology for mashed potatoes is slowly heating them in cold water until they are cooked through. Once cooked, you drain the cooking vessel, you mash the potatoes and combine them with butter and cream.
Tyler Florence's "aha" moment came when he realized that all of the great potato flavor was going down the sink with the cooking water. To retain that great potato flavor, he decided to try cooking the potatoes in cream right from the get-go. He found the result to be spectacular!
The important step here is to start cooking the potatoes in cold cream. If you were to use warm or hot cream, the exterior of the potato starts to disintegrate before the interior has a chance to cook. This recipe serves four to six people.
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
2 cups heavy cream, cold
3 garlic cloves
1 stick (4 ounces) butter, cut into chunks
Kosher salt to taste
Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
Coarse sea salt, to taste
- Cut the potatoes into 2- to 3-inch chunks. Add them to a medium pot with the cream, garlic, butter and kosher salt to taste.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn down to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes.
- Place a colander over a bowl. Pour the potatoes through the colander, reserving the hot cream in the bowl. Shake the potatoes to drain off the excess liquid. Scoop the potatoes into a ricer (or you could mash them with a fork for a chunkier texture). Rice the potatoes, occasionally clearing the sides of the ricer with a spoon. Pour the still-hot cream over the potatoes in small increments, folding in to combine, until you achieve your desired consistency. Season with olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. Serve immediately or keep warm until ready to serve.