I tried Tyler Florence's recipe for creamy mashed potatoes, and his trick is worth the extra money and effort

I tried Tyler Florence's recipe for creamy mashed potatoes, and his trick is worth the extra money and effort
  • Although I've made many mashed potatoes in my day, I hadn't tried Tyler Florence's recipe before.

  • His secret is boiling the potatoes in milk and cream, rather than salted water.

  • I liked the overall recipe, but it's more expensive, so I'll be saving it for special occasions.

I was excited to try a new method for making mashed potatoes from celebrity chef Tyler Florence.

tyler florence
Tyler Florence is a celebrity chef and TV host.Michael Buckner/Getty Images

I've made (and eaten) many mashed potatoes in my day, and I've discovered there are so many methods and ingredients that can make them fluffy, dense, creamy, buttery, or all of the above.

When I came across a method I hadn't tried yet from Florence, I knew I had to give it a go. The secret to his ultrarich and creamy spuds is boiling the potatoes in milk and cream rather than salted water.

I gathered the ingredients and put these potatoes to the test.

The grocery bill is a little higher when boiling potatoes in dairy over water.

Cutting board with ingredients on top
Boiling the potatoes in milk made this recipe more expensive.Paige Bennett

Based on price alone, I knew this recipe would be more of a special dish for me, rather than my go-to.

The pint of heavy cream I bought was $4.69 and the half-gallon of milk was $2.49, which is pretty steep compared to the few cents I usually spend on water and salt for the boiling process.

Florence's recipe also uses some garlic, butter, extra-virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and whole-grain mustard as well as herbs like bay leaf and thyme. But I left out thyme because I don't like the taste of it.

Florence's recipe calls for Yukon Gold potatoes for a creamier mash.

Sliced potatoes without skins.
In addition to excluding thyme from the recipe, I also removed the potato skins.Paige Bennett

According to Bon Appétit, Yukon Gold potatoes have less starch and produce richer, creamier dishes while russet potatoes are better known for a fluffier final product.

Florence uses Yukon Gold potatoes in his recipe, which along with boiling in milk and cream, should ideally leave me with a very indulgent pile of mashed potatoes.

Aside from leaving out the thyme, the only other change I made from the recipe is removing the skins from my potatoes.

The chef's instructions say to quarter the potatoes and leave them unpeeled, but I prefer no skins in my mashed potatoes.

The potatoes took a long time to boil.

Yukon Gold potatoes, two smashed garlic cloves, and one bay leaf in the pot full of dairy
Even though I halved the recipe, I boiled the potatoes for double the amount of time.Paige Bennett

The recipe was easy to follow. Many of the ingredients go into the pot at once to boil until the potatoes are soft.

I cut the recipe in half, so I quartered five small-to-medium Yukon Gold potatoes and added them to the pot with two smashed garlic cloves and one bay leaf. Then I poured over enough dairy to cover the potatoes, about 1 1/4 cups of milk and 1 1/4 cups of heavy cream.

The recipe said the potatoes would need to "gently boil" for about 15 minutes, but mine took about 30 minutes to get fork-tender.

I kept them at a lower temperature to prevent the milk and cream mixture from scorching, unlike when I boil potatoes in water and can keep the flame on high. This meant the potatoes needed to cook for much longer.

Once the potatoes were done, I had to reserve the cream mixture before mashing.

The potatoes are getting mashed in the bowl while mixing in seasoning, olive oil, and butter.
Instead of using a food mill or ricer, I used a mashing tool to squash the potatoes.Paige Bennett

After their long, slow boil, the potatoes were strained and put back in the pot. I reserved the cream mixture in a separate, heat-proof container to mix back into the potatoes later.

The recipe just says to mash the potatoes, rather than putting them through a food mill or ricer, so I used a mashing tool until the potatoes were pulverized.


Adding the reserved cream mixture gave the potatoes a thick consistency.

The cream mixture is poured into the bowl with mashed potatoes.
The whole-grain mustard helped balance the flavor of rich cream.Paige Bennett

I added the butter, olive oil, salt, and pepper at this stage. Then I slowly poured in the reserved cream mixture (making sure the bay leaf was strained out) until the potatoes reached a thick, creamy consistency that wasn't too runny.

They looked and smelled delicious at this point.

It was then time to stir in about a tablespoon of whole-grain mustard, which I figured would help cut through all the rich cream.

I loved these potatoes, but I'll be reserving them as a special-occasion treat.

Pile of mashed potatoes on a plate.
Next time, I want to include different herbs to add more flavor.Paige Bennett

The potatoes were creamy, dense, and certainly decadent. They were delicious and worth the extra time spent boiling.

But I had to add a lot more salt than I usually do to mashed potatoes because of all the milk and cream. I couldn't quite taste the mustard, but I think it still added that special something to offset all the dairy.

The only things I'd switch up in the future are subbing in different herbs for the thyme to add more fresh flavor and putting the potatoes through a ricer to make them even smoother.

But Florence's recipe will have to be an occasional treat for my household. They require more heavy cream and milk than I usually buy, which can be expensive for one side dish.

They're still worth making for special dinners and holidays, though, or whenever I happen to have some extra cream on hand.

Want more dishes from Tyler Florence? Check out some delicious recipes in his popular cookbook:

Read the original article on Insider