I once saw Tyler Florence do mashed potatoes boiled in a mixture of cream and milk. He infused the liquid with lots of flavors – bay leaves, garlic and salt, among others. This is my rendition of those potatoes…
I used half and half – partly because I already had it in my fridge, partly because that’s exactly same thing as mixing equal parts of milk and cream… why buy two things if you can buy only one. What I liked about adding the garlic whole and letting it cook with the half and half is that it mellows the strong taste of garlic… giving it a smoother, almost roasted, taste to the mashed potatoes.
GARLIC-INFUSED MASHED POTATOES
About 10-12 fingerling potatoes – I would also use Yukon Gold or Red Bliss Potatoes, which are my favorites About 2 cups of half and half – enough that would cover most of the potatoes 1 bay leaf – fresh or dry 2 medium garlic cloves – smashed and with the peel removed Salt to taste – I used about 1 tsp Freshly Cracked Black Pepper – optional
- Wash well the potatoes – It is very important to wash well the potatoes because we will not discard the liquid they’re being boiled in. Cut them in half or even thirds if the potatoes are a bit large. I usually do not cut my potatoes too small, but because we’re boiling them with the same liquid we’re mashing them in, none of the nutrition will be “drained away”.
- Add the potatoes, half and half, salt, bay leaf and garlic to a large pot. You might think the pot is too large, but this is to prevent any spillovers. I tend to cover my pots when I boil potatoes, but because we’re doing it in a dairy product, only half-cover the pot for now. This will help bring the liquid to a nice simmer/ light boil.
- Boil the potatoes for about 30 minutes, until they’re fork tender. Fingerlings tend to be a bit tougher than Yukon Gold’s or Red potatoes… just so you know.
- When the potatoes are done, cover the pot and let them be for about 10-15 minutes. The steam inside the pot will ensure they’ll be thoroughly cooked and the liquid will not be as hot for you to handle the mashing… this is experience talking here.
- When the time has elapsed, discard the bay leaf, drain some of the liquid out (this will make the mashing a bit easier) and mash potatoes with remaining liquid with a potato masher. Add more of the boiling liquid if you see they’re not as creamy as you would like them to be. I use most of the half and half when I make them. As you’ll see, the garlic is soft enough and mashes easily into the potatoes.
- Check for seasonings. Add more salt if needed. Add cracked pepper is using.