For many home cooks, potatoes are the all-star of the vegetable world. Mashed, fried, or just as skins, potatoes rock our world in so many ways. And preparing a great potato dish does not t have to be difficult or labor intensive, requiring an army of cooks in the kitchen — it can be has simple as throwing them in the oven with some butter and salt. The hardest part, in fact, is often making sure you buy the right type of potato.
There are more than 100 varieties of potatoes sold throughout the United States. Each of these varieties fit into one of seven potato type categories: russet, red, white, yellow, blue/purple, fingerling and petite.Potatoes fall into two important categories that impact the outcome of your dish: starchy , waxy and all-purpose. All-purpose potatoes is a category that lies somewhere in between starchy and waxy.
Starchy: Like the classic Idaho or Russet, these potatoes are high in starch and low in moisture. They are fluffy, making them great for boiling, baking and frying, but they don’t hold their shape well, so they should be avoided in dishes like casseroles, gratins and potato salads.
Waxy: Like Red Bliss or New Potatoes, these have a low starch content and are often characterized by a creamy, firm and moist flesh that holds its shape well after cooking. They are typically great for roasting, boiling, casseroles and potato salads.
All-Purpose: These potatoes have a medium starch content that fall somewhere in between the starchy and waxy potatoes. They are a true multi-purpose potato, and therefore can be used for just about any cooking application. A classic example is the Yukon Gold.
Once you know which type of potato you need for your particular dish, you can be as creative as you’d like when choosing varieties at the market. For example, if you’re thinking of making a potato gratin, you know you’re looking for a firm, waxy potato — you can choose from a bright blue Purple Peruvian, a yellow Inca Gold, or any other waxy variety.
Learn more about the characteristics and cooking recommendations for each type below.
Yukon Gold — All Purpose
Yukon Gold potatoes have finely flaked yellowish-white skin with light yellow flesh. They are bright, vegetal and slightly sweet, with a smooth, slightly waxy texture and moist flesh. They are best for boiling, baking and making French fries. They will also stand up well to grilling, pan frying and roasting.
Purple Peruvian — All Purpose
Purple Peruvian potatoes have deep purple skin and flesh. The flesh is either uniform throughout or marbled with white and deep, inky purple. They are earthy and slightly nutty, with an almost buttery aftertaste. They have a dry and starchy texture and are best for boiling, baking, roasting, frying and grilling, although they should work in all dishes and preparations.
Great taste comes in small packages, just like these miniature danishes that make a great addition to a brunch buffet. Using commercially prepared dough allows you to make them in a snap! You can also make fruit and cream cheese danishes by adding a spoonful of your favorite pie filling, like cherries, peaches or lemon, prior to baking.
In this recipe, I swapped the cream cheese for Neufchâtel cheese which contains about 1/3 less milk fat than regular cream cheese. I also added a bit of left over cherry filling to the cheese center, creating a Cherry and Cheese Danish. The variations are endless!
Makes 20 to 24 Mini Danishes
For the Pastry:
Two 10 -ounce cans of Pillsbury® Original Crescents Rolls
For the Filling:
1⁄2 cup white sugar
One 8-ounce package of Neufchâtel cheese, softened
3⁄4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
⅔ cup whole cherry pie filling (optional)
For the Glaze:
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 teaspoons of milk
Preheat oven to 350°F.
For the Filling:
In a large bowl, cream the cheese, sugar, vanilla extract and sour cream together. Set aside.
For the Glaze:
In a small bowl, stir together confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and milk. Set aside.
For the Danishes:
Slice the unrolled crescent roll dough into 1/4 inch slices, as if making slice-and-bake cookie dough. Place slices of dough on a parchment lined baking sheet and make slight indention in the center of each slice. Add about 1/4 of teaspoon of the cheese filling to each roll. If you are using the cherry filling, spoon one cherry and a small amount of the cherry filling on top of the cheese. Brush each danish with melted butter.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the danishes and place on a wire rack to cool. After the danishes have cooled, drizzle with the glaze and place on a platter and serve.