Yukon Golds: Very Versatile Potatoes!

In doubt about the type of potato to use?

You almost can't go wrong with Yukon Golds., according to Bon Appetit magazine Contributing Editor Dede Wilson.

And, while you may know Idaho, Russert, and Red potatoes, Wilson says it would be well worth your while to get to know Yukon Golds!

On The Early Show Tuesday, Wilson explained the benefits of using this versatile veggie, and dished out recipes from the magazine for Potato-Wrapped Halibut, Lamb & Eggplant Shepherd's Pie, and Yukon Gold Cinnamon Rolls.

Bon Appetit's take on Yukon Golds:

They're impressively versatile, thanks to a medium starch content that's higher than that of new potatoes and lower than that of russets. Yukons are hefty enough to make killer mashed potatoes. They get tender, but don't fall apart, when sliced and baked in a gratin. They hold their shape diced and simmered in soup, or cut into chunks and tossed into potato salad.

Yukon Golds are medium-size potatoes with light-brown skin and an interior that tastes as buttery as it looks. The Yukon Gold was first bred in Canada in 1966. It's a cross between a yellow-fleshed Peruvian hybrid and a white-fleshed variety from North Dakota.

When buying them, look for firm potatoes with no wrinkling or soft spots. Avoid any with a greenish tinge -- a sign that the potatoes have been exposed to too much light and have developed a natural toxin called solanine (low levels can cause indigestion; high levels can be dangerous).

If stored in a cool, dark, dry place in an open paper bag, Yukon Golds will keep for a couple of weeks. Don't store potatoes in the fridge or in plastic.

Potatoes have gotten a bad rap in the last few years for their high glycemic index, which can cause a spike and dip in blood sugar. But eaten in moderation, they're a good source of vitamins B6 and C, as well as potassium and fiber. Eating them may lead to better sleep, and lower the risk of heart disease. Many of the nutrients in potatoes are in or near the skin, a good argument for buying organic and enjoying them, skins and all!


Potato-Wrapped Halibut with Sautéed Spinach

Wrapping the halibut with thin-cut potatoes adds crunch.

Six 4-ounce halibut fillets (each about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick)
Four 3-inch-long unpeeled Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed
8 tablespoons olive oil, divided
6 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
10 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves (about 16 cups loosely packed)

Pat fish dry; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place large sheet of parchment on work surface. Halve each potato lengthwise. Using V-slicer or mandoline, slice each potato half very thinly. Set 5 to 6 slices on parchment in row, overlapping long sides. Make another row that overlaps short ends of first row, forming 6x5-inch rectangle. Sprinkle rectangle with salt and pepper. Set 1 fillet across overlapped short ends of slices. Fold sides of rectangle over fish, forming packet. Press to adhere. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Repeat with remaining potato slices and fish fillets.
Heat 3 tablespoons oil in each of 2 large skillets over medium-high heat. Set 3 wrapped fish fillets, seam side down, in each skillet. Cook until golden on bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn; cook until fish is opaque in center, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Transfer to plates; cover to keep warm.
Add 2 tablespoons oil to 1 skillet. Add garlic; stir 1 minute. Add 1/3 of spinach; toss with tongs until spinach begins to wilt. Add remaining spinach in 2 additions; stir just until beginning to wilt. Season with salt and pepper. Divide spinach among plates with fish and serve.

For more recipes, go to Page 2.