Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Yuca ~ Cassava Preparation

While living in Ecuador, it was common to see a Yuca plants around each house and in the tuberous root available in markets. Restaurants that served hamburgers would often offer a choice between yuca fries and potato fries. The flour (tapioca flour) is also used to make wonderful doughs. Yuca is high in carbohydrates but low in protein. It also contains calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin C. 

Proper preparation is essential because the plant contains two cyanogenic glucosides. 

After digging up the roots, peel the exterior off using a knife or very sharp/sturdy peeler. 

Cut the root in half lengthwise, then in half again, making long quarters. This will help with removing the fibrous center (as seen in the middle of the root above).

Cut into strips and soak in water in the refrigerator for a few hours.

Drain, and boil until you can pierce the pieces easily with a fork....about 45 minutes

Now, the Yuca can be prepared as desired or stored in the refrigerator for a few days until ready to prepare or frozen.

Yuca Fries

For Yuca fries, heat 2 quarts of oil to 375 degrees and fry Yuca fries until crispy and golden brown...about 5 minutes. Remove fries and place on a paper towel lined plate before eating. You can also make cassava chips by cutting the yuca into thin slices before frying.

Pan de Yuca

1 c. yuca flour (tapioca flour, alimidon de yuca)
5 tsp. oil
1/3-1/2 c. milk
4 tsp. baking powder
2 c. fresh cheese (queso fresco) can substitute with mozzarella

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Kneed all ingredients for 3 minutes. Start with 1/3 cup of milk and only add more if necessary. If too much is added, you will not be able to roll the dough into balls. Form small golf ball sized balls and place on baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

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