Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Yummy Yuca & A Wacky Podcast

For a potato substitute with a tropical Latin flavor try Yuca -- which I first tasted at Versailles, LA's premier Cuban restaurant.

This large waxy root cooks quickly; it looks more like a sweet potato, with a texture halfway between russet and sweet potato when boiled. Yuca is also called Cassava.

At my local Latin marketYuca is often on sale for around 99 cents a pound. I've even found peeled Yuca in the frozen deli case at my neighborhood 99c only Store.

And the preparation couldn't be easier: yucca is peeled and sliced, boiled for about 20 minutes, then drizzled with a Garlic Mojo Criollo Sauce -- comprised of olive oil, lime juice, garlic, and sliced onion.

The 99c only Stores always carry rice and canned black beans (a Value Added* trick for the canned black beans is to add a little sauteed onion, bell pepper, and garlic.)

Start your meal with a Cuban Salad: thin-sliced onion with thick slices of avocado mixed with olive oil and lime juice. There you have it, a Cuban vegetarian meal.

Ingredients (2 or 3 servings)
1 yucca root
1 teaspoon salt

Peel and chop in large chunks. I use a potato peeler for removing the skin. A raw Yuca root is very tough like a sweet potato so be careful cutting through it.

Place yucca in a pot of boiling salted water until yucca is just covered. Reduce heat, cover and low boil until tender, about 20-30 minutes. 

When done Yuca should break apart easily like a boiled potato, but be careful not to overcook, as Yuca will turn to mush. 

When cooked there are sometimes a few tough strings in the middle of Yuca, but they are easy to remove before serving. You can make Mojo Criollo Sauce as Yuca boils.

 Mojo Criollo Sauce with Sliced Onion
1 teaspoon 99 cent chopped garlic
1/4 cup 99 cent lime or lemon juice
1/4 cup of 99 cent olive oil blend

1/2 sliced onion

Add chopped garlic, lemon juice and olive oil to pan, heat until bubbling. Reduce heat and add sliced onion. You are just heating the onion through for a minute or two. 

Mix well and pour over plated Yuca.

Drain Yuca and top with Mojo Criollo Sauce with Sliced Onion.
And now for something completely different:
This last weekend NPR radio had a segment profiling The 99 Cent Chef on the show "Marketplace Money." Their website has the audio, photos, video and a tasty recipe called "Marketplace Pork Loin and Spinach with Mushrooms;" so if you missed it don't despair, see it all on their webpage by clicking here. Hit the play button below to watch our NPR shopping spree video.

The 99 Cent Chef's NPR Shopping Spree Video

Also, Current.com, a news website, has a "Budget Recipes" report that features The 99 Cent Chef and the Hillbilly Housewife. What a combination: she is someone I am proud to be paired with. Click the play button below and watch the wacky podcast.

NPR camerawork by Pete. Click here for Pete's hilarious videos.
To view or embed the Chef's Current TV video from youtube click here.


Lesley said...

That sounds delicious! I'm going to have to check out my local international grocery and pick up some yuccas. I know they have them, but I've been a bit shy about trying them. But this looks like a cheap and easy way to try them out. Thanks!

Unknown said...

I am new to your site and just love it. I have a Columbian friend who just slice the Yucca into strips like french fries and fries them in olive oil and lightly salts them after draining. Very good and very cheap.

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