For a potato substitute with a tropical Latin flavor try Yuca -- which I first tasted at Versailles, LA's premier Cuban restaurant. Yuca is also called Cassava.
Yuca looks more like a sweet potato, with an outer waxy texture. They can grow quite large, twice the size of a Russet potato.
When boiled Yuca is similar to a russet potato. There is a stringy center that's easy to remove after cooking.
At my local Latin market, Yuca is often on sale for around 99 cents a pound. I've even found peeled and cooked Yuca in the frozen deli case at my neighborhood 99c only Store.
And the preparation couldn't be easier: Yuca 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.
For Garlic Mojo Criollo Sauce mix the above-mentioned ingredients and saute them for a few minutes. The tangy and pungent sauce goes well with boiled mild Yuca.
Of course, Yuca & Mojo Sauce with Onion is just the start. I like Cuban Black Beans with White Rice as an accompaniment. I have a homemade Cuban Black Beans recipe, just click here.
Canned black beans are quick and easy, so go for it, I've tried them and they are fine. My local 99c only Store always carries rice and canned black beans (An Value Added trick while heating 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.
My YouTube video link for viewing or embedding, just click here.
Ingredients for Yuca (about 2 servings)
- 1 Yuca root - peeled and roughly chopped into large chunks.
- Water - enough to cover chopped Yuca.
Peel and chop Yuca into large chunks. I use a potato peeler to remove the skin. Raw Yuca root is very tough like a sweet potato so be careful cutting through it.
Place the Yuca in a pot of boiling water until the Yuca 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. Drain Yuca when done.
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
- 1/2 sliced onion - purple, yellow or white onion. I use purple onion for a colorful serving.
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
- Juice of 1 Lime or Lemon - fresh or from jar.
- 1/4 cup of olive oil - any favorite veggie oil. Okay to use less oil.
In a medium-heated pan, add olive oil and sliced onion. Saute for a couple minutes to soften the onion.
Mix well and pour Mojo Criollo Sauce with Sliced Onion over plated Yuca.