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What in the world is Yucca Root?

post #1 of 11
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I have noticed Yucca Root at my local grocery the last few times I have gone. I have never cooked with Yucca Root or even eaten it. I have never even known of any recipes that use it. However, I am very intrigued because there seems to be a lot of it in the produce section every time I pass through, so someone must be using it. Does any one know any recipes or ways to use Yucca Root? And also what culinary background does it come from?
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post #2 of 11
Take a look at: Yucca root - Google Search
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post #3 of 11
Yucca is a staple in Caribbean and Central American cuisines. It's starchy, fibrous and pretty bland. It can be used in many of the same ways potatoes are.

Because it's so fibrous, your best bet is to begin by cutting the yucca into serving size pieces and simmering it until it's tender before moving on to other techniques, such as frying or sauteeing. A favorite yucca recipe throughout the Caribbean basin is cutting the yucca into "steak fry" size gougonettes, blanching them to doneness, then sauteing in oil, and finally serving with mojo de ajo. Another very common preparation is to cube, cook in water, drain, and mash with mojo de ajo. FWIW, mashed yucca makes for a very good croquette.

Hope this helps,
BDL
Ex-owner operator of Predominantly French (catering), ex-line cook at a couple of pretty good joints, ex-peripatetic cooking instructor.
post #4 of 11
I was participating in a professional chef cook-off and received it as a mystery basket ingredient in one of the rounds. I grated it and used it to coat the catfish fillet that was also an ingredient, before I sauteed the fillet.
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post #5 of 11
Also known as cassava. It is a staple in South America and Africa. You can buy "Yucca Flour" from latin/ethnic foods stores. My mom makes "arepa" which is a cheesy dough made from the flour that is pressed into thin discs and pan fried til crispy.

The raw roots/leaves of the plant have toxins that can transform to cyanide in your body (can be fatal). I am guessing (hoping) that the yucca sold in grocery stores has been processed or treated in some way to have these toxins removed, as it is not very common knowledge (aside from regions of the world that depend on it).
post #6 of 11
Its South Americas Potato. It is also widely used as an aphrodisiac, and cure all. The flour made from it is called Tapioca. I have found that is only as good as the flavors you add to it, as it is very bland.
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post #7 of 11
As to the cyanide compounds, there are two main types of Yucca, bitter and sweet. The cyanide compounds occur only in the bitter variety, hence only the sweet variety is approved by the USDA for sale in the United States.
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #8 of 11
Like Ras1187 said, it is better known as cassava. Many hindu friends I know cook with it alot and they just love it.

Some more facts:
www.ikisan.com/ban_htm/cassava.shtml

It is hard to peel but when you finally manage to get that thick waxy skin off, I used to cut into french fries until golden brown and sprinkle with sea salt.
Not much taste though, its what you put on them that really matters.

A nice dessert is the following, I add cinnamon as well, its called 'cassava bibingka'.
www.cooks.com/rec/search/0,1-0,cassava,FF.html

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Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
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Wine and Cheese
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post #9 of 11
The more I know, thanks :chef:
post #10 of 11
It's awesome cooked and mashed as in potatoes and seasoned with garlic and kosher salt and served with carnitas! :lips:
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My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
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post #11 of 11

Yucca Root

Hi, Eric. I from Puerto Rico. This is a typical food in Puerto Rico. Yuca is a tropical root vegetable, grown as a shrub in temperate zones of Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and South America, that is harvested for its root and leaves. High in starch, it is a plant that contains low levels of protein in the root and high levels in the green leaves. This plant is a key crop in many areas where other crops cannot grow as easily, making it valued as a food and a crop to market to local food markets, or ethnic food markets worldwide as a fresh or frozen vegetable.

Yuca with garlic sauce (en escabeche)

3 pounds yuca
1/2 cup vegetable oil
5 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 onions, slices
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 cup corn oil

1. Combine the garlic, onions, thyme, and vegetable oil. Set aside.
2. Using a sharp knife, peel the yuca until you see the white flesh. Remove the thick fibers that you find in the middle. Cut into chunks about the size of a potato.
3. Place the chunks into a pot of boiling water with a pinch of salt for about 20 minutes or until the yuca is tender, but not falling apart. If using frozen yuca, it will take only about 10 minutes. Do not overcook or it will be mushy.
4. Remove the yuca. Place in a colander and drain it. Cut into strips.
5. Heat the corn oil in a heavy skillet.
6. Sauté the yuca until golden brown.
7. Arrange the strips on a platter, and pour the garlic oil over the "fries."
Enjoy,
Regards
Rai :chef: :beer:
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