Friday, May 21, 2010

Grilled Yuca Tortillas

Yuca is a large, tropical root vegetable, also known as cassava. Its loaded with fiber and its taste can be described as nutty with a hint of sweetness. I buy mine at Whole Foods but it can also be found at Asian or Hispanic markets.
The only thing I dislike about preparing yuca is the extra work it takes to peel and remove all the rubbery skin. I've heard that yuca is also sold in the frozen aisle, prepeeled, but I haven't ran across any yet. If you can find this, I would suggest it because it will cut the work in half.

Ingredients - Yuca Filling

* 1 lb yuca, peeled, chopped into 4-inch chunks, and each chunk quartered
* 3 Tb olive oil
* 6 cloves garlic, chopped coarsely
* 1 small yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into small dice ( about 1 cup )
* 1 jalapeno, roasted or raw, seeded and minced
* 2 tsp lime juice
* 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
* Pinch of ground white pepper

Optional additional fillings - 1/2 cup of one or more
* Sauteed corn kernels
* Diced roasted red pepper
* Sauteed mushroom
* Sliced black olives
* 4-6 ( 8 inch ) flour/whole wheat or spinach tortillas

1. Boil 3 quarts of water in a large, lidded pot. Add the yuca and cook for 20-25 minutes, until the yuca is tender and flakes easily when pierced with a fork. Drain and allow to cool.
2. When the yuca is cool enough to touch, remove any thick, rubbery skin from the outside of the roots and/or fibrous corn from the center, if present. Gently mash with your fingers and set aside.
3. Place the oil and garlic in a cold cast-iron skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, or until sizzling and fragrant.
4. Add the bell and jalapeno peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are very soft, 6-8 minutes, then pour over the mashed yuca.
5. Stir in the lime juice, salt and white pepper, mashing the mixture even more, until everything is combined ( using your hands is okay ). Taste the mixture and adjust the salt content to taste.

To Assemble -
1. Heat the griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Brush a tortilla lightly with olive oil and spread with a generous 1/2 cup of filling, covering half the tortilla all the way to the edges.
2. Fold in half, gently pressing the tortilla together, and brush each side with a little olive oil. Place in the heated skillet and grill - flipping once - pressing down on the tortilla with a spatula until the outsides are nicely toasted and filling is piping hot. Remove from the heat, cut in half, and serve with salsa and guacamole.

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