Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tubesday Dinner: Yuca (Cassava)

My sister and boyfriend decided Sunday that we'd all collaborate on a tuber-themed dinner Tuesday. My sister affectionately dubbed the evening "Tubesday" dinner, and the goal was to test-drive unfamiliar root-vegetables that we often see in the grocery store. The dinner was a fabulous success, and I intend to post an entry about each tasty dish we created.

This post features yuca, or cassava, a delicious root with a thick, brown skin and white, juicy flesh.

My sister prepared a surprisingly simple and delightful dish of Jamaican origin called "bammy" using a quick blurb on Wikipedia describing it. They turned out really tasty, reminding me of the texture of a fish cake.

I highly recommend this dish for a change of pace. It probably takes about 20 minutes start to finish to complete. Serve with a salad of leafy greens and you have yourself a 30 minute meal to rival any of Rachael Ray's!

Sara's Bammy
Serves 3 or 4

1 large yuca root
canola oil
coconut milk

Using a knife or a heavy-duty vegetable peeler, peel all the brown skin from the yuca root. Grate the entire root (you can use a box grater or the food processor. I don't think it matters how fine the grate is). Sprinkle a generous amount of salt on the grated yuca and let sit for a few minutes (this will help leech out some of the moisture),

Take the grated yuca and squeeze out as much moisture as possible using your hands. Spread the squeezed, grated yuca on a baking sheet and allow to dry for about 15 minutes.

Form 3 or 4 flat patties with the grated yuca. They will seem like they will fall apart, but do the best you can. They'll hold together once you get them in the frying pan.

Over medium-high heat, heat enough oil in a skillet to cover the bottom (it doesn't have to be deep). Once the oil is hot, fry the yuca patties for about 1 minute per side. Remove them from the pan (keep the heat on), and dip them in coconut milk. Return them to the frying pan and fry for another 1 or 2 minutes per side.

Serve immediately.

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