Sunday, December 14, 2008

Mashed yuca with lime

I have made this before but I never had a camera to document, so here's another go at it. It's hard to explain how delicious mashed yuca is, especially because yucas in their raw state are really ugly.They are huge brown bruisers and usually waxed which makes them feel gross to the touch. But when you cut them open you can see how thin the exterior is and what potential is inside.I used two big ones and it makes enough for about 6 people. Peel them really well because, like I said, the exterior isn't at all palatable. You will be peeling for ages but it isn't difficult or thick skin and it is totally worth it.Cut the peeled yuca into chunks and boil them for about 15 minutes, or until soft enough to poke through with a fork.Meanwhile, get the zest and juice from two limes. Sometimes I end up also using juice from 1 lemon additionallly.Cut one medium onion into incredibly thin half-moon slices and cook in 3 tablespoons butter over medium-low heat until they are extremely soft but not at all browned. By the way, just go ahead and get the entire stick of butter out because you will use it all before the end here.By now your yuca should be done so drain it off......and add it into your huge skillet with the onions. Mash it up and gradually add in the rest of the stick of butter. It shouldn't be perfectly smooth but eventually will start to look more creamy and even. Eventually you want a texture sort of like lumpy mashed potatoes.Add lots of salt and pepper--taste to make sure you have enough because it is super-starchy and will taste really flat otherwise. Remove from heat and stir in your lime zest and juice, adding lemon juice if you think it needs it. A weird story about these particular yuca--I was at the DeKalb market and walked away from my buggy. When I came back an old Caribbean lady was peering in at the contents and asked me what I was going to do with the yuca. I told her basically what I just wrote here--boil, mash with onions and butter, then lime juice--and she told her friend "oh, OK, she can cook" and they walked off. I wondered if it was a test and if I had answered incorrectly ("it's for decoration!") they would have taken it away.

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