16 April 2010

fauxtato salad


doesn't that look like potato salad?? well it is not. that, my one & only reader, is yuca salad! what the heck is that, you ask? here is what wiki has to say.

i was introduced to yuca by my dear friend tinker. she brought my family cuban food when we were in our babymoon. it was all so scrumptious, but the fried yuca was my favorite. later, when i was off nightshades, we had it again. this time i realized that the yuca was similar in taste & texture to potato.

it took me awhile to get courageous enough to prepare yuca on my own, but i finally did. i bought mine at whole foods, but i imagine i can find it (for less money) at a hispanic market. here, in los angeles, there are many. look for specialty markets in your area first, because wf charged a pretty penny.

preparing the yuca is simple. shave the skin with a sharp knife, or peeler. you then cut the yuca into thick slices, & drop them carefully into a pot of boiling water. keep an eye on the pot; as you would with potatoes; & drain when fork-tender.

at this point i cut the slices into cubes, & stuck the majority into the fridge. the remainder i fried in olive oil, to eat right then, with salt & pepper mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

the next day i tossed the chilled yucca with the ingredients of my mother's potato salad, & voilá! fauxtato salad for those allergic/sensitive to nightshades.

notes: yuca has a hint of sweetness to it. the salad was delicious, but it needed to be tweaked for balance. next time i'd swap the sweet onions for scallions, perhaps add some chopped olives, or a bit of horseradish?? definitely some crushed garlic. great, now i'm hungry. if you prefer a sweet potato salad, like my mil's, then you could just do a straight yuca-for-tater swap.

what is your favorite cuban treat? fried yuca? fried plantains? do tell!


Spryte said...

Sounds delish- You can do sunchoke potato salad too

cassava is great in soups to replace potato so it might work too- then you can have a huge variety of fauxtatoes

kat (kats in the belfry) said...

i love sunchoke! thanks :)

mm i shall have to do leek/yuca soup next.

blueeyedcrow said...

(Yuca is the cassava plant, it is also known as manioc and is the plant that tapioca is made from.)
You are so creative, I have never heard of anyone making tater salad with yuca, that is so cool! I think the sweetness of yuca will be good with the leeks in soup.
..tinker, who love love loves fried plantain

Dayanara said...

Thats a very diff way to prepare yucca that Im used to but looks like I will try to make some-yum!
A good place to buy yucca in the LA area are the El Cubano Super Markets or Vallarta. My favorite way to it is in "caldito or caldo de res" which is a beef stew or soup you make in a giant pot and you throw in lots of veggie, you serve it over rice and top with cilantro chopped onions and lime-
great post!

kat (kats in the belfry) said...

tinker, mmm i love those too.

dayanra, i will go there, thanks! that stew sounds amazing. i shall have to see if i can make it vegetarian.

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