Monday, August 31, 2009
I've always thought of yucca as being a very exotic thing. Not only is it not part of the average American diet but it also has some very strange textural characteristics which make it very weird. Yucca, similar to a potato, is often eaten boiled and mashed. Because it is VERY high in starch, if you give the yucca mash a good mix, it becomes very sticky and gooey. This paste can be very good for various things, but I've found, I often end up with this sticky paste, when all I wanted was mashed yucca.
Here are 3 quick tips for getting a good mashed yucca.
1. Peel completely. Remove the hard outer skin as well as the pinky underskin. The delicate white inside will be less fibrous then the outer layers.
2. Boil the shit out of it. Cut the yucca into disks or chunks and boil in water. I always boil potatoes until you can put a knife into it, but I've found, you have to boil yucca longer. It starts to break up in the water, but it will still be hard inside. Keep boiling it until it falls apart easily to the touch. This means the fiber has broken down a bit.
Potato Ricer: image courtesy of Exlibris
3. Use a potato ricer to mash the yucca. A ricer helps separate the hard fiber from the softer mash, leaving you with a perfectly fluffy pile of mashed yucca. I know you may not have a potato ricer, its sort of an unnecessary kitchen item. However, once every decade, it comes in handy, and this is one of those occasions.