Yuca con mojo is the epitome of yummy. I was introduced to Cuban food about seven years ago, and just could not get enough of yuca con mojo. It's acidic and garlicky and slightly sweet. I could eat it all day.
It's really excellent with fatty meats - I cooked it for dinner with chorizo with caramelized onions and peppers and broiled asparagus last night. YUM
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Step 1: What You'll Need:
- 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of yuca root
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3-4 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice - this is normally 1-2 lemons
- one lime for yuca boiling water
Use fresh lemons and limes, and good olive oil for the best taste. Since it's such a simple dish, great ingredients are pretty necessary.
Step 2: Prep the Yuca
I don't wash it since it's waxed and I'll be peeling it anyway. :D Yuca should be VERY firm and white inside - if it's not, it's probably past it's prime. You'll want to sharpen your knife before this - they're ever tougher than yams or sweet potatoes.
I like to cut the yuca into shorter lengths and then peel those pieces. Because it's such a tough root, it can be hard to peel in bigger chunks.
Once it's peeled, cut the pieces in half lengthwise and then cut those into slices that are about 1/2-3/4 inch thick.
Some yuca will have very dark and woody bits in their core - you can cut it out now or pull it out after cooking. This particular yuca didn't have much of one, so I didn't worry about it.
Step 3: Cook the Yuca
Cover the sliced yuca with cold water and the juice from one lime. Add a couple pinches of salt and then bring it to a boil.
Once boiling, cover and lower to a simmer. You will want to cook the yuca for 25-30 minutes or until soft and slightly transparent. Another good indicator that the yuca is done is that it will smell nice and nutty.
Once it's soft, turn off the heat and drain it. I like to put it back in the pan and set it back on the hot burner to help it dry out a bit.
The first photo is an example of the woody core - if you see any pieces like this pull them out! They are not tasty.
Step 4: Make the Sauce
I normally do this while the yuca is cooking so it can come together pretty quick.
Slice your red onion nice and thin, and chop/mash your cloves of garlic together with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Combine this in a small saucepan with the lemon juice and olive oil.
Bring it up to a bubble and let it cook for just a couple minutes. Don't let anything brown! You really just want to heat it up and make it yummy. Heating it up also makes the onions a lovely color and softens the garlic.
Step 5: Combine and Eat!
Pour the sauce over the cooked yuca and mix it together over medium heat for a minute or two. It's best served right away - the flavors are most intense when it's hot!
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