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Posts tagged ‘Yuca’

A Panamanian Afternoon

I was talking with someone about cooking the other day, and we both agreed that we did not like having people in the kitchen with us when we cooked.  I realized as I was nodding sympathetically that I had made a plan with my friend Valerie to do exactly that the very next day.  Rather than grab a coffee somewhere, I thought it would be fun if we got together and made something that I could write about here.  I hadn’t included any Panamanian recipes until now so Val was supposed to consult her aunts for suggestions, and I was going to get everything ready so that when she got here we could whip something up quickly.  We decided to make carimañolas, mashed yuca formed into a roll then stuffed with picadillo and deep fried, a popular breakfast and afternoon snack in Panama similar to the croquetas de yuca that I have when I’m home.  An easy afternoon of catching-up, photographing my food, and turning Panamanian street food into an appetizers-for-lunch meal. Read more

Figure Eights

There’s always a point when I finish a post and choose a country category that feels a little dishonest.  Well not so much dishonest but not the whole elephant either.  When I decided to write about Latin food, I knew that it would be a fuzzy focus and difficult to define.  Buñuelos, fritters popular throughout Spain and Latin America, are a good example.  Originally from the Iberian penninsula, they’re either Arabic or Sephardic, or maybe both.  Typically made from a wheat-based dough that’s flavored with anise, they’re rolled into balls or discs and deep fried then topped with a syrup or honey. Read more


I’ve had waxy brown yucas on my counter for a couple of weeks.  There were so many things that I wanted to make with them – salads, empanadas, croquetas – that I ended up doing nothing at all.  My absolute favorite way of eating yuca is on Christmas day, standing around my aunt’s kitchen while she fries up perfectly golden batches of fries using the boiled yuca left over from Noche Buena.  Dipped in garlic aioli, it’s impossible to let it cool long enough before diving in, but worth the burn.  With Christmas months away, I flipped through a few books to see how I wanted to use the increasingly reproachful yuca I’d been putting off.  That’s when I found Alex Garcia’s recipe for yucassoise from In a Cuban Kitchen.  There is nothing suave about barklike, starchy yuca so I loved the idea of transforming it into a smooth, cold soup. Read more