Test Kitchen - Yuca Al Mojo

I'm going to say that due to the fact that the Test Kitchen ingredient last week had a provocative picture taken of it, we saw a lot of recipe suggestions for yucca root. It also seemed like frying the waxy root was the main method of choice among the readers. Just because it's yucca doesn't mean it needs to be fried! One suggestion (by Guillermo D.) caught my eye - yuca al mojo. I had no idea what it was but upon looking it up, it seemed simple and enjoyable enough. It also had a few variations depending on preference and claims of authenticity. My guess is that it's a homestyle-type of dish so recipes will change from household to household. I went with a variation that was a culmination of the recipes I saw. The result was this strangely addictive starchy dish that had crunch and sweetness from onions, citrus sourness from lime, and a soft bite from the yucca. Interesting indeed.

Step 1: Ingredients (yields 2 servings)

  • 1 yucca root, peeled
  • olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 lime, juice only
  • parsley, for garnishing

Step 2: Prepping the ingredients
The ingredients may be very simple for this dish but the wait time is a little long when it comes to the yucca root. It is quite the hardy thing so you do have to boil it into edible softness. This involves approximately 30 minutes of boiled saltwater. Peel your root and place in boiling water for half an hour; it's ready when it is fork tender. While that is boiling, thinly slice onion and garlic. Remove yucca from boiling water when done and let cool until you are able to handle it.

Step 3: Cooking the mojo
In a large skillet, spread out enough olive oil to coat the bottom generously. Add in thinly sliced onion for one minute; then add in garlic. Stir around until the onion just starts to turn translucent. Turn off and remove from heat to allow crunchiness to remain. Mix in salt and pepper.

Step 4: Finishing
Chop up yucca into thick strips. Squeeze lime juice over yucca before topping with the onion mixture. Finish with a sprinkling of fresh parsley and enjoy.

This week's Test Kitchen ingredient: pineapple balsamic vinegar
It is what it is. If you were wondering what a more citrusy and tart balsamic would taste like, here's pineapple balsamic vinegar from you. We snagged this bottle from 41 Olive at Irvine Spectrum and are curious as to what we can do with it. Share your thoughts on Facebook when you see the picture go up!

Photography by Minerva Thai and Duc Duong, whoever wasn't stirring.