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Appetite for Reduction
by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

I'm trying to think of ways to describe yuca in case you've never had it. What comes to mind is nutty, earthy, bitter, starchy ... but that doesn't do this tropical root vegetable justice. Comparable to a potato when mashed, its flavor is more, as the French say, "I don't know what."
Because of how starchy yuca is, it's often mashed with a lot of oil. Instead, to get it creamy here, you'll reserve some of the boiling liquid and stream it back in as you mash. The yuca becomes creamy and ready to take on the sauce of whatever you're serving it with. Some lime juice and cilantro finishes it off.
Active Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 40 Minutes
Serves 6


• 2 pounds yuca, peeled and chopped into 2-inch chunks
• 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
• 1 teaspoon olive oil
• 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus extra for salting the yuca water


Place the yuca in a pot and cover with water until submerged. Add a big pinch of salt, cover the pot, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer. Let simmer for about 20 minutes, until very, very tender. Turn off the heat.

Reserve about a cup of the hot water by carefully dipping a heatproof mug into the pot. Don't burn yourself, please. Drain the yuca, then return it to the pot. Add the lime juice, cilantro, oil, and salt. Mash well with a potato masher. Stream in the reserved hot water little by little, mashing as you go along. You may need up to 1/2 cup. Mash the yuca until nice and creamy and serve immediately.


Per Serving (1/6 Recipe):
Calories: 200; Calories from fat: 15; Total fat:1.5 g; Saturated fat: 0 g; Trans fat: 0 g; Totalcarb: 45 g; Fiber:2 g; Sugars: 0 g; Protein: 2 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 210 mg; Vitamin A: 0%; Vitamin C: 50%; Calcium: 8%; Iron: 20%;

Yuca usually comes with its outer peel waxed, to preserve freshness. That doesn't help you peel it, however' The easiest way I've found to peel yuca is to remove the rough ends and cut the yuca into thirds Place a piece vertically on the cutting board, secure it with your nonwritmg hand, and use a chef's knife to slice the skin off. If you don't have the best knife skills, a paring knife might work better but take a little longer. You might notice a fibrous core running down the center; slice that off once you've gotten the yuca into smaller pieces.



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