Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Taking on the Vcon Part 9 - Grilled Yucca Tortillas

Welcome to another tasty version of taking on the Vcon where 4 chicks take on one fabulous cookbook, Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. This week's recipe was selected by our master baker friend Rikki Cupcake over at Seitanic Vegan Heathen. Again she selected a recipe that I have not yet made. This makes me very happy as I love trying new things.

So the first challenge was finding yucca. Sometimes it is plentiful at Whole Foods and even regular stores. But no such luck today. I even stopped at the Guadalupe Market that often has all sorts of unusual produce. I was a bit concerned that many of their produce bins were barren. I hope this was because they were really busy today and not something more ominous. I was pleasantly surprised to find a vegan chorizo in their cooler. I plan on experimenting with that later this week/month. I also found a locally made salsa which was according to Fred "Hot without blowing your head off". I'll talk more about that later. On to this week's recipe.

Grilled Yucca Tortilla from Veganomicon

1 pound yucca, peeled, chopped into 4 inch chunks, and each chunk quartered
3 tablespoons olive oil (I reduced this by half)
6 cloves minced garlic
1 small yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into small dice (about 1 cup)
1 jalapeno, roasted or raw, seeded and minced (I didn't seed mine, I like heat!)
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
pinch of ground white pepper

I also opted to add 1 cup black beans

Boil 3 quarts of water in a large, lidded pot. Add the yucca and cook for 20-25 minutes, until yucca is tender and flakes when pierced with a fork (mine took more like 30-35 minutes) The instructions in the book are a little off here. According to the ingredient lists the yucca is to be peeled and chopped before cooking. In the instructions it says to peel the skin off after boiling. I opted to peel before boiling because there was funky waxy coating on it. I'm glad I did, because on big chunk of one of the yuccas was moldy. I cut carefully from the middle to each end like so:

Then I cut each yucca in half and quartered each half, like so:

Next I boiled the yucca for about 35 minutes until it was soft and flaky. While the yucca boiled I minced my garlic, finely diced my fresh jalapeno, and diced the yellow bell pepper. In a cold small iron skillet saute the minced garlic for about 2 minutes or until sizzling and fragrant. Add jalapenos and yellow bells cook stirring occasionally until soft (about 6-8 minutes). Let cool for a few minutes and stir into mashed yucca. Add lime juice and salt. I used my hands to mush it in really well. I then added 1 cup of black beans being careful to keep them as whole as possible.

Heat up a griddle or a cast iron pan. I used a cast iron pan. Heat pan over medium heat. Spray tortilla with canola or olive oil (the side that will be on the outside). Working quickly, lay tortilla in pan and spread 1/2 cup filling on one  half of the tortilla.

Fold tortilla in half.

Press down gently with spatula. Cook until tortilla is golden brown and flip over. Do the same on the other side, making sure filing is hot. Remove from pan, cut in half and serve. 

Can be served alone or with your choice of yummy toppings like guacamole, salsa, sour cream. I thought they were pretty darn good alone. I did have to try them with a locally made delicious salsa called Drunken Jalapenos Hot (Habanero) Salsa. I love that it is made right here in Higley, AZ. It's a family owned business and the salsa is pretty tasty too! Go local baby!! You can find it at the some of the local farmers' markets or order it online. Muy bueno! 

I really enjoyed this recipe. It felt quesadilla-esque, but it wasn't cheezy, in a good way. It was filling without feeling really heavy. The yucca gave it a starchy, but slightly sweet flavor. It is a pleasant change from the run of the mill quesadillas (when I say run of the mill, I mean yummy, deliciously cheezy versions that I love). But sometimes a desert dweller or quesadilla lover needs to break out of the box. This is a easy and tasty way to bust out. Give it a shot when you see yucca at your local market. 

****Be sure to check back next week for Vcon Strawberry Plum Crisp****


Kenike said...

At first I thought the recipe meant making yucca into tortillas and I was like, wow! that's way more work than I want. hahaha! Still an interesting recipe that would not be my first choice to make normally. But now that you all have gone there, I would consider cooking with yucca for the first time. :)

Veg-In-Training said...

It's really very easy. It's similar to using potatoes, but they take a little longer to cook. It is really a nice change.

Rikki Cupcake said...

ha! i saw "yucca" fresh at lee lee, but i was worried it wasn't yuca, with one A. But now looking at your photos, I indeed did find the right veggie. I then found a frozen bag of yuca, or cassave and used that. it was already peeled, bonus! yours looked really toasty and tasty. yum yum!

Veg-In-Training said...

I love Lee Lee! I like the idea of frozen to make this recipe even easier.