Thursday, February 27, 2014

Moro with Gandules, Beet Salad, Fried Yucca & Salad with Chipotle Dressing

I go through periods of really missing NY.  Or at least lots of things about it.  I loved that there was amazing ingredients on every corner to make the Dominican food that makes my hubby so happy.  There are a couple places here that sell a few of these ingredients thankfully, so I can make food that makes him happy (and myself-I have grown to love Dominican food!).  There were a couple items I was able to bring back with me from NY, because I wasn't sure if the ingredients would be here.  One of those was about 15 lb. of yucca (which is loooong gone!) and a couple packages of frozen gandules (pigeon peas).  You can get the dried gandules here, but they are not the same as the fresh-frozen ones.  I opened up our last package for this meal, which makes me sad, but made our bellies oh so happy!  I'll just have to figure out a place where I can get them, either online, or through explorations of other cities than Traverse City.  We've not really had the opportunity to venture outside of this area yet.  I've heard there are several vegan/vegetarian restaurants throughout the state, which I am super excited about exploring!  And hopefully not too far into the future, we will be adding another one!   

Giant plate of food for the Hubbs

Chipotle Dressing:
1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 chipotle in adobo sauce, minced or pureed
pinch black pepper
sea salt to taste
(Mix everything together in a bowl until well combined.  Season to taste.)

Fried Yucca:
2 large yucca, waxy outer peels removed, sliced in half lengthwise and cut into large rings
canola oil to fry
sea salt
granulated garlic

1.  If you are going to prepare everything in the meal, now would be a good time to get started on the rice.  You can also get the beets cooking, because they take the longest amount of time.
2.  The yucca must be cooked by boiling before it can be fried - that's just the nature of the beast.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Carefully place the yucca inside and cook just until is cooked through.  You do not want to overcook it, or it will become water logged and mushy.  Drain the yucca and allow it to cool for at least half an hour, or until it is dry to the touch and cool enough to handle. 
3.  Trim the yucca.  Yucca has a thick stem in the very center - you want to be sure to remove that because it is very unpleasant to bite into, and poses a choking hazard.  Cut the yucca into more manageable pieces.  Sprinkle the yucca all over with the granulated garlic.
4.  Place a thin layer of canola oil into a large saute pan and place over medium-high heat.  Allow the oil to become hot.  Once the oil is hot, carefully add the yucca and allow to cook for a couple minutes per side, or until nicely crispy.  Remove the yucca from the pan and place on a paper towel lined plate.  Immediately sprinkle with sea salt.  Be sure to serve warm.
5.  To serve, place a serving of each of the items on your plate. 



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