Latin ingredient of the week: Yuca (EXCLUSIVE RECIPE)

Today is the start of a brand-new weekly feature here at MamásLatinas: Latin ingredient of the week!

Since we're all pretty food-obsessed and always looking for new recipes, every Monday we'll be featuring a brand-new guide on a great Latin ingredient that we all know and love--or one that we all SHOULD know and love--along with a delicious recipe. This week's winner: yuca!

Yuca, or cassava, is a root vegetable native to South America that's often considered to be similar to the potato. It has a bark-like rough dark skin and, when you buy it, it should be coated with wax to prevent breakdown. Store it in a cool, dark place before cooking.

One way that Latinos prepare it is by soft-boiling it and serving it with garlic sauce, something that is VERY popular in my native Cuba especially around Christmas. However,  this Latin ingredient, which is higher in fiber and potassium than the potato (though lacking in protein), is perfect any time of year. (See recipe below!)

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Cuban-Style Yuca with Garlic Sauce

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Yield: 12-16 servings

Ingredients:
2 pounds yuca, peeled and cut into long strips
Juice from 1 lime
12 garlic cloves, minced or mashed
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 small red onion, sliced fine

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Directions:
1. In a large pot, bring about 10 cups of salted water to a boil. Add in the yucca and lime juice. Cook until yuca is tender, about 30 minutes.

2. While the yucca is cooking, heat up the vegetable oil and throw in the red onions. Cook for about 10 minutes, then add in the lemon juice and minced garlic. Cook for another 5 minutes, until lightly golden brown, then set aside.

3. Once yuca is done, drain from water, put it on a plate and drizzle with the garlic sauce to serve. Enjoy!

What is your favorite Latin ingredient? Do you love this Cuban-style yuca? Share with us in the comments below!

Image via Thinkstock, Irina Gonzalez

Topics: traditional latin recipes  latin vegetarian recipes  low calorie  latin ingredient of the week  array