Yautía y Yuca en Escabeche with plantains

Yautía y Yuca en Escabeche with plantains
(Serves 6) – Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free
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Yautía (Taro Root) and Yuca (Cassava) are root vegetables in a warm vinaigrette. A staple growing up in our Puerto Rican home. Viandas! – a root vegetable dish, including Potatoes and ñame (true Yam), served with Plantains or Guineos (Green Bananas) topped with Avocado and Pre-Vegan served with Bacalao (salted dried cod fish) or Hard Boiled Eggs. A simple dish drizzled with Olive Oil and fresh red onions, sliced thin. Yautía it’s healthy and low fat, taro root, is easily digestible. It’s a complex carb with Vitamins A, C and Iron. Yuca should be quartered to expose and remove the woody core. Technically speaking the core can be toxic uncooked. It’s easiest to remove the core before cooking. It’s not dangerous, however, when cooked. Verduras with Olive Oil is so simple and a favorite of mine. I really do love Yuca fries also. My husband and I went to Puerto Rico three years ago and ate at this restaurant in San Juan – their Yuca fries were to die for.

Ingredients:
3 Yautía (red), peeled and chopped
3 Yuca, peeled and chopped
2 Plantains
4 Sm.-Med. Gold Potatoes
1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ Cup White Vinegar
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
½ Red Onion, sliced thin
2-3 Bay Leaves
½ Tbsp Whole Peppercorns (Black or Rainbow)
½ Cup – 1 Cup Green Olives, stuffed with red peppers

Directions:
-Peel and Chop – Yautía, Yuca and Potatoes. Slice ends off Plantains and slice down from end to end.
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Yuca

-Bring large pot of water to boil. Boil: Yautia for 25 minutes. Yuca for 15 minutes. Potatoes for 10 minutes. Remove each and set aside after boiling. I cook each separately. Boil Plantains with skin on for 20 minutes. It will be easier to remove the skin once it’s boiled. –Remove skin, cut into 1-inch pieces and set aside.
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-In a medium saucepan, sauté onions, bay leaves and peppercorns in ½ Cup of the olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and continue sautéing for another couple minutes.
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-Add remaining olive oil, vinegar and olives. Combine root vegetables then pour pickling liquid over top before serving. Serve as a side and Enjoy! – I can eat this without a side.
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Mofongo (Fried Plantain Dish)

Mofongo (Fried Plantain Dish)
(Serves 4) – Vegan / Gluten-Free (using GF Panko or omit)

Vegan Mofongo with Coconut Bacon

Vegan Mofongo with Coconut Bacon

Mofongo is another classic Puerto Rican dish made with plantains and typically made with Chicharrón (Fried Pork Skins aka Pork Rinds). I’ve never had chicharrónes, so I can’t say that I know what they taste, which means I’ve never had Mofongo in its traditional form with pork. Mofongo is typically also made using a pilón (wooden mortar and pestle). Since I realize not many people may own a pilón, let alone know what it is, this recipe is made without using one. However, if you have one use it, since a pilón is made of wood over time it absorbs the flavors of the ingredients that have been prepared in it over the years (mashed garlic, olive oil etc.) this in turn will enhance the flavor of your dish. Have you ever chopped up garlic on your wood cutting board, and then washed it and it still smelled like garlic afterwards – similar concept. Since this version is already omitting the pork and not using a pilón either, I wanted to maintain the concept. You can surely just mash everything up in a bowl instead of the cutting board, however, since I took the time to make the garlic into a paste I want to be sure to incorporate all that flavor from the cutting board so I mash the plantains first on my cutting board into the garlic before transferring into a bowl to combine the remaining ingredients. I absolutely love how garlicky this recipe is.
Vegan Mofongo
Ingredients:
Tostones (Prepared using 4 Plantains)
2 Cups Coconut Bacon, see recipe
9 Garlic Cloves, mashed
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ Tbsp Salt
1 Cup Vegetable Broth
1/3 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs + 1 Tsp Liquid Smoke, Optional

Directions:
-Prepare Tostones – see recipe here.
-If using pilón – mash garlic, olive oil and salt then add Tostones (about 6-8 per person).
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-Without a pilón – begin by chopping garlic on cutting board, once chopped add olive oil and salt and continue mashing into a paste. Continue passing your knife in a dragging motion.
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-Divide garlic evenly on cutting board. With a potato masher begin mashing tostones into garlic (about 6-8 pieces per person).
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-Once mashed transfer to bowl and combine with remaining ingredients. I divide up evenly, for example ¼ cup broth per.
-Toast panko over medium heat in a dry pan for a couple minutes until lightly toasted, fold into mofongo mixture.

-Remove from bowl and form into a ball, serve as a side or main entrée.

Variation:
-Instead of using completed flattened tostones. Fry plantains 1-inch pieces about 7 minutes on each side and mash/incorporate from there with remaining ingredients.
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-Once all ingredients have been incorporated you can fry a second time the completed mofongo ball for a couple minutes.

Puerto Rican Tostones (Twice Fried Plantains)

Puerto Rican Tostones (Twice Fried Plantains)
(Serves 4-6 but can be easily multiplied or divided) – Vegan / Gluten-Free / Soy-Free
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Tostones are a classic Latin dish and they are so simple to make. They are twice fried plantains and can be served as a side item or as an appetizer/snack. I enjoy these straight up with salt/garlic powder but the kids enjoy them with ketchup similar to french fries. They are crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle.
Although my mother may not realize, I was a bit of a sponge growing up and have many fond memories of our food, culture and traditions. I learned a tremendous amount from her and now enjoy making and veganizing a lot of my favorite childhood dishes.

Ingredients:

4 Green Plantains (depends on serving size)
Oil for Frying – Canola/Vegetable
6-8 Cups of warm water (does not have to be an exact measurement), divided
1-2 Tsp Garlic Powder
2-4 Tsp Salt, divided
(Garlic Powder/Salt do not have to be an exact measurement in this recipe, they are used to sprinkle/toss after frying).

Directions:
-Peel plantains: cut off ends and then cut a slit lengthwise down the plantain and remove the skin.
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– Heat Oil over medium heat so its ready when it’s fry time. Oil should be about an inch from the bottom – it should come up about halfway up the plantains when they are added.
-Fill a bowl with about 4 cups of warm salted water.
-Cut into 1-inch pieces. -Add the cut pieces to the water as you go until all the plantains have been cut. This prevents oxidation while you continue to prepare. Note: Water measurement does not have to be exact it should be enough to cover.
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-Drain water and dry pieces completely before frying.
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-Fry plantains about 6 minutes total – about 3 minutes on each side, flipping halfway.
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-Remove plantains and drain on a paper towel.
-Press plantain pieces.
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You can use a tostonera (plantain press – pictured above) or mom’s tried and true way of a simple brown paper bag. Just rip off a large piece and press by hand – the bag will also absorb excess oil. Set aside once they are all flattened.
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-Re-fill bowl with warm water. Quickly dip each piece into water before dropping back in oil for 2nd fry. (Do not let them sit or soak in the water in this step, as they will get soggy). Just a quick dip before frying again will make them crispier.
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-Fry for another 1-2 minutes on each side until they are crispy and golden.
-Remove from oil, drain and sprinkle/toss in salt and garlic powder immediately. Serve warm. Enjoy!