I can’t believe what I’m about to write. This Sunday is Super Bowl, and I’m excited about it. Since when do I give a “rabano” (radish) about American football? I always thought it was such a violent nonsense sport with a flawed name (shouldn’t it be handball or bodyball or let’s-kick-each-others-asses-ball instead?) But as change is the only constant, here I am, living in NYC, and awaiting Sunday’s game with expectation.
The New York Giants are up against the New England Patriots, so one ends up sympathizing with the city and it’s people, and getting emotionally involved by default. I also have been watching a few games in the past weeks, with a patient boyfriend by my side explaining the players’ every move, so at least I now know what’s going, and don’t get painfully bored by it. It’s even kinda fun, but shhhhh!!!!! Don’t tell anyone!
So I’m gonna watch the Super Bowl this weekend with a few friends, and as I do in every other aspect of my life, I’m gonna focus on the food, of course. For Sunday’s game I thought one of our simplest, easiest, cheapest, and most delicious piqueos (hors d’oeuvres) would absolutely nail it as the ultimate game-watching finger food. Perfect to be accompanied by a few beers, and to get one’s appetite going if more food is on the menu. And this country is the french fries meca, so a little deviation from that –fried yucas– will surely keep everyone around happy.
In Peru we use any excuse to nibble on yuquitas fritas (fried yuca sticks), with some of our favourite sauces (huancaina, ocopa, rocoto sauce, aji sauce, guacamole…). The secret for finger licking fried yuca sticks is to boil them in advance, then cool, cut, and freeze for a few days or weeks, and when you want to make them just take the frozen sticks out and fry them without previous defrosting. The result is a wonderful creamy yuca, with a golden crispy crust, made in a few minutes. What could be better than that?
- ½ rocoto, ribbed and seeded (canned is fine)
- 8 oz cream cheese or white cheese (queso fresco)
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- Salt and pepper
- ½ kg yuca, boiled and cut in sticks
- 2 garlic cloves
- Vegetable oil for frying
- To make the rocoto sauce: In the blender process cheese, rocoto, vegetable oil, until creamy or a little chunky. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve.
- Peel the yuca, and cook in salted water with the garlic cloves until tender. Strain, let cool and cut in sticks.
- Heat 1 inch oil in a saucepan, and when hot, fry the yuca sticks, a few at a time until golden. Drain on paper towels.
- Serve with rocoto sauce.