Stuffed yuquitas – A weekend snack

Boiled and mashed yucca, stuffed with a little square of cheese and a pinch of fresh herbs, then breaded and fried, are a little piece of heaven for us. Every bite of this golden hors d’oeuvre brings with it the surprise of a crunchy outside, creamy inside, and melted cheese hidden right at the center of it. They are usually accompanied by one or several Peruvian sauces made of chili peppers, (or some mayonnaise), and have the spotlight at dinner parties, cocktail parties, and friendly gatherings in general.
I
n Peru, we buy two varieties of fresh yucca in the markets: white –available year round-, and yellow –which, like yellow potatoes, is creamier, very tender, and seasonal-. No waxed yucca for us, thank you very much! But of course, I’m realistic and know this delicious root can’t be found in its virgin state in a lot of places, so if you don’t, just work a little harder on softening the yucca (and taking out all the hard, fibrous parts), and problem solved.
This snack is very easy to make and only requires boiling the root in salted water, peeled and cut in 3 – 4 inch pieces. I add a few peeled garlic cloves to the water, which lend a great flavor to the yucca, and can be mashed with it too. Depending on its freshness, the yucca will soften soon, but sometimes it takes forever to cook, so keep checking. It´s ready when it feels very soft when pierced with the tip of a knife. Cool it inside the same water, pass it through a potato ricer (or mash with a potato masher), knead until it becomes a smooth dough (make sure you remove all the hard fibers), add pepper and more salt if needed, and form the little balls.
I promise this will become a favorite snack in your repertoire.

Cheese-filled yuquitas
Author: 
Recipe type: Hors d’oeuvres
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 6
 

Ingredients
  • ½ lb. yucca
  • Salt
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 4 oz. cheese (Cheddar, Mantecoso, firm Mozzarella…)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup flour or panko
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • Chili pepper sauces, to serve

Instructions
  1. Peel the yucca, put in a saucepan in salted water to cover, add the garlic cloves, and cook over high heat, with the lid ajar, until soft when pierced with the tip of a knife. Turn off the heat and let cool in the same water.
  2. Pass through a ricer. Sometimes you need to do this twice, to get the right consistency.
  3. Knead a couple minutes, and take a piece the size of a walnut. Pressing with your hands form a round tortilla, put a square of cheese, a little bit of parsley, and close like a little empanada. You can make them in round or oval shape.
  4. Whisk the egg lightly. Roll the yuquitas in the egg, then in the flour or panko. Accommodate the yuccas in a plate.
  5. Meanwhile, in a frying pan, heat the vegetable oil, and fry the yuccas at high heat, leaving enough room between them, turning them so they can get a nice golden color all around. Transfer to a cooking rack or a dish covered with paper towels, to drain the excess oil.
  6. Serve in a dish, accompanied by aji amarillo or rocoto sauce, mayonnaise with herbs, of avocado sauce.

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Comments

  1. Ufff!! estas bolitas de yuca son lo maximoooo!!! a mi me fascinan y son un vicio! Y si uno las quiere mas gourmet las puede hacer con queso brie y probar infinidades de rellenos puede ser de verduritas o prosciutto pero siempre con queso para que se derrita delicioso!!!!

  2. Looks delicious!! I love yucca, it’s totally underrated

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