Yucca al Ajillo (Fried Yucca with Garlic)

I am fast approaching my due date and have reached that promised mental state  of being ready to be done with pregnancy.  Back pain has kept me relatively immobile and while pre-pregnancy me thought that being confined to “bed rest” sounded like the equivalent of a snow day, when the rules of normal life don’t apply, I am going stir crazy, unable to do the most menial of tasks and having to rely on my overburdened, valiant husband to shoulder my responsibilities.

Included now in the laundry list of household chores for which Sergio alone is responsible is cooking.  I am verboten from entering the kitchen, given the strain on my back, and he has had to whip out his cache of Cuban recipes in order to sustain us.  Fortunately for us, these recipes have been honed over the 15+ years of bachelorhood, and are not only easy and filling, but also delicious.

This recipe for yucca is a staple in Cuban cuisine, served alongside typical dishes such as ropa viaja and pollo al ajillo. The nutritional benefits of yucca, compared to other root veggies, are well-documented and, sauteed in garlic, this recipe meets my criteria of delicious, healthy, easy and cheap!

Yucca al Ajillo

 Ingredients

  • 2 pounds yucca
  • 1 bulb garlic, minced
  • 5-10 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Peel yucca with a vegetable peeler and cut into 2-inch cubes.
  2. Place cut yucca in boiling water until soft (about 30-40 minutes).
  3. Heat 5 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan and over medium-high heat and saute yucca until crispy/golden in appearance (about 1-2 minutes on each side).  Add olive oil as needed.
  4. Add minced garlic and stir into yucca to coat, allowing garlic to cook briefly (about 1 minute).
  5. Serve.