Friday, March 20, 2015

Cooking with Goya Yuca, EVOO, and Adobo Seasoning

A few weeks ago, Goya sent some food bloggers, including myself, complimentary Goya products to get creative with in the kitchen! I received Goya Adobo Seasoning, Goya EVOO, and Goya Frozen Yuca.

What the heck is yuca?

As a girl of German descent living in the Midwest, yuca was not prominently featured in our grocery stores or my family's cuisine. So I really had no idea what to do with the yuca.

Before I got started, I did some research online to figure out just what it was that was now taking up space in my freezer.

Yuca is a root vegetable with many similarities to white potatoes. This super starchy tuber has its history in South America and continues to be used in South American and Caribbean cuisine as well as Asian and African meals. You can find a whole lot more information on yuca from this very helpful post over at Empowered Sustenance. There is also an embedded video from Predominantly Paleo that shows you how to prepare frozen or fresh yuca and turn it into a dough. It was this video that inspired me!

Goya did give me a yuca recipe (more on that later), but I really wanted to try something adventurous, and for my first outing with yuca, it turned out pretty well!

I used the Paleo Empanadas recipe from Predominantly Paleo to guide me, using roughly 3 cups of frozen yuca (cooking it according to the package instructions), vegetable oil instead of avocado oil (I am not that worried about my health), regular ground beef instead of grass fed (sorry cows), and regular sea salt instead of garlic sea salt.

The only issue I had with turning yuca into dough was that it gets super sticky once cooked, and it kind of clogged up my blender, and so I wasn't able to blend up all of the yuca as much as I would have liked. The original recipe calls for a VitaMix, which I don't have, so I don't know if that is just more powerful than my regular old CuisinArt blender. I would probably try to separate the yuca into two batches to make it easier to blend.

And here is the finished result! Little gluten-free empanadas made with a yuca dough! How cool is that? They were very yummy, too. (This recipe only makes 12, so next time I think I would serve it with rice or some type of dipping sauce.)

I then made the recipe that Goya gave me for Yuca with Garlic Sauce, which uses the yuca and Goya EVOO. I served it as a side to turkey burgers instead of french fries. 

Gotta say, not as fond of yuca in this form. The yuca didn't seem to suck in the garlic sauce enough to really get the flavor, and the cooked yuca tends to get these long fibrous bits in them that you have to pick out because they're not super pleasant to eat.

And last but not least, I made my own little Mexican rice side dish to accompany some Udi's breakfast burritos for dinner one night. For the rice, I used a can of black beans (drained and rinsed), 1 cup of Minute Rice, 1 tsp. of Goya Adobo Seasoning, and 1/8 tsp. of cumin. Just cook the Minute Rice according to the package instructions, and then add in everything else when done. Kind of a nice change of pace from traditional white (or brown) rice.

I think the Adobo Seasoning would also add a nice flavor to a breakfast hash or home fries. Spice up your morning a little bit!

Have you tried any of these products? How do you use them in your cooking? Share favorite recipes or Goya products in the comments below!

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