Taro & Yucca for days

My strategy for this assignment was to walk into the produce section of my local grocery store, find two vegetables I was relatively unfamiliar with, and google recipes at the store to identify necessary ingredients. This strategy worked so-so.

Recipe #1 Braised Taro with Dried Shrimps
IMG_2018I hit a snag right away with this recipe, as I glanced through the ingredients and didn’t pause at “dried shrimp,” instead immediately thinking “Oh, I have shrimp at home. Perfect.” The taro was easy enough to prepare (I only needed two roots for this recipe), but I had to be creative with the amount of water I added and how long I cooked the recipe to account for the fresh vs dried shrimps.

Ultimately, the dish turned out fine, but the taro flavor didn’t add much to the recipe–perhaps it would have complemented the dried shrimp flavor better.

Recipe #2 Yucca Fries
I’ve only had Yucca once at a Cuban restaurant, and I loved the dense, starchy root. I was excited to add Yucca to the list of veggies and as I love roasted veggies, I chose the roasted fries recipe. Ultimately, I’d call this one a success.

After spending a considerable amount of time peeling and cutting and boiling the yucca, I was finally able to line my “fries” on the baking sheet. IMG_2024I chose smaller fries than indicated in the recipe in part because I hoped it would enable them to cook faster, and potentially get crispier. When the fries were finally ready, I made a sauce out of mayo, Worchester sauce, ketchup, cayenne and paprika to accompany the snack.
Recipe #3 Taro Shake
Okay. So the biggest issue I encountered in completing this assignment was research whether any of my veggies were poisonous to handle raw. It didn’t even occur to me as a possibility. Now I successfully cut-up two taro for the shrimp recipe, but the shake required to cups worth of mashed taro, and as I cut up my last taro my hands were itching incredibly. I had to run my hands under cool water and then rub anti-itch cream over my hands to bear it! As I put a pause on the shakes I looked up taro and realized that this is a common reaction to handling raw taro. Yikes! Proof that I should have done research in advance and not just picked to items at random.

Once my hands stopped itching, I boiled the taro for 40 minutes, mashed them, and added the rest of the smoothie ingredients to the ninja. Thankfully, I enjoyed the shake so perhaps the foray into raw taro was worth it…
Bonus Recipe Edit: I made the Kale & Potato soup that we didn’t make last week. Loved it. Thank you for the recipe and I’d totally make it again.



One thought on “Taro & Yucca for days

  1. RobinS says:

    I’m always impressed when folks choose taro and yuca for this assignment – it seems like a lot of work (and discomfort, in your case) to cook with these roots! I like that you chose very different preparations, and the Taro Shake sounds particularly yummy.
    Happy to hear you tried the potato soup. It’s a great example of how you can use just a few simple ingredients to make a really delicious meal – it’s great with a whole grain crusty bread (like miche).
    Thanks for sharing!


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