© 2012 Jessie Kaufman
I've been craving yucca lately, but if you remember, I'm also on a diet. So I wanted to make the dish as calorie friendly as possible.
I subbed the sour cream and cream cheese with a cheese roux. And instead of all cheddar, I used half Edam and an Extra Sharp Cheddar. I also used skim milk and completely omitted the condensed chicken soup. (my family uses the soup, my mother in law doesn't.)
I'm not even completely sure if a cheese roux actually has less calories, but it's French, and so am I. I tend to gravitate towards foods that I feel my ancestors could have made.
As far as yucca goes, you can usually find it in your grocers freezer near the ethnic food. Sometimes it's near the Goya products, sometimes it is near the Indian where it's called Cassava. If you can't find it there, it's likely near the potatoes in the produce section. You'll just have to peel and cut it yourself. If you do this, get the hardest yuccas you can find. When you cut them they should have no little black lines inside, if you find this, the yucca is bad. Don't use it. It should be completely cream colored. See the photo below.
Cheesy Chipotle Yucca
serves 8 as a side
Cook time 1.5 hours
total time 1 hour
6 cups of fresh yucca (note, if you use frozen, just defrost it in the microwave and skip the boiling step, this will cut your cook time down by 1 hour)
a large pot of boiling, generously salted water
Peel yucca with a knife or sturdy vegetable peeler. Cut into 1 inch by 3 inch chunks. Add to boiling water and cook for one hour, or until tender- as if you were cooking mashed potatoes. Even though Yucca is a root, it tastes a lot like a potato.
Total time 15 minutes
*you will have about 1 cup of extra roux. You can use it for Mac-n-Cheese, dip chips in it, pour it over broccoli.
4 tbsp butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cold skim milk (must be cold)
1 1/2 cups cold skim milk
1/4 tsp Cayenne (add more if you want it spicy)
3 tbsp chipotle sauce
4 ounces Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
4 ounces Edam Cheese, shredded
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
Place the butter in a medium saucepan and heat until it starts to foam. Add 1/4 cup of flour, whisk, and cook on low heat for 2-3 minutes- or until it turns blond. Whisk in 1/2 cup of cold milk- this will thicken really quick, so make sure you have your Mise en place ready to go. Add the remaining 1.5 cups of cold milk with a pinch of nutmeg, and your Cayenne. Simmer on low for 5-6 minutes. Add in cheeses a handful at a time. Whisk in and incorporate before adding more. When cheese is added and incorporated, add the chipote sauce. I personally am not a fan of a lot of chipotle flavor so I kept the flavor generally mild for the recipe. Feel free to add more if you're someone that loves it, just taste as you go.
Add your salt.
Preheat oven to 350. Drain and roughly mash your yucca. Medium chunks are ok. Add this to a medium casserole dish. Pour 2 cups of your roux over the yucca. Fold in the sauce. Top wish freshly grated pepper. You can also add a little more shredded cheese to the top if you want.
Cook in the oven, for 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.