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Yuca — also sometimes known as cassava or manioc — is a root vegetable native to South American that is used in many Hispanic recipes. Yuca con mojo is a popular dish that utilizes the yuca root. Its name roughly translates as "yuca with garlic sauce," and it is a fragrant mix of aromatics and boiled yuca root. While every household adds its own special touch, the base of the recipe for yuca con mojo remains the same.
The main ingredient in yuca con mojo, the yuca root, actually comes from a shrub-like plant that is cultivated as a crop in many tropical regions. Yuca root is a very starchy food similar to potato. In fact, in many recipes that call for baked or boiled potato, it is possible to substitute yuca; the two foods have very similar textures when cooked, and they readily cook in roughly the same manners. Inside of yuca root is white or yellow flesh that is rich in calcium, phosphorus and vitamin C.
To make yuca con mojo, some staple ingredients like garlic, onions, and citrus juice come together to create the base of the recipe; once the base is completed, many cooks add their own special touches to create more personal recipes. The base for the recipe calls for one large yuca root, cut into three workable portions and peeled; four whole cloves of garlic; the juice of one lemon or lime; salt to taste; a splash of olive oil; one small onion, cut into thin slices; and two handfuls of chopped fresh parsley. Place the garlic and salt in a bowl and mash them together until a paste is formed, and then add all of the other items except for the yuca and onion. Set this mixture aside as you cook the yuca in a large pot of boiling water until it is is fork tender. Drain and allow to cool.
As the yuca cools, sauté the sliced onion in a pan until it is as tender as desired. When ready, it be glistening and translucent. Then cut the yuca into large chunks and arrange them on a plate. After combining the garlic mixture one last time, pour it over the yuca and enjoy. Yuca con mole is easily enjoyed hot or served cold, and can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.
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