yucca with a roasted garlic cream sauce
i’m sure i’ve said this before, but i am definitely a particular eater. i can be hesitant to try new things – it took me years to get on the sushi train, i still refuse to try kombucha, and no one will ever get me to try a plantain (they are way too much like bananas to me, which i despise). i have been tricked into trying things in the past… when i was a kid, a friend’s mother told me that everyone else was having salmon, but that mine was “pink chicken” because she knew i wouldn’t eat it otherwise. she also told me my blueberry muffin was chocolate chip for dessert. i was naive enough to believe her of course, and have loved both salmon and blueberry muffins ever since of course. my mom was of course shocked to hear what i had eaten when i told her – and i’m sure was internally yelling at herself for not trying that method with me before.
i have gotten more adventurous over the past few years, especially since culinary school and am very proud at how much larger my list of likes is versus my list of dislikes. one of my new favorite things is yucca. tomas has been trying to get me to try yucca for a few years now, and for whatever reason, i always refused to try it. last month however when we went to mt diablo to visit tomas’s sister and her husband, we of course made a big dinner the first night and tomas made yucca. he had never made it at home before where i could watch what was going on and how it was made, and maybe that’s what had prevented me from trying it before. that night i tried, and LOVED me some yucca!
for those of you who are unaware of what yucca is, it is a starchy root vegetable that can be used in lieu of potatoes. it has a slightly sweet flavor to it, and a very waxy skin that has to be cut off before it is cooked. it is naturally high in vitamin C, calcium and iron. when tomas made it when we were in california, he made a garlic-y sauce to go over it, which i then took and changed up a bit in this version. i’m sure i’m going to smell like garlic for a few days now, but i’m telling you what, my house smells amazingly yummy right now and there’s no chance of vampires coming to get me while tomas is away for work
1 large yucca (about 1.5 feet long)
1 head garlic
3 T butter
1 T olive oil reserved from the roasted garlic)
6 oz fat free milk (or any other milk you generally use)
salt & pepper
preheat the oven to 400 F.
chop the top off the head of garlic and place in a piece of tin foil. drizzle with olive oil, then loosely wrap the garlic in the tin foil and place it in an oven safe dish to bake for 30 minutes in a 400 F oven. after 30 minutes, take it out and allow it to cool for 10 minutes before handling.
while the garlic is roasting, cut the yucca into 4 pieces so it is more easy to handle. slice the skin off as you would a pineapple. cut each piece into 4 again and place them into a medium sized saucepan. cover the yucca with water and bring to a boil. cook until the yucca is soft, but not mashable. drain off the water.
when the garlic is cooled, squeeze it out of the skins and make a paste out of it. place the butter, olive oil and milk into a small saucepan and heat over low-medium heat. whisk occasionally while the butter is melting. when the butter has melted, whisk in the garlic paste. allow the sauce to simmer for 10 minutes, whisking occasionally.
pour the sauce over the yucca in the pan and toss well to cover. put the lid on the pot and allow the yucca to absorb the sauce for 5 minutes before serving. season with salt & pepper and enjoy!