Ideas for dinner tonight. Household and kitchen tips, recipes, tweaks. What's worked great, and not so great.
Notice!!! I made a mistake! Ok, I posted this a few hours ago, re: taro chips. I made YUCA chips. Yuca is not yucca. They are 2 separate plants. Yuca is a root, yucca is a large cactus type plant, actually in the Asparagaceae family, sub family of Agavoideae (Agave). Yuca is in the botanically unrelated family also called Cassava. . Although Yuca and Taro ARE different, they still can be used virtually the same ways. They are both similar to potatoes, but with more nutrients. They BOTH NEED TO BE BOILED OR SOAKED PRIOR TO EATING. There’s been lots of chatter about Taro & Yuca roots lately. In fact, Dr. Oz featured taro chips on his show today. Which sparked my memory that hey, I’ve made those kind of chips! I’ll post it on Daily Dinner Table! You may be asking, what the heck is yuca and taro? They are roots. Taro has three times the fiber of a potato, an excellent source of potassium, it’s got some calcium, vitamin C, E, B, magnesium, manganese and copper. Yuca is very rich in starch, contains a significant amount of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin C. Wow! On the downside,Taro has high levels of oxalates, which can cause various illnesses so you need to be careful with your preparation before eating it. Raw Yuca contains two cyanogenic glucosides, linamarin and lotaustralin, which according to Wikipedia is a naturally occuring enzyme, liberating hydrogen cyanide. There are two types of Yuca, Sweet and bitter. According to Wikipedia, the smaller rooted, sweet variety, cooking is sufficient to eliminate all toxicity. I would venture to say, better safe than sorry, and soak the Yuca for 24 hours after it’s been peeled. NEVER eat Yuca or Taro raw. Eating these raw can have severe consequences. So, why would anyone want to eat these roots? When properly prepared, they’re great ! They can be prepared in a variety of ways, similar to a potato. Taro is very low on the glycemic index and really, if you do a few simple steps first, there’s nothing to worry about.
In my “research”, I couldn’t find any sources that state you need to pre-cook or soak the taro root if you’re frying it, as in chips, and I also found that with the smaller, sweet variety of Yuca, simple cooking is enough to expel all toxins. But, just to be sure, I’d soak it anyway. I’m a safety nut.
The pre-preparation for taro and yuca , is simple. Fill a pot with cold water, sprinkle in a little salt and baking soda. Scrub and peel the taro root. Soak overnight, yuca for 24 hours. Discard the water, rinse the roots. There, you’re set. The water, salt and soda draw the oxalates and cyanide out of the root, and you’re ready to go.
I made chips. They were delicious. They tasted a tad nutty, and had a nice texture, similar to potato chips, but more dense, and more texture. The whole family enjoyed them.
I have a Fry Baby or Daddy, some member of the family! I don’t fry often, so I don’t know what the heck it’s called. But I DO like the safety features of it. If you don’t have a frying machine, use a large frying pan, or a deep pot. Most of all, be careful with your hot oil.
Here’s what you need:
Taro or Yuca Root, scrubbed, peeled, soaked overnight or 24 hours respectively.
Slice the root either in chip form with a mandoline or slice into fries if you’d rather.
canola oil to fill your fryer to recommended level
Tony Legner’s Cat 5 Food Polish if you’d like some heat
Here’s what to do.
After soaking Taro root overnight, slice in desired thickness. Place on paper towel to remove any excess moisture, pat the top dry also.
Place oil that is recommended for high heat, such as canola, or peanut oil in frying receptacle, and heat the oil to 375 degrees.
Place the chips CAREFULLY into the oil in small batches, so the chips/fries don’t crowd. Keep a close eye on them, they may need turning. Take them out with a large slotted spoon, or spider utensil when they reach a golden color. Drain on paper towels, sprinkle seasonings on them while still hot and have a tiny bit of oil still on them.
I hope you give taro & yuca a try. They’re great mashed too, prepare like potatoes, but make sure you pre soak. Boiling the taro for 15 minutes, then rinsing well is sufficient also.