Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Cassava, Plantain, Poblano
The other day Gary and I went to the Havana House Cafe in our neighborhood. I decided to try something I've never tried before. I had stuffed poblano with a side of cassava (yuca) and plantains. Gary had slow cooked pork stew with yellow rice and plantains. I didn't bring my camera, so you'll have to use your imagination for the meal.
The poblano pepper was roasted then split down the center and stuffed with various cheeses, chicken, and cilantro and was very tasty. I always thought poblano peppers were spicey hot, but they are mild. I'll have to get some fresh when I see them to use in my cooking. Not that I don't like hot peppers, but sometimes I want to use a more mild pepper in cooking.
At first, I confess, I thought the yuca was a yucca, but I learned it was something completely different. It an important carbohydrate source in many arid countries, especially Africa. It was also an important food staple for pre-Columbian peoples in the Americas and the Moche people depicted yuca in their ceramics (photo above from wikipedia commons).
The cassava was prepared by boiling to soften the root and then frying with onions and spices. Cassava or yuca root has the texture of a firm potato but is very bland. The plantains were fried and have a flavor like a cross between a sweet potato and a banana, semi-sweet and flavorful.
Neither Gary nor I have had cassava or plantains before. Well I might have had them as a child living in Cuba, but not that I remember. I'm not sure I like cassava the way it was prepared. Perhaps cassava would make a good base for a thick soup with lots of spices to enhance the flavor. We both loved the plantains. On Friday and Saturday nights there is live music at the restaurant, we'll have to stop back by again some weekend. Comments and suggestions are welcome.