M's Cooking Diary

Musing about food, wine and cooking.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Cassava latke

So I’m cooking the legs left over from the rabbit saddle I made 2 weeks ago (I froze them, of course). To accompany it I’m making latke but instead of using potato,
I’m going to use cassava. It is a close cousin of manioc but it has a very low level of cyanide that cooking will break down making it harmless. It can be prepared it like potatoes.

In case you don’t know what cassava is, you probably saw it at a Caribbean grocery store. A brown root with a rough brown skin. If you look closer you’ll see that they have a relatively thick layer of wax on them. That’s there to protect them during transport. When choosing, press them gently in your hand. They rot easily. Do not buy any that has a soft spot.

To peel them, take each root and cut them in 3 or four depending on the size. Try to get pieces that don’t have any curve on them. They are easy to cut, if you just bring the knife down, not very hard, and then force it side way. The cassava will part at the cut.

Then holding the piece in your left hand, cut lengthwise with one blow of the knife just hard enough to cut through the skin, then pushing the knife around the root under the skin, remove it. Be careful to remove all the pink.

Cut each piece lengthwise and remove is a fibrous heart.

Then proceed like latke. Cassava does not contain as much water as potatoes so you don’t need to press pulp.

Because of that also you need to be careful when frying them because the latke will burn easily.

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