Yuca lovers rejoice! These crunchy, crispy, soft & gooey, treats are something you won't want to miss!
By Criollo Grindz | @criollo_grindz
If you love yuca like I do, you're going to love this recipe. Whether it's yuca con mojo or yuca encebollado, this root vegetable is so versatile, and I love getting creative with how I use it. These crispy, cheesy yuca empanadas are the perfect example. I used mashed yuca seasoned with Loisa's Adobo y Sazón for the dough and filled them with picadillo and mozzarella cheese. Crispy yuca, melty cheese, savory ground meat, Adobo and Sazón...what's not to love! I promise you won't be disappointed.
For the Yuca Dough
Begin by cutting the ends of the yuca and peeling off outer layer with a potato peeler. Then, cut the yuca in half horizontally and then vertically. Using a knife, remove the root in the center.
Using a cheese grater with small grates, finely grate the yuca. Then, place the grated yuca in a cheese cloth or fine mesh strainer and strain out the yuca milk. Repeat straining at least two times to get rid of all the milk.
Place the strained & drained yuca into a bowl and add salt, Sazón, Adobo, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, 2 eggs, and 1 cup of breadcrumbs. Using your hands, mix and knead for 5 minutes.
Place yuca dough in the fridge for at least 1 hour to make it is easier to fill and shape.
For the Filling
Heat oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add a 1/2 pound of ground beef to the pan to begin to brown.
As the meat is browning, season with a light layer of Sazón, Adobo, garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, and salt to taste. Mix in 2 tablespoons of Sofrito and ¼ cup of tomato sauce. Cook until meat is browned through.
Once cooked, set the meat aside for assembling the empanadas.
Making the Empanadas
To make the empanadas, form a small golf sized ball with the yuca mix. Flatten the mix by placing it between two large zip lock bags or two large pieces of wax paper (see video for reference)
Once the dough is flattened, remove the top zip lock bag or wax paper. Add a spoonful of the beef mixture and a sprinkling of shredded cheese. Then, fold the bottom bag or paper sheet to fold the yuca dough over the mixture and seal the empanada. If there are any holes or gaps, add cover with some more dough. Place in the fridge for another hour before frying.
In a deep skillet, heat about an inch of high heat oil to 325°. Fry empanadas for 5 minutes each side. Place on paper towel to absorb excess oil. Repeat until all of your empanadas are fried.
Allow to cool and enjoy!