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Yuca Empanadas
  • Prep 2 hr 0 min
  • Total 4 hr 0 min
  • Ingredients 12
  • Servings 18

During the Christmas season Puerto Ricans usually make a large variety of dishes to share with family and friends that visit us during this time of year. Yam tamales (known as pasteles) and yuca empanadas are requested the most when it comes to eating delicious rotisserie style roasted pork with arroz con gandules (rice and pigeon peas). Occasionally, the women in my family get together and we prepare the pasteles and/or empanadas. This time I had the help and companionship of my mother who came to stay for a few days with us; it made the job so much easier because we were able to share the process as well as spend quality time together. MORE + LESS -

Ingredients

Ingredients for the dough

6
lbs of yuca dough (ground)
1
cup annatto oil or the amount needed for coloring dough
1
teaspoon coriander and annatto seasoning powder
Salt, if desired
Plantain or banana leaves
Foil paper (not needed if you want to cook it in the microwave)

Ingredients for the filling

3
to 4 lbs of boneless pork meat or chicken (thighs and breast)
1/2
cup Sofrito
1
cup tomato sauce (Spanish style)
1/4
cup raisins, optional
1/4
cup stuffed olives
1
cup cooking ham, if desired

Directions

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  • 1
    Heat oven to 350°F.
  • 2
    Thaw yuca. Stir in annatto oil, giving the desired color to dough by adding it little by little. Add 1 teaspoon of annatto seasoning. If desired add salt to the dough but you can add a bit of salt or adobo (not much not to spoil the dough, I do not add salt). Mix well with cooking spoon; store in refrigerator until meat is ready. Can be in overnight.
  • 3
    Cut meat in small cubes; cook it with the Sofrito and tomato sauce.
  • 4
    While cooking meat, wash plantain leaves well, cut into squares 5 x 5 inches (not too big). Warm on stove with burner on or in a hot surface to seal them. Cut foil pieces to same size and have them handy.
  • 5
    For assembling process in clean surface.
  • 6
    Place piece of foil paper, a plantain or banana leaf, spread a bit of annatto oil or a bit of the same sauce for the meat; then stir in dough (approximately one tablespoon) and spread onto the leaf, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of meat on the dough and fold the plantain leave along with the foil paper.
  • 7
    Bake for an hour.

Expert Tips

  • If you prefer to buy the fresh yuca, peel it, grated in the food processor and let it drain or place it on a cloth and squeeze it until you drain all of the starch. I always use the frozen one and it turns out perfectly for the preparation.
  • If you choose to cook the empanadas in the microwave, remember not to wrap them on foil paper, and just cook them for 1 1/2 minutes.
  • Prepare: the annatto oil with 1/2 cup of annatto seeds and 1 cup of canola oil. Add the seeds to the oil and heat them for about 10 minutes. Then remove them from the stove and let it cool before using it. You can also store it on a glass bottle, to use when needed.
  • Remember, using annatto oil, don't add any other type of oil or colorant to dish, you avoid excess oil or too much seasoning.

Nutrition Information

No nutrition information available for this recipe
More About This Recipe
  • During the Christmas season Puerto Ricans usually make a large variety of dishes to share with family and friends that visit us during this time of year. Yam tamales (known as pasteles) and yuca empanadas are requested the most when it comes to eating delicious rotisserie style roasted pork with arroz con gandules (rice and pigeon peas). Occasionally, the women in my family get together and we prepare the pasteles and/or empanadas. This time I had the help and companionship of my mother who came to stay for a few days with us; it made the job so much easier because we were able to share the process as well as spend quality time together.

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