Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pandeyuca (yuca bread)

Pandeyucas are typical from the southwest of Colombia. These buns are airy, hollow balls of cassava (yuca) starch and cheese. They are very similar to pandebonos which are softer in gooey in the inside. Pandeyucas are instead harder in the outside and hollow in the inside. They are made with sour starch and baked in a very hot oven so they can puff up. In Cali they are bakeries that specialized in Pandeyucas, like "La casa del Pandeyuca" (the house of Pandeyuca) where people go to snack on Pandeyucas out of the oven with a cold coca cola or cold oatmeal drink (Avena).

Ingredients for 12

1 cup sour cassava starch plus 2 tablespoons (almidon de yuca agrio)
2 cups of farmer grated cheese or non creamy feta cheese (I use Canadian feta)
1 egg
2 tablespoons butter at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt or less depending on the saltiness of your cheese

In a bowl mix the dry ingredients: Cassava sour starch ( is very important to only use sour starch), salt and baking powder and add the grated cheese.

In a small pot or pan mix 2 tablespoons of the starch with 1/2 cup cold water, mix well until smooth and without any lumps. Place on the stove over medium heat and stir until it thickens for about 2 minutes it becomes translucent almost like a egg white. Set aside to cool down.

Add the egg and butter to the starch mix and incorporate with a fork, add some of the starch solution and keep mixing with your hands until having a smooth dough . Depending of moisture of the cheese you use and the humidity you may need to add more or less of the starch solution.

Let the dough rest at room temperature for about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 450 F at least 20 minutes before baking.

Form small balls with your hands and place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until the Pandeyucas are light golden and very airy in the inside.

It is better to eat the Pandeyucas hot out of the oven as they harden as they cool completely.

Monday, July 4, 2011


Aborrajados are from the Valle del Cauca region. they are fried plantains battered and filled with cheese and are served as a side dish or mid-afternoon snack.

Ingredients for 6 servings

3 very ripe plantains
3/4 pound mozzarella cheese
1 egg
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
3 tablespoons milk
a pinch of salt
a pinch of baking powder

2 cups vegetable oil for frying

Prepare the batter, whisking the egg, flour, salt, baking powder and milk, until having a smooth texture. Add more milk if it is too dry.
Cut the tips and peel off the plantains. Cut each plantain into four chunks. Heat the oil in a heavy pot to 350 F and fry them for 4-5 minutes until golden brown.

 Remove from oil and let cool until you can handle them. Cut the cheese into eight 1/2 inch thick 1 inch wide sticks.

Cover your work surface with plastic wrap. Place the fried plantains over the plastic and cover with another layer of plastic. Using a pot lid or plate, press firmly until having them thin, about 1/4 inch thin. Place on a plate and repeat with each piece. To make the aborrajados, place one stick of cheese in the center of one slice of plantain. Place another slice of plantain on top and seal the borders.

 Using a slotted spoon, place the aborrajados in the batter and turn to cover evenly.

 Return to the hot oil and fry for 3-4 minutes until golden and crisp.

 Drain over kitchen paper to remove oil excess, serve and eat while still hot.