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Yucca Stuffing Will Up Your Thanksgiving Game

Today is America’s favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. The day when it is your patriotic duty to eat until you can no longer move. We Latinos have always been able to synthesize new cultural influences and making them our own. When we came to this country, we took the American Thanksgiving holiday and adapted it. Our Thanksgivings are a weird mix of American and Latino. American turkey and green bean casserole next to arroz y frijoles negros y platano maduro. This year I sampled this ingenious yucca stuffing, and it made my face happy. Yucca, or cassava, is a fibrous tuber not unlike a potato. I like yucca because it has a stronger starchy flavor than the potato.

Yucca Stuffing

3 Lbs frozen yucca. Yes, you can do it fresh, but who wants to peel a huge root and boil it for an hour?

6 Large pieces of bread. You can buy a loaf of Cuban, Italian, French, or Mexican bread and let them dry out on your oven racks while the oven is off.

1/2 Cup of hot milk

2 Lbs ground pork, beef, or chicken

1/4 Cup of chopped cilantro

1/4 Cup of chopped parsley. You can use culantro if you can find it. Hee Hee…culantro sounds like culo.

1 Tbs of oregano

2 Tomatoes, chopped

1 Green bell pepper, chopped

1 Red bell pepper, chopped

1 onion, chopped

4 Garlic cloves, minced

Preheat the oven to 350. Boil the yucca until it is soft and soak the bread in the milk. Once that’s all nice and gooey, combine the two and mash them together. Saute the meat until it turns brown. Add the onion, garlic, and peppers and continue sauteing until they are soft. Next, put in the parsley, cilantro, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Drain the milk and water from the bread/yucca mixture and combine it with the meat and veggies. Cook them all together for a minute. Now, you can either stuff your turkey with some or not. Personally, the less time I spend with my hand up a turkey’s butt, the better. Either way, put what’s left in a greased glass dish and bake it in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until it’s golden. Now, you’re golden, baby.

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