This is a recipe featured in Qué Rica Vida – the Spanish-language community site featuring great recipes from a variety of bloggers, including Karma Free Cooking.
Viandas, as we call them in Spanish or at least in Puerto Rico, are part of the staples in Caribbean gastronomy. Viandas are a variety of root vegetables and edible tubers which form part of our diet since the times of the Taíno Indians, Puerto Rico’s first inhabitants.
Malanga or Taro Root is one of my favorite viandas… It has a sweet taste and its speckled lilac interior is very pretty. These are particularly popular in Hawaiian cuisine in the form of poi, a mashed version of taro root.
Typically, viandas are boiled in salted water and eaten with various accompaniments, and their starchy consistency makes them perfect to make into fritters. The perfect example of this is Alcapurrias. But we don’t always have the time to make a filling, make the masa, fill the alcapurrias and fry them. So this fritter is a great short-cut to get the payoff of a fritter without a lot of work. You can read the whole recipe in Spanish in Qué Rica Vida here.
TARO ROOT FRITTERS
1 pound of raw taro root, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tsp sofrito
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tsp salt
A pinch of freshly cracked black pepper (optional)
- Add all the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and process until you create a homogeneous puree.
- Using a spatula, scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure the mixture is well combined.
- In a large skillet add enough frying oil for it to be about ½ – 1” deep. Place over medium-high heat until the oil bubbles a bit around the tip of a wooden spoon when submerged in the oil.
- Using a measuring spoon, measure about 1tbs of masa and create small balls and place in the hot oil. Fry balls on all sides until they’re golden brown. Once the skillet is filled with balls frying, turn down the heat to make sure the inside of the fritter is cooked without burning the outside.
- When they’re done, take them from the skillet using a slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with paper towels to cool off and catch all the excess oil.
You can enjoy these fritters on their own… or with a delicious vegan mayo and mustard dipping sauce. This recipe makes about 24 fritters.
Tacos can be made much more interesting if you play around with the fillings and cheese… and making the tortillas golden brown and crispy. I have never been a fan of the hard pre-made taco tortilla shells, but I do enjoy crunchy things. So using the magic of olive oil and a skillet, tacos can become a much more interesting dish.
I used mozzarella and parmesan cheese here… but you can certainly use your favorite cheese combination. I have also used goat cheese, manchego cheese and even the trusty cream cheese.
This is another recipe available in Spanish on the Qué Rica Vida website… If you’re interested, you can read the recipe in Spanish here.
FRIED MUSHROOM TACOS
3 organic sprouted corn tortillas
1 cup white button mushrooms, chopped finely
2 cloves of garlic
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 cup grated mozzarella or Italian blend cheeses
½ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
Freshly grated Black Pepper
You’ll be able to make 2 tacos at a time using a large skillet, but you need to make them in staggered steps. I consider 3 tacos is a good serving portion for one, but if you think you are better off with 4, just add one more tortilla and adjust the rest of the ingredients. This is more a method than a recipe…
- First we cook the mushrooms in advance – in a large non-stick skillet over medium-hi heat add a drizzle of olive oil and place the chopped mushrooms Toss them well so they coat themselves with the olive oil. Organize them in a single layer so they all have the chance to caramelize well. Grate the 2 cloves of garlic on top of the mushrooms. Strip the leaves of the thyme sprigs and add them to the skillet too.
- After they’ve browned well on one side, toss and move them around so they get a chance to brown on a different side. After they’re browned and have shrunk considerably in size, add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and wipe the skillet clean with a paper towel to get rid of small pieces of mushrooms.
- Return the pan to the burner, add another drizzle of olive oil and place one tortilla… flip it over on both sides so there’s some of the olive oil on both sides.
- Place some of the shredded cheese on top of the tortilla. Now place about 1 tablespoon of cooked mushrooms over the cheese. Place little bit of Parmesan cheese over mushrooms.
- Carefully, fold tortilla in half so you end up with a half moon filled with mushrooms and cheese. Flip the tortilla a few times so that it gets golden brown on both sides.
While one taco is getting golden brown to the side of the pan, you can use the remaining space to heat up tortilla #2 and #3 and so forth.
The last few months have been a whirlwind – Lots of work, lots of traveling and those who follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram have been privy to that, as I have found some time to post updates here and there, but unfortunately not a lot of time to develop new recipes and content the way you’re used and accustomed to from me.
As part of one of these trips I got to meet representatives of Qué Rica Vida, a great Spanish-language website and community that provides recipes, articles and great cooking inspiration to the Hispanic and Latin American public. Now, I am proud to announce KarmaFree Cooking is an official contributor for Qué Rica Vida, particularly helping them add variety and spice to their selection of vegetarian/meat-free recipes.
In the next few weeks, you’ll start seeing some KarmaFree Cooking recipes which will be featured in Spanish in the Qué Rica Vida site… but don’t fret, we’ll make those recipes also available to you in English as well. You’ll see the whole collection of KarmaFree Cooking recipes for Qué Rica Vida in a new category in our right-side bar.
If you’re bilingual… or just plain curious, I invite you to check out Qué Rica Vida’s site and their expansive collection of recipes. It’s a great space to gather some inspiration for the kitchen and to check out a few friends of KarmaFree Cooking – Sazón Boricua, ChecaLaMovie and Hungry Food Love.