Friday, May 24, 2013

BACON STUFFED YUCA BITES, A GUEST POST FROM GROK GRUB

For this month's paleo pen pals, my new friend Rachel from the amazing paleo blog, Grok Grub, and I decided to do guest posts on each other's blogs. It gives us an opportunity to share our blog audience and introduce a new face to the paleo world! I am utterly in awe of Rachel's culinary creativity and am honored to share it with you on my blog today! These Bacon Stuffed Yuca Bites look so delicious. I cannot wait to make them! Without further adieu, I give you Grok Grub:

paleo yuca recipe

I was incredibly excited when Brittanie reached out to me with an opportunity to guest post here on ThreeDietsOneDinner.com, because in addition to being my Paleo Pen Pals match for the month of May, she's a fellow Texas blogger who's helping to spread the Paleo word on the ground throughout the Lone Star State: as cooking demo host at PaleoFX13, a Paleo cooking demo in Dallas in June (I'll be co-hosting!) and serving on the board of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance. I've also been an appreciative reader of Brittanie's recipes for some time and am happy to add my contribution: Bacon Stuffed Yuca Bites.

paleo yuca
It was quite a thrill to open my Paleo Pen Pals package this month to see long, dark, rough roots (is that bark?) and rise to the challenge of really getting to know yuca. Also called cassava and available in specialty markets and even my local neighborhood grocery store,  yuca is gluey, fibrous, and can be boiled and mashed like potatoes. Taking my inspiration from Ecuadorian machines de yuca (yuca fritters), I mixed boiled yuca with coconut flour and cilantro for a firm yet chewable crust and added interest to ground beef with bacon and cumin for a savory filling. Finished with a dust of paprika, these make charming, unusual finger-food and the perfect pre- or post-workout refuel snack. Enjoy! 

Bacon Stuffed Yuca Bites
Makes ~ 15 Bites
1/4 lb bacon (~3 rashers)
1/2 lb beef
1/2 tsp salt
1.5 tsp cumin
1.5 lb yuca (~2 small)
6 tbsp coconut flour
2 tbsp arrowroot flour
2 tbsp coconut oil + more to grease pan
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika + more for garnish
1 tbsp cilantro
2 eggs
Harissa (for dipping, optional)

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet with coconut oil and set aside.
  2. In a cast-iron or other heavy-bottomed pan, cook ground beef over medium heat until no longer pink, approximately ten minutes, breaking up clumps and stirring periodically.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, remove from pan and allow to cool.
  4. Pour off any leftover grease from the beef and add the bacon strips, frying until crispy. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cool, mince or shred the bacon in a food processor to a fine crumble. Combine the beef and bacon in a mixing bowl, stir in salt and cumin and set aside.
  5. Peel the yuca and roughly chop. Place in a medium pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, or until fork tender. Drain, cool, and gently extract the tough, stringy core from the yuca pieces by hand.
  6. Combine the boiled yucca, eggs and 2 tbsp coconut oil in a food processor and blend until very smooth. The mixture will be extremely gluey. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add the coconut flour, arrowroot flour, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp paprika. Mix very thoroughly (batter should be sticky and stiff).
  7. Mince cilantro and fold into the dough. Roll out the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap to avoid sticking to the rolling pin until about 1/4 inch thick.
  8. Cut out uniform rounds, approximately 4 inches in diameter, with the top of a drinking glass, an aluminum can or biscuit cutter. Place a tbsp of the bacon beef mixture in the center of the dough circles and fold dough gently around the meat, pinching closed and rolling between your palms until round.
  9. Arrange on the greased cookie sheet and repeat until all dough and filling has been shaped. Finish with a dusting of paprika and bake at 350F until firm (15-20 minutes). Serve warm or cool.

Author Photo - GrokGrubI'm Rachel of GrokGrub.com, hailing from beef land in Dallas, TX. I began experimenting with a Paleo approach to nutrition early in 2012 and haven't looked back! In addition to its friendly, passionate, inquisitive community, real food and the Paleo template have resulted in positive physical effects for me personally: stable energy, deep sleep and increased athletic performance (hello, Crossfit).  I enjoy stretching my culinary creativity with unconventional twists on recipes using whole ingredients, and began my blog as a place to share the results with family, friends, and anyone with an adventurous palate. When I'm not in the kitchen cranking up the oven, I enjoy planning the next time I'll be in the kitchen cranking up the oven. Stop by GrokGrub.com, or find me on twitter @grokgrub and say hello!

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