Still missing the food in Panama, I thought I'd try my hand at making another of their signature dishes, Carimanolas. Well, I failed. I tried to fry the little yuca fritters and they basically disintegrated in the $20 worth of sacred coconut oil they were meant to fry in. It was a kitchen disaster. Then I regrouped, came up with a new plan and they turned out great!
I think my problem was that I got too brisket-happy with these things. My biggest complaint of the authentic Panamanian ones was that there wasn't enough stuffing. What can I say? I wanted to stuff these with the most meat possible! I guess there's a reason they don't do that in Panama...
1 large yuca root (about 1 pound)
2 cups leftover brisket, chopped fine
1/4 cup coconut oil
BBQ sauce, for serving
First, you peel the yuca and chop it into chunks. Boil them for about 15 minutes, until they are fork tender. Drain them in a pretty red colander like this one. I got this at our holiday prop swap party for the Austin Food Blogger Alliance. I know-- it's awesome. I got the best prize.
Working quickly (these are easier to form when they're a little warm), grab a piece and form it into a small disk in the palm of your hand. Stuff with about a Tablespoon of brisket, then bundle it up, sealing the seam well. Repeat with the remaining pieces and brisket.
Lay the pieces on a foil-lined cookie sheet.
Preheat your oven to 425º. Melt 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil in a small bowl. Brush the carimanolas very well on both sides with the oil. Sprinkle with salt. Roast the carimanolas in the oven for 25 minutes, flipping halfway through, until they are golden brown on both sides. Serve with barbeque sauce.