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Nicaraguan Vigorón And Tajadas As Made By Cat Alvarado

by Claire Nolan and Cat Alvarado

Ingredients

for 6 servings

Vigorón

  • 2 lb
    yucca, fresh or frozen (905 g)
  • 6 cups
    cold water (1.4 L)
  • 2 teaspoons
    salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 3 cups
    green cabbage, finely shredded (300 g)
  • 4 medium plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons
    distilled white vinegar

Tajadas

  • canola oil, for frying
  • 4 unripe green plantains, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • salt, to taste

Assembly

  • 6 cabbages, leaves
  • 4 oz
    chicharrónes, pork cracklings (110 g)

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Preparation

  1. Make the vigorón: To prepare the yucca, use a sharp knife to cut off the root ends, cut in half crosswise, then carefully peel off the tough brown skin and inner pink layer.
  2. Cut the peeled piece into quarters lengthwise. You can also buy frozen yucca that is already peeled.
  3. Add the cold water to a large pot. Place the yucca in the pot and add 1 teaspoon of salt and the lime juice. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and maintain a gentle boil for 25 minutes, or until the yucca is tender but not falling apart.
  4. Remove the yucca from the pot and set aside until cool enough to touch. Remove the woody vein from the middle of the yucca pieces and set aside for serving.
  5. Bring another large pot of water to boil. Blanch the cabbage for 50-60 seconds, then remove from the pot and pat dry. Do not overcook.
  6. In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, remaining teaspoon of salt, and distilled vinegar. Add the blanched cabbage and toss to combine. Set aside for serving.
  7. Make the tajadas: Heat the canola oil in a large skillet until it reaches 325˚F (170˚C).
  8. In small batches, carefully fry the sliced plantains for 45 seconds, flipping halfway, until they are lightly golden and a bright yellow in color. Drain over a wire rack or paper towels and season with salt.
  9. To assemble, place cooked yucca on a cabbage leaf, followed by the tomato, onion, and cabbage salad. Top with pork rinds and serve the tajadas alongside.
  10. Enjoy!
 

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