I have really enjoyed cooking the last few days. One thing I am really proud to have prepared is empanadas de yuca. If you do not know what they are, you can find a recipe here, and another one here (this one has pictures).
I did not follow these recipes, but rather went by instinct. I had one large yuca that I peeled and cut into pieces. Then I grated it, first by hand and then using a food processor. Once the yuca was ground thin, I scooped it and put it on a strainer lined with cheesecloth. This is done to separate the starchy liquid from the yuca dough. The two empanada recipes I linked to above are missing this step (I took it from a pasteles de yuca recipe), but it is imperative to do so, otherwise your dough will have a very bitter taste. Trust me, you can tell when someone does not know how to prepare yuca well (or does not want to go through the trouble), because the bitterness will eclipse any other flavors in the empanadas, pasteles or alcapurrias.
After grating and squeezing all the starchy liquid I could get out of the yuca, I was left with about four cups of dough. I mixed this with 2 small grated and pureed yautías (taro root) and two small potatoes, also grated and pureed. I added some of the annato oil I prepared the other day, to give it a nice color, and seasoned the dough with a bit of salt. Then I proceeded to prepare the empanadas. I stuffed half of my empanadas with shredded chicken, and the other half with picadillo, which was basically sauteed ground beef with sofrito and green olives.
The empanadas were delicious, even better than the alcapurrias I prepared the other day. Gabe loved them, especially the ones filled with picadillo. I am definitely making them again.