The Next Big Thing

More protein than a meal served with meat, for those who are looking for the healthier side... this is adding a new meaning to delicious.


 
Ingredients:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 bag of Vegan soy crumbles such as Boca, Beyond Beef,  or brand of choice to mimic ground beef.
12 green olives sliced
1 sweet onion diced
1 red pepper diced
4 cloves minced garlic
Handful of cilantro chopped
4 oz. tomato sauce
Seasonings of your choice & to taste:
Garlic powder, onion powder,  dried oregano, vegan chicken or beef flavoring (optional),  basil, smoked paprika,  cumin,  pinch of pink Himalayan salt (or sea salt),  pinch cane sugar
For the Masa/Dough:
2 bags (2 lbs.) frozen grated yuca/cassava, thawed OR 4 lbs fresh yuca/cassava root grated on the tiniest grate setting or you can also process it in food processor
Annatto seeds or ground annatto (optional,  this is just to give the dough a nice golden color)
Pinch of turmeric
Salt to taste making sure the masa has flavor
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sunflower oil for frying
Parchment paper or banana leaf whatever you have on hand to place the dough.
 
Directions:
Veggie Meat
Step 1: Add the oil to the pot on medium high heat and allow to heat up but no too hot. I normally start off by saut√©ing the onions.  Once you see they are turning golden, add the minced garlic and diced red peppers.  Stir until combined and then add the veggie meat with the seasonings and chopped cilantro.  Add tomato sauce and allow to simmer.  Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking and then set aside while you prepare the dough or masa in Spanish.
 
Masa/Dough
Step 2: If you have already frozen and grated cassava make sure to thaw it out.  There will be alot of excess water and you want to drain this as much as possible.  Using a cheesecloth or strainer might help. For fresh cassava grate or food process until it takes on a doughy consistency. Fresh ones do not need to be drained. In a small sauce pan add the 2 tablespoons of EVOO and annatto seeds or ground annatto in low heat. Stir and take notice of the color of the oil changing to a bright orange. This is what we want. Keep oil discard seeds. If used ground annatto just be careful not to use the ground seasonings in our next step as we only want the oil. Once your cassava or yuca in Spanish is grated drained transfer to mixing bowl and add salt to taste, garlic and onion powder are optional. You can also add a pinch or turmeric and ground annatto for color. You now have your masa, annatto oil for color, and veggie meat ready to assemble.

 Step 3: Assembling/Molding
Carefully take a handful or size desired of the masa and form a round flat shape still leaving thickness to the disc so that the veggie meat filling does not fall through.  You can either make this disc on your palm on the parchment paper,  whichever is easier. Just make sure to spread some of the annatto oil on the are of the parchment paper you will be placing your masa on.
Place a tablespoon of prepared veggie meat filling in the middle carefully folding the sides of the masa over the filling until it is completely sealed. If you need to add more masa to seal openings that it perfectly fine, just make sure there are no cracks all around.
 
To cook the molded alcapurrias, pre-heat the oil for frying. You don't want the oil to hot as the outside will cook before the inside and masa will remain raw.  Fry on a medium high heat,  around 5 on a electric stove. Carefully place the molded alcapurrias into the oil and fry for seven minutes on each side, or until golden brown. When ready, set over a paper towel to remove any excess oil.
Serve with rice and peas and your choice of greens for a vegan version of an authentic Puerto Rican dish. ¡Buen Provecho,  Enjoy!


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