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Chapanas With Golden Raisins

Yuca, which is also called cassava, is available fresh and frozen in Hispanic markets. Check that there are no hairline cracks in the bark-like brown skin when purchasing fresh yuca. Yuca should be kept in a cool place outside the refrigerator. If you use some of it, peel the rest and store in the refrigerator, in water to cover, for 1 day, or freeze, well wrapped, for up to 3 months. To peel, first scrub and then cut it in half crosswise. Quarter each section lengthwise, then peel away the outside skin with a sharp knife. Rinse before cooking.

Courses: Dessert
Serves: 12 people

Recipe Ingredients

2 tablespoons 30mlAnnatto seeds
1/2 cup 118mlAguardiente or light rum
1/2 cup 118mlWater
2 1/2 lbs 1135g / 40ozYucca - peeled, grated fine
1/4 teaspoon 1.3mlGround cloves
1 cup 198g / 7ozSugar
1   Cayenne pepper
1/4 cup 40g / 1.4ozGolden raisins
24   Dried banana leaf pieces, 12" by 10"
  (or substitute 72 corn husks)
2   Ripe bananas - peeled, and
  Sliced 1/4" thick

Recipe Instructions

In a small saucepan, combine the annatto seeds, aguardiente, and water and allow to soak for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced by about 25 percent, to 3/4 cup. Strain the liquid into a medium mixing bowl and discard the seeds. Add the grated yucca, cloves, sugar, cayenne, and raisins. Mix together well and set aside.

Heat a griddle or large cast-iron skillet to high heat. Toast the banana leaves for about 3 seconds on each side (this will soften and make them easier to handle). Wipe along the grain of each leaf with a towel, then cut out and discard the cords. Place a leaf on the work surface with the grain running vertically. Place 1 1/2 tablespoons of the filling about 2 inches from the near edge and lay 3 slices of banana over it. Place another 1 1/2 tablespoons of filling on top of the banana. Fold the edge of the leaf over the filling to cover. Fold both sides of the leaf toward the center and roll until you reach the opposite end of the leaf. Double-wrap with a second leaf, with the grain running horizontally. Repeat with the remaining leaves and filling until all the chapanas are complete. Tie each firmly with thin kitchen twine.

Place the chapanas in a steamer over simmering water and cover with a few extra banana leaves, if desired. Cover tightly and steam for about 2 1/2 hours, maintaining the water level with hot water as necessary. Transfer the chapanas to a rack to cool thoroughly. Remove the cords, unfold the leaves, and serve. If desired, refrigerate for 1 to 2 days and bring to room temperature before serving.

This recipe yields 12 chapanas.

TOO HOT TAMALES with Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken - From the TV FOOD NETWORK - (Show # TH-6242 broadcast 04-08-1997) - Downloaded from their Web-Site -


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