If you're vacationing on Isla Mujeres, may I suggest your save Friday for yucca pie at Qubano Restaurant. Vivian Reynaldo was born in Cuba and raised in New York City and later lived in Miami, where she was an interior decorator.
In the Caribbean, almost every country has it's own yucca root recipes. The Mayas used to use it like potatoes before potatoes were revealed to them.
In those days, it is said, few people got fat because of this high fiber vegetable with complex carbs. Now, the Maya prefer to cook and soak the yucca root in honey and eat it like candy. Hondurans make a yucca pie that is also based on sweets.
Vivian's is a real Cuban deal! She cooks the peeled roots for three hours and the piccadillo for a similar time. That is ground beef with an assortment of spices, sweet peppers, garlic and onion. I don't know the recipe! But the pie is then baked with those two main mixtures.
The result is similar to sheppherd's pie. The portion is HUGE. Since at $150 pesos this is likely to be your spendiest lunch on the island, that's a good thing!
But what a treat! I immediately telegraphed this to my Puerto Rican friend Felipe in Cleveland. He was smitten with her tostones (fried plantain) sandwiches last year. I could hear him smacking his lips when he replied to me!
Steve Broin from Casa Sirena returned from Merida in time to make this lunch last week and also thought it was divine! It's served with several toston on the side and mojo: onions in oil to spoon over the top.
This lunch calls for a light dinner and if you're going diving or whale sharking in the morning, that is just what you'll want to have. Provecho!
So, today is Wednesday. Start planning! You and your other half could split this and a Vivian's salad and walk away without loosening your belt! Oh, the possibilities!