Yucca mini tamales (Empanaditas de Yucca)
  • 2 pounds frozen yucca
  • 1/2 cup olive oilplus more for brushing
  • 2 ounces annatto seeds
  • 3/4 cup low-fat (1 percent) milk
  • 1 pound lean ground beed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green cubanella or Anaheim pepper3-4 ounces
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 piquillo pepper or pimientos, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 8-10 pimiento-stuffed green olives, chopped
  • 2-3 large plantain leaves, cut into 24 (4x8inch) rectangles
  1. Defrost yucca. Mix oil with seeds and warm at low heat for 8–10 minutes; let rest until cool and then strain. Discard seeds.
  2. In a large food processor, puree yucca, adding milk, about half of the annatto-infused oil, and salt to taste, until the texture of stiff mashed potatoes.
  3. Make filling: Sauté beef until cooked; drain excess grease. Add onion, garlic, and pepper; sauté until translucent 5–8 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and cook for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  4. Brush both sides of each plantain leaf rectangle with plain oil. Place 2–3 tablespoons yucca mixture on one narrow end; flatten (use wet hands). Put 1 1/2 tablespoons beef filling on top. Roll plantain leaf, folding yucca mixture over filling; then continue to fold tamale and leaf, creating a rectangular packet and using entire leaf. Place on a rimmed baking sheet, seam side down. (Tamales can be frozen at this point; cover with plastic, freeze for at least 3 hours, and then transfer to freezer bags; thaw before heating.)
  5. Bake at 375˚ for 15 minutes. Serve warm.
Recipe Notes
Nutrition Facts
Yucca mini tamales (Empanaditas de Yucca)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 120 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 12mg 4%
Sodium 57mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 18g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 5g 10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

PER SERVING: 120 cal, 3g fat (2g mono, 0g poly, 1g sat), 12 mg chol, 5g protein, 18g carb, 1g fiber, 57mg sodium