This dish was inspired by a dish I had in NYC this past summer. Went to Boston and NYC on a road-trip with some friends and we decided to have Mexican food. We looked up something close by our hotel and found this place called Ofrenda, you might have heard of it; its in west village, Manhattan. I had their seared shrimp and Scallops (I’m not sure if it is still on their menu, it might have changed to something similar but not exactly the same). This dish was awesome and it came on a bed of some mashed potato type thing. It was so good, I had to ask the server what it was; he answered: “Its yucca!” and then went to the back to grab his phone to show me a picture of a yucca root (at the time, I had no idea what it was). Well the other day I had some shrimp and scallops and thought YUCCA!…… Long story short, yucca is awesome and you should cook with it haha. Again, skip to the end for ingredients and step-by-step. I separated them so you can make these dishes separately and pair them with whatever you want.
I used 5 jumbo scallops. You want to make sure scallops are really dry because they tend to collect a lot of moisture. Putting them in a strainer with some salt will help draw some of the moisture out.
I had around 10 15-20 count tiger shrimp (roughly 15-20 shrimp in a pound). I deveind the shrimp and peeled them. Left the tails on for those who like to use their hands (guilty).
I used the same spices for both the shrimp and scallops. Very simple, just add a pinch of red pepper flakes, 1-2 cloves of garlic, pinch of cayenne and salt and pepper for the shrimp. And do the exact same thing for the scallops.
Chop about 1/2 cup of cilantro (if you do not like cilantro, you can use parsley) and split it between the shrimp and the scallops. Mix the cilantro well into the shrimp and scallops. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge for 20-30 minutes. Its not necessary to do it any longer.
This step isn’t completely necessary I just did it to add more to the plate and for some nice colours. Chop about a 1/4 of a yellow (or any colour) bell pepper into strips and very fine pieces, I like to use it for garnish at the end. I like the yellow because of the nice colour. You can choose to sauté the strips (I like cooked pepper more than raw) in a pan if you want. It will just end up on salad at the end
While your shrimp and scallops are sitting in the fridge, this is a good time to prep the yucca. This, my friends, is yucca! According to Wikipedia its also called cassava or monioc, I just know it by yucca. Its almost like a potato/sweet potato/taro. I found it in a Chinese super market; it should be available in most Asian/south american supermarkets. If you can’t find it, you can just use mashed potato. Feel free to ask me about cooking/cutting/eating Yucca, or any steps you are not sure about.
Cut the ends off and chop it into 5-6 smaller chucks like this. Be careful, the yucca is very hard so you need a pretty sharp/heavy duty knife. I read somewhere that you should take the skin off now, but I boiled it with the skin and when it was done, the skin literally falls right off. There is also a hard core in the middle that will be much easier to take out once its cooked. With that said, just boil a pot of water and salt it. Put the yucca chunks inside and boil for about 20 minutes or until soft (just like when cooking potatoes).
This is after the yucca is done and I strained out the water. You can see how it naturally splits down the middle which makes it very easy to remove the core. You can also see the skin pretty much just falls off.
I zoomed in so you can see the core running down the middle. Just remove it with you hands or if there is a little resistance, just use a knife.
Here is just to illustrate how easily the skin comes off when cooked. Much easier than trying to cut it off with a knife before. After you peeled and removed the core, put the yucca back into the pot with the water drained. This is just to keep the heat in the yucca.
Now this part should be pretty familiar to most of you. Its just like making mashed potatoes. I used just a little bit of margarine as I am trying to watch my figure ;). I also added salt, pepper 2-4 cloves of minced garlic to taste and 1% skim milk (again the figure thing) to make it smooth and creamy. You can do this however you want, use heavy cream, add cheese, doesn’t matter, its pretty much you favourite mashed potato recipe from here on.
Just use a masher and mash the yucca. I like it chunky, just like my mashed potatoes, you can mash it to whatever consistency you like. Keep a lid on it to keep warm or just turn the heat on very low to keep warm while you cook the shrimp and scallops.
Melt some butter with around 2 cloves of minced garlic. Jut microwave it =O thats right I said the M word. When the butter is melted, just squeeze about 2 tsps of lemon juice in the bowl.
With a little bit of oil on high heat, sear the scallops. As you do, just brush the lemon garlic butter you just melted onto the scallops
Add shrimp in the pan and brush them with the same lemon garlic butter. It takes around 2-3 minutes on each side for both scallops and shrimp or until they turn opaque.
And they’re done! Remember you don’t have to follow me exactly. You can serve this any way you want. You can chop up a little more cilantro for garnish if you want to.
I just put some spinach down with some of that yellow bell pepper I cut up. Scooped some mashed yucca and put the scallops and shrimp on top. Garnished with a little more cilantro and diced yellow pepper. This presentation and picture was actually designed and taken by my sister, Cat, who you will be meeting soon. Enjoy!
I separated the ingredients and directions for the shrimp + scallops from the mashed yucca because this was just the way I chose to eat it. You can make each of these separately and pair them with other things. I felt separating them makes it easier and does not pressure anyone to have to make both together.
Ingredients: Scallops and Shrimp
5 jumbo scallops
10 15-20 count tiger shrimp
2 pinches of red pepper flakes
2 dashes of cayenne
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cilantro, chopped (a little more if you want to garnish with cilantro) can also substitute with parsley if you do not like/have cilantro.
1/4 yellow bell pepper chopped finely and into strips (optional)
2 tsp lemon juice
Baby Spinach (optional) only if you want to eat it the way I did
salt and pepper
Ingredients: Mashed Yucca
1 Yucca root
2-4 cloves of garlic, minced
butter/margarine to taste
around 1/2 cup of skim milk (or any milk/cream of your choice)
salt and pepper to taste
Directions: Shrimp and Scallops
1. Wash and dry scallops thoroughly
2. Wash, De-vein and peel shrimp leaving the tails on
3. Add 2 cloves of garlic, red pepper flakes, cayenne, cilantro, salt and pepper to both shrimp and scallops. Cover and let sit in fridge for 20-30 minutes
4. Melt Butter with remaining garlic and squeeze in lemon juice
5. Sear scallops and shrimp in a pan 2-3 minutes on each side and brush with lemon garlic butter on both sides
6. Serve with diced bell pepper and extra chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)
Directions: Mashed Yucca Root
1. Boil some water in a pot. Salt the water
2. Wash the Yucca and cut off the ends and chop into 5-6 chunks
3. When water boils, place Chunks of Yucca root in water and boil for 20-30 minutes
4. Remove skin and core
5. Put back in the pot and add butter/margarine, milk/cream, garlic and salt and pepper
6. Mash to the consistency of your liking