I was feeling like eating something hearty and a bit nostalgic. So I made a classic: root veggies with “cod” (vianda con “bacalao”). This is a dish that tastes like “el campo”, the mountains. “Viandas” as we call them, are anything from “ñame” (yam or taro root), “yautía” (malanga), “batata” (sweet potato), “yuca” (cassava), “guineitos” (green bananas), and others. This is actually what a lot of people ate back in the day before most of the food was imported into the island, and there were big supermarkets.
A classic dish is any of these “viandas” paired with cod fish, either stewed (“guisado”) or sauteed with onions. I decided to use jackfruit as a replacement for the cod, and added some lentils so I could make them stewed. For the root veggies, I used what I found in my local hispanic/international grocery store: “yautía” (malanga) and green bananas. The result was a really simple, yet delicious and hearty meal. However, you can use any mix of root veggies you like/find close to you.
To Make the Root Veggies
Peel the veggies and cut up the “yautía” into 1 ½” chunks. Do the same with other types of veggies if you are using them. Bring six cups of water with ½ tsp of salt to a boil, and add root veggies. Boil for 20-30 minutes, or until the veggies are tender. Drain in a colander, and serve with a splash of olive oil. That’s it!
Making the Jackfruit
Preheat oven to 450°F, or alternatively just use a toaster oven, also at 450°F. Drain and rinse one can of jackfruit (about two cups) and pat dry. Shred the jackfruit and spread on a lined baking sheet. Add about ¼ tsp of “adobo” or salt and pepper, and ¼ tsp oregano. The jackfruit I find is usually canned with some sea salt and lime juice. This is why I use a small amount of salt. I would recommend using only little salt or adobo at first, and adjusting later, to taste. Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes.
To Make the Stewed Lentils
This is basically the same recipe for stewed beans, but I modify it just a bit. Heat about ½ tbsp of oil on medium heat. Add ¼ tsp of low-sodium organic vegetable bullion and three tbsp of sofrito. Sautee for about three minutes. Then, add 1 tsp of “sazón”, ½ tbsp of olives, three tbsp of tomato sauce, and ½ tsp of oregano. Sautee for another three minutes. Add ½ cup of canned lentils (drained and rinsed), and one cup of water. Bring to a low simmer, and cover. Leave the lentils cooking at a medium/low heat for 10 minutes. Uncover, and check for consistency. If you like the lentils to be more runny, take them off the heat. If you want them to be thicker, leave them on the heat, uncovered, for a few more minutes.
Serve the root vegetables with a splash of olive oil, and the jackfruit with the stewed lentils on top. Also, add avocado and a greens salad of choice. Buen provecho!
Vianda con "Bacalao" Guisado/Root Vegetables and Stewed "Cod"
- 2 yautias (malanga) you can find this root vegetable in an international, asian, or hispanic supermarket
- 2-3 green bananas they have to be very green and hard
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 cups water
- 14 oz young jackfruit
- 1/4 tsp adobo
- 1/4 tsp oil you can also use Pam
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil or any other vegetable oil
- 1/4 tsp low-sodium vegetable bullion (optional)
- 3 tbsp sofrito
- 1/2 tbsp salad olives
- 1 tsp sazón/seasoning
- 3 tbsp tomato sauce
- 3/4 cup lentils canned or previously cooked
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
- Peel the "yautia" (malanga) and green bananas, and cut up the "yautia" into 2" chunks
- Fill a medium pot with six cups of water and 1/4 salt, and bring to a boil
- Add the vegetables and boil for 30 min.
- Drain and serve with a splash of olive oil
- Drain and rinse the canned jackfruit, then pull it apart and pat dry
- Mix with the adobo
- Lay on a lined baking sheet with a bit of oil or spray of Pam
- Bake at 350F, uncovered, for 40 min. You can either use a conventional oven or a toaster oven (this is what I use).