Stuffed Yucca Balls

2 lb. yukka root

4 oz. queso fresco, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 egg
2 slices of bread
10 saltine crackers
Mild Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for frying

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Peel the yucca root and cut into 3 inch pieces. Add yucca to the pot of water and boil for 30-40 minutes until the yucca root is tender. Drain in a colander. Remove as many woody pieces as possible from the center of the root. Rice the yucca root or force through a colander. Season with salt and pepper and cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Place 2 Tbsp. of mashed yucca in the palm of one hand. Make a small well in the middle and place a piece of cheese in the well. Wrap the mashed yucca around the cheese and roll between your hands to make a round ball.

Repeat with the remaining yucca and cheese. In a deep skillet, heat 2 inches of EVOO to about 360. Fry balls until golden and drain on paper towels. Crack one egg into a bowl and whisk. Process bread and crackers together. Roll each ball in to egg and then into the crumb mixture. Fry the yucca balls a second time, just until they are golden brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels and serve warm with Aji Verde dipping sauce.

*Tested in the Peruvian Cooking Class

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