Wait, stop the presses!
It just happens Publix no longer carries Yautía! My dad, not one to be deterred by important details, went: ‘yautía, boniato, same difference’ and boniato it was.
Boniato is another root, favorite with our Cuban neighbors.
So we replaced the yautía with boniato, and he’s totally right. He says it is probably the best cazuela he has ever had. Go figure. One small detail, though, it is very important you sieve the boniato, it’s kind of firmer and we caught a pile of lumps after mashing it. After that it was a creamy delight.
You can serve it from the pan if you use a nice one that makes it to the table, or try what we did, grease the pan well and line the bottom with deli paper just to assure it will not stick to the bottom and break when you flip it. But dad says he remembers it being served directly from the pan. It never lasted long….
But moving forward, I promised you a recipe for coquito and being that alcohol really greases the wheels of social interaction, I won’t stall a second more. You’re still on time for tonight.
This is our family’s recipe. Some people have started adding eggs to it, but dad thinks that is an aberration (his words) so I wouldn’t dare. It’s so good you won’t care if the mayans shellacked the world.
2 cups coconut milk
1 ½ cups rum
1 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Mix all ingredients except the rum in a blender to make sure they are really blended. Sugar can be tricky sometimes. Add the rum and refrigerate.
Now, do you want to hear how it used to be done in the old days (before Coco Lopez)? Check this out:
You will need :
2 ripe coconuts
2 cups Puertorican rum
1 can condensed milk, undiluted
4 egg yolks (I wouldn’t go there….)
Crack the coconuts, separate the meat form the shell and remove the brown skin.
Wash, drain and grate the meat.
In an electric blender, pour 1 cup of the rum and add about 1/3 of the grated coconut meat. Crush thoroughly at high speed. Strain and squeeze through muslin cloth.
Pour the strained liquid back into the blender, add another 1/3 grated coconut meat and repeat.
Pour liquid again in blender, add balance of grated coconut meat and repeat. Strain and measure two cups.
(Here is where I will skip the egg yolks!)
Add the undiluted condensed milk and mix well.
In a large bowl, mix the liquid thoroughly with 1 cup rum.
Bottle and refrigerate.
This version is from Puerto Rican Cookery, by Carmen Aboy Valldejuli, 1975, but it is the traditional way.
So take your pick and have fun. No, really, have fun.
BTW, just tried the cazuela, it is amazing!