Rosa Rodríguez-Duarte learned to cook at an early age. While she was left at home alone, her father would push a small bench up to the counter so that she could reach anything she might need. Among her favorite recipes was this one for buñuelos, seasoned with whole anise seeds, which she still makes for her family on Nochebuena. This recipe is from the book 'The Cuban Table' by Ana Sofía Peláez!
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Makes 12-14 buñuelos
½ lb yuca, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
¼ lb boniato, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
¼ lb malanga, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
¼ lb ñame, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon whole anise seeds
¼ lb calabaza, peeled and cut into 2" chunks
3 large eggs, well-beaten
3 to 4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 cups canola oil or grapeseed oil
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 whole star anise
1 whole cinnamon stick
3" strip lime zest, white pith removed
1 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- Place the yuca, boniato, malanga, ñame, salt, and anise seeds in a heavy pot with cold water to cover.
- Bring to a boil then lower the heat to medium and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
- Add the calabaza and simmer until all the vegetables are tender. Drain well.
- Force the vegetables through a ricer or food mill onto a lightly floured surface while the vegetables are still warm.
- Gather the puréed vegetables into a mound and form a well in the center.
- Pour the beaten eggs into the well and knead into the vegetables.
- Sift the flour over the mixture and blend, a little bit at a time, until it forms a smooth dough that holds together.
- Cut the dough into 14 pieces.
- Roll each piece of dough into rope about a ½" thick and shape into a figure eight.
- Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a 10" skillet to 375ºF.
- Working in batches, fry the buñuelos until they are golden on each side, 3– 4 minutes.
- Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
- Prepare the syrup. Combine all the ingredients except for the lime juice in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Simmer until it reaches a syruplike consistency, 15 – 20 minutes.
- Off heat, add lime juice to taste.
- Serve with the fried buñuelos.
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