Catibias o Cativias (Dominican Yucca Empanadas) #SundaySupper
One classic of Dominican street food! I guess street food is very dear to my heart! when I was younger I use to buy this delicious crispy empanadas very often, in fact in my first pregnancy, my husband (who is an angel! God bless his soul) drive 20 minutes to fetch me some catibias from a food vendor I knew and he has been in the same spot for over 30 years.
In the years of the colony, the Empanada a Spanish dish, was introduce to the natives in the Dominican Republic, at that time called Hispaniola. Historians narrate that in the sixteenth century in Santiago, (the second biggest city in the DR) flour cakes, “Pan cakes “both beef and pork, were publicly made and sold.
In the DR, the empanada has two variations, both stuffed with meats, cheese or vegetables and fried: one made with wheat flour and circular, called “pastelito” and the second one, made with catibia (a thick cassava flour used primarily for casabe) and semicircular. This second variant retained the name “Catibia” although it is not an indigenous plate. Apparently, given the frequent shortages of wheat flour in the island during the colony, it was replace often with the yucca flour or catibia flour. So as you can see the origins of the “Catibia” is very circumstantial.
I made a simple and super fresh pico de gallo to go with my catibias! So easy and simple! you can find here the recipe for my easy & fresh pico de gallo.
- For the dough
- 3 pounds of yucca root (cassava, manioc, and tapioca), finely grated,
- ¾ cups of water
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 lb shrimp, cleaned
- 2 tablespoons olive oil + 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped into small cubes
- ½ small bell pepper, chopped, into small cubes
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped into small cubes
- ¼ cup of cilantro, chopped
- 1 tablespoon of Dominican rum
- 2 whole small tomatoes, crushed
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- Some vegetable oil to handle the dough and to fry, enough to fill ¾ of the pan you are frying in
- First wash and peel the yucca. Remove all brown outer skin and the under layer (dark rose) directly beneath the rough brown skin. Make sure your yucca is bright white.
- Grate the yucca (cassava) finely, you can do this in a food processor, it should have the texture of grated coconut. With a cheese cloth, squeeze all the liquid out of the yucca.
- In a heavy bottomed pot and add ¾ cup of the water, the yucca and 1 teaspoon of salt. Turn the heat up to medium or medium high. Stir this mixture constantly. This step consist only in cooking the dough so it will be pliable and easy to work with, the dough should not be over cook or burnt and this will ruin your dough, you will continue to stir, approximately for about 15 minutes. When the dough is done it will turn transparent, it will still be sticky, that is ok, that is normal. Let the dough cool.
- In a frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil, when is ready throw in: the onion, bell pepper, and 2 garlic cloves, at the moment when they begin turning transparent add the tomatoes and tomato paste, let this mixture simmer for 15 minutes at a very low heat.
- In a frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil, when is ready throw the rest of the garlic and the shrimps, stir so it won't stick to the bottom of the pan, until golden, then deglaze with the rum, scrap all the bottom, add the sofrito and the cilantro let it simmer for a 3 to 5 minutes, all the liquid should have evaporated at this time. Let the mixture cool down.
- Cover your hands with oil; this will make it easier to handle the dough. Take the dough and begin forming balls (a little bigger than golf balls) and with a rolling pin or a tortilla maker rolled out or squeeze the dough into circles (you can use plastic film wrap or brushed some vegetable oil into your rolling pin or tortilla maker or both). Make a circle and add the filling (big tablespoon) in the middle, then fold over and press to seal. Repeat until you are out of dough.
- Fry in hot oil, until golden brown (in the edges) then put over paper towels to extract all the oil. Enjoy right away.
I once heard that food was part of a country identity! and I guess they were right! Dominican cuisine is a mixture of several heritages, indigenous, Spanish, African, We have a piece of each one of these cultures. And we cherish that, and every where a Dominican is, he brings his cooking tradition among his belongings. When a Dominican citizen living abroad receive Dominican visitors, they will on the first occasion available will cook Dominican food for their guests, its just like a necessity of proving you are as much as a Dominican as they, or even more. It’s the safest way of showing your guest you care about them!
Often when I lived in France I used to get together with other Dominicans to cook Dominicans, it made us feel closer to home I guess. Rice, read beans and stewed chicken is always a hit with tostones (fried green plantains) of course. Needless to mention Dominican Sancocho (Click here for my recipe), Dominican beer (Presidente), Guandules con coco y arroz (pigeon peas with coconut and rice), asopao de camarones, I hope you cherish you home town food as much as I cherish mine!
This week Sunday Supper takes a trip to the tropics! We’re bringing recipes to inspire you to get your tropical menu on! Thanks to Marlene from Nosh My Way and Cindy from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings for co-hosting this fun event!
Tidbits and Pupus
- Chicken and Lemongrass Sugarcane Skewers by Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
- Coconut crusted Tofu with Spicy Mango Cucumber Topping by Soni’s Food
- Larp (Laos chicken salad) by Caroline’s Cooking
- Midwest Style Loco Moco by Our Good Life
- Tropical Sunrise Fruit Salad with Coconut Chia Cream by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Caribbean Black Beans with Rice by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Condiments and Sauces
- Cilantro Margarita by An Appealing Plan
- Coconut Mojito by Flour On My Face
- Pineapple Upside Down Cake Cocktail by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Strawberry Lava Flow by Nosh My Way
- Bali Spicy Grilled Fish – Ikan Bakar Jimbaran by Food Lust People Love
- Crockpot Hawaiian Pulled Pork by Fantastical Sharing of Recipes
- Grilled Jerk Shrimp Roll with Tropical Fruit Slaw by Food Done Light
- Grilled Swordfish with Pineapple Salsa by Cooking Chat
- Kalua Pig by Palatable Pastime
- Mango Barbecued Pork Chops by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Mango Lime Fajitas by Curious Cuisiniere
- Pineapple Pork by Basic N Delicious
- Pineapple, Prosciutto and Arugula Pizza by Family Foodie
- Catibias o Cativias (Dominican Yucca Empanadas) by The Petit Gourmet
- Shrimp Salad with Avocado Ranch Dressing by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Slow Cooker Kalua Pork Tacos by Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- Tropical Chicken Burgers by Momma’s Meals
- Whole Roasted Bream with a Ginger-Tamarind Sauce by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Coconut Mounds Bars by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Tropical Sunshine Cake by Lifestyle Food Artistry
- Double Ginger Cookies by Pies and Plots
- Majarete Ice Cream by Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Mini Mango Cheesecakes by The Freshman Cook
- Pineapple Blueberry Ooey Gooey Cake by Recipes Food and Cooking
- Pumpkin-Coconut Biscotti by What Smells So Good?
- Tropical Fruit Salad by The Redhead Baker
- Tropical Layered Poke Cake by Daily Dish Recipes
- Ube Panna Cotta by The Joyful Foodie
- Whole Wheat Mango Coconut Bars by Peanut Butter and Peppers
- The Best Wines to Pair with Tropical Food #SundaySupper by ENOFYLZ Wine Blog
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