Nuéganos — similar to Salvadoran nuégados — are delicious fritters made with yuca (also known as cassava), masa harina and cheese and served with a panela/piloncillo sweet sauce. The salty-sweet combination makes them a delectabledessert. If you want to take them up a level of deliciousness, serve them warm with vanilla ice cream. It’s always a great pairing!
1½pounds fresh yuca peeled and grated
1pound medium-moisture white cheese such as queso fresco crumbled finely
Make the Panela Sauce: In a heavy bottom, medium size pot, combine panela, water, cinnamon, cloves and star anise. Let it dissolve over low-medium heat. Stir constantly and cook until sauce acquires a “syrupy” consistency. Remove from heat, remove solids and reserve.
Make the Dough: Combine the masa harina, cheese, yuca, egg, pinch of salt and pepper. Add water until dough forms. You may need to add more water until the dough feels soft but not too wet.
Form the Nuéganos: Divide the dough into 24 balls. On a clean working surface, roll each ball and form into a doughnut-like shape.
Now for the Frying: Heat oil in a frying pan to 375ºF. Fry the nuéganos until golden brown. Drizzle with panela sauce and serve immediately.