Today’s recipe is from Panama (Yay!). Is been a long time since my last Panamanian recipe, but this one is so good that all my fellow countrymen (and women) will forgive my slip.

Why unphotographable? Because despite the fact that this dish is delicious, it isn’t that easy to photograph… So, as my dear Frank would say…

 Your looks are laughable


 Yet you’re my favorite work of art

To sum up: Dish good, photographs not so much, but…

 Don’t change a hair for me

 Not if you care for me…

Cassava Cake


  • 1 kg of Cassava
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 750 g of ground beef and pork (500-250)
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • ¼ cup chopped green and red peppers
  • ½ cup chopped tomato
  • 2 coriander leaves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste


Boil the cassava with salt and coriander leaves until soft. Drain and mash, then you’ll have to work a bit with a wooden spoon or knead with your hands until it is smooth and elastic.

In a pan, sauté the ground meat with one tablespoon of olive oil. Add a cup of water and let it simmer. When the meat is cooked enough add the onion, oregano, tomato paste, peppers and tomatoes. If the ensemble is too dry, add two tablespoons of water and let it cook until it is juicy, but with no sauce.

To assemble the cake we can use a round cake pan, square Pyrex or a tall rectangular one (like the one I used). Put half the cassava at the bottom, add the meat and cover with the remaining half of cassava.  Bake at 190 °C (350 ºF) for 25 or 30 minutes.

You can have it hot or cold (is easier to unmold when cold, but I like it hot).

This recipe is very similar to the carimañolas I published some time ago, here’s the link. It is another delicious way to relish manioc with a Panamanian touch (my favorite in fact). One more thing, Manioc or cassava is gluten free.


About these ads

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , ,

32 thoughts on “Unphotographable

  1. rumpydog August 11, 2012 at 02:16 Reply


  2. Mad Dog August 11, 2012 at 02:32 Reply

    Excellent! One of the first restaurants I blogged was Tia Maria, a Brazilian restaurant that specialises in tapioca (made with cassava) – it’s quite unique, you don’t get much of it in London.
    You cake looks great BTW ;-)

    • Bluejellybeans August 12, 2012 at 00:59 Reply

      Hi MD!
      Thanks for your comment and link, it gave some ideas for my next cassava recipe :)

    • Bluejellybeans August 16, 2012 at 00:33 Reply

      Hi MD! could you take a look at the comment made by Barbara a few comments down (and my answer), please?
      Thanks! ;)

  3. cocomino August 11, 2012 at 04:10 Reply

    I have never eaten Cassava. It’s very interesting.

    • Bluejellybeans August 12, 2012 at 01:07 Reply

      Hi Cocomino! Thanks for your comment. Promise me you’ll try it someday :)

  4. ChgoJohn August 11, 2012 at 04:22 Reply

    What do you mean it isn’t photographable? This looks delicious, Giovanna.
    Thanks for today’s lesson on Panamanian cuisine. I’m not at all familiar with cassava but now know enough to at least try it the next time I see it on a menu.

    • Bluejellybeans August 12, 2012 at 01:11 Reply

      Hi John!
      I mean that after a lot of shots only one or two were good enough for a post…but maybe it wasn’t the cake, but me. I didn’t want to go out to take the picture because it was sooo hot outside…
      See? Between these two recipes and Mad Dog post on Tia Maria restaurant, now you are an expert ;)
      Thanks a lot for your comment!

  5. bulldogsturf August 11, 2012 at 07:24 Reply

    Yummy and nothing wrong with the photograph… looks good enough to eat…

  6. Tandy August 11, 2012 at 08:50 Reply

    Sounds good!

  7. Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy August 11, 2012 at 17:44 Reply

    This is like Puerto Rican pastelón! My recipe is one of my top hits on Hot, Cheap & Easy…yours looks beautiful (and the picture is great!)

    • Bluejellybeans August 12, 2012 at 01:21 Reply

      Tienes razón Natalia, ¡hasta las fotos se parecen!! Supongo que en el fondo toda nuestra cocina es muy parecida… El otro día compré unos plátanos verdes para hacer mofongo, pero no compré el chicharrón molido, bueno de hecho no creo que lo encuentre molido acá… aquí se llaman cortezas de cerdo a los chicharrones ¿es lo mismo, no?.
      Bueno, el caso es que ya se están poniendo amarillos, quizás prepare finalmente tu pastelón de amarillos, aunque creo que a mis hijos les pasará lo mismo que a Leandro ;)
      ¡Gracias por el comentario!

      • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy August 12, 2012 at 03:55 Reply

        Creo que sí, que los chicharrones son lo mismo que cortezas…Mucha gente hace el mofongo vegetariano con muy buenos resultados, pero lo como tan poco que prefiero comerlo con todos los poderes…o sea, con carne de cerdo! También hago pastelón de yuca..Un abrazo…

  8. glutenfreezen August 12, 2012 at 04:14 Reply

    What an interesting recipe! Looks delicious and the photograph is gorgeous. Certainly nothing wrong with that! :)

  9. ceciliag August 12, 2012 at 05:14 Reply

    i have heard of cassava cake, i guess it is not much like cassava crackers.. much tastier, and I love the quotes in this post.. morning giovanna! c

    • Bluejellybeans August 15, 2012 at 19:14 Reply

      Hi C!
      I haven’t heard of cassava crackers, but I bet they are as good as potato chips or even better.
      The quotes are from My funny valentine, a song written by Lorenz Hart in 1937, with music by Richard Rodgers. I love this song, especially the version by Frank Sinatra. When I start taken pictures of this recipe, the word that came to my mind was unphotographable… weird eh?
      Thanks a lot for your comment. Good morning to you too ;)

  10. thecompletecookbook August 12, 2012 at 11:44 Reply

    I am not at all familiar with cassava cake but you make it look very appealing – absolutely nothing wrong with your photo. :-) Mandy

  11. Jed Gray (sportsglutton) August 12, 2012 at 22:30 Reply

    Some dishes just don’t want to be photographed, but that never stops me from believing in their tastiness!! ;-)

    • Bluejellybeans August 15, 2012 at 19:17 Reply

      I’m glad you got what I meant with my post :)
      Thanks for your comment, Jed!

  12. Promenade Claire August 13, 2012 at 13:24 Reply

    I know what you mean when you are not satisfied with the image, but to me it all looks great !

    • Bluejellybeans August 15, 2012 at 19:19 Reply

      Thank you Claire!
      I’m glad you understood what I meant ;) It was one of those days when my camera and my dish didn’t want to work together…

  13. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen August 13, 2012 at 17:43 Reply

    I think your photograph turned out perfectly?! What does the cake portion taste like, I’ve never heard/read of anything quite like that. What a pretty savory dish!

    • Bluejellybeans August 16, 2012 at 00:31 Reply

      Hi Barbara!
      Thanks, after some editing they were fine ;) That’s a tough question…because I know I love cassava but can’t describe the flavor. I will ask Mad Dog to do it for me because he knows it (I think) and is much more eloquent than I ;)

      • Mad Dog August 16, 2012 at 02:54 Reply

        Now you’ve put me on the spot. The cassava “pancakes” I have at the Tapioca House don’t have a strong flavour (they are quite thin) and a filling like goats cheese and onion is stronger in comparison. What does stick in my mind is the stretchy springy texture, which remind me, a bit, of coconut cakes (texture only, not taste).
        Tapioca pudding was very popular when I was a child – it was made with milk and cassava starch. It was normal to flavour the pudding with a spoonful of jam. It’s not very fashionable now, but my parents and grandparents loved it.

  14. niasunset August 15, 2012 at 13:45 Reply

    A new one for me, seems so delicious…Thank you dear Giovanna, Love, nia

    • Bluejellybeans August 16, 2012 at 00:34 Reply

      Thank you very much for your comment, dear Nia! ;)

OK, let's talk

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 889 other followers

%d bloggers like this: