grew out of a hunger for a taste of her native Pachuca, Mexico.
After moving to Kansas City, Kan., almost 15 years ago, Rothove started making the half-moon-shaped, sweet and savory pastry turnovers for family and friends. As word spread, a catering business was born, and last September Rothove opened her Mexican snack shop in KCK.
The cheery 20-seat shop has walls painted a guacamole green with a large print of the landmark known as Monumental Clock of Pachuca. “So many come here to eat my empanadas and take their picture in front of the clock picture,” Rothove says. “They tell me they feel like they are in Mexico.”
While her baked empanadas featuring 15 sweet or savory fillings are a namesake hit, another best-seller at Mi Antojo (which means “My Craving”) are thepan de yuca (YOU-cah), gluten-free, cheesy yuca bread balls
that sell for three pieces for $3.49.
These soft, stretchy bread balls are best eaten hot out of the oven and chased with a fruit smoothie or milky Mexican coffee with cinnamon.
They’re made with tapioca starch (also labeled yuca or manioc), an ingredient made from the root of the cassava plant. Look for it in Hispanic and Asian markets, as well as the health food section of many grocery stores.Cheese Bread Balls or Pan de Yuca Makes approximately 2 dozen (2-inch) balls 2 1/2 cups yuca starch, also known as tapioca or manioc starch or flour 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/8 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 8 tablespoons 2 eggs 1 to 2 tablespoons water, if needed
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse yuca starch, cheese, baking powder and salt until well combined. Add butter and eggs to the food processor and pulse until a soft, spongy dough forms. If mixture is too dry, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is achieved.
Transfer contents into a mixing bowl and roll dough into 2-inch balls, placing 12 on each of the prepared pans. Bake a single sheet of dough balls at a time for 5 to 7 minutes, or until bread is golden brown. Eat while hot.
Dough can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator, after being placed in mixing bowl and covered with plastic wrap. Allow dough to come to room temperature before forming into balls and baking.Per ball (based on 24): 157 calories (51 percent from fat), 9 grams total fat (5 grams saturated), 45 milligrams cholesterol, 15 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams protein, 116 milligrams sodium, trace dietary fiber.