One of the perks of having friends from different cultures is the exposure to many delicious dishes. Zulma, a dear friend of mine, has successfully introduced me to Puerto Rican’s mofongo, tostones, and pastelón. (Mofongo and tostones are my must-eat whenever I visit the island.) A few days ago, over the phone, Zulma told me that she was making pastelón for dinner. Feeling intrigued, I used her recipe as guidance in making one myself. Usually described as “plantain lasagna”, the dish offers a good combination of sweet and savory. The plantain gives out a sweet taste while the ground turkey, cooked with onion, garlic, peppers, and cilantro, makes a fantastic meaty topping. And of course, the melted mozzarella sealed everything nicely. Buen Provecho!
Here’s my version, with a little twist 😉
- 4 ripe plantains (Per Zulma’s recommendation, I got the yellow ones with black patches all over the skin and with sweet aroma.)
- ½ pound of ground turkey (Usually made with ground pork or beef)
- ½ of sweet onions (chopped)
- 3 garlic (chopped)
- ½ cup of chopped cilantro (Zulma’s recipe calls for long coriander leaves but I couldn’t find them so I went with cilantro)
- 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
- 3-4 hot finger peppers (chopped). This is totally optional. (I made mine spicy, of course :))
- 1 or 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
- Fill a medium pot with water and bring to boil
- Cut the peeled plantains in the middle
- Boil the plantains for 15-20 minutes
- Once cooked, remove, and let them cool down before slicing them lengthwise
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
- Place the sliced plantains on a baking dish that has been sprayed with vegetable or olive oil
- On the stove top, heat a medium pan with a tablespoon with vegetable oil. Cook the onion, garlic, and bell and hot peppers for two minutes. Add ground turkey, salt, and black pepper. Combine and cook well.
- Cover the sliced plantain with the meat, top with shredded cheese, and place it in the oven for 10-12 minutes until the cheese is melted.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool down for a bit before serving
My special thanks to Zulma