Going Puerto Rican with Pastelón: Plantain, Ground Turkey, and Cheese

Pastelón

Pastelón

Plantain topped with ground turkey and mozzarella

Plantain topped with ground turkey and mozzarella

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 😉
We’ll need:

  • 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

Pastelon

Steps:

  • 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

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One thought on “Going Puerto Rican with Pastelón: Plantain, Ground Turkey, and Cheese

  1. Pingback: Baked Potato Patties « Tiny Chili Pepper

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