Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pastelón de plátanos amarillos ( Ripe Plantain Casserole)

The first time we saw this dish being served we thought it to be the Caribbean equivalent of shepherd's pie, and in a lot of ways the two dishes are very similar. Additional vegetables may be added to the filling, however in the Dominican Republic the dishes served as the recipe has been written.


6 plantains, very ripe

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

4 jalapeno chilies, seeds, stems removed, diced

1 pound lean ground beef

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup red onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, seeds, stems, ribs removed, diced

1 teaspoon garlic, minced

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground oregano

2 avocados, seeds removed, peeled, sliced (wait until dish is completed)


preheat oven to 350°

1. In a large skillet, brown the beef in the oil.

2. Add the onion, garlic, chilies, bell pepper, black pepper, cinnamon, clove, allspice, and oregano and sauté for two minutes.

3. Add tomato paste and 1/4 cup cold water to the beef mixture. Stir to incorporate. Allow to simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the water has evaporated. Remove from heat and reserve.

4. Peel the plantains and boil in salted water. When the plantains are very tender remove from the heat. Carefully remove the plantains from the hot water, drain. Add butter and mash with a fork until very smooth.

5. Place one half of the mashed plantains into a 9x9x3 baking dish, and spread to cover the bottom.

6. Add ground beef mixture into the baking dish on top of the plantains and spread evenly, sprinkle with one half of the shredded cheese.

7. Add remaining plantains to cover the beef mixture, spread evenly, cover with remaining cheddar cheese.

8. Bake in 350° oven for 30 minutes, or until top is golden brown.

9. Serve with sliced fresh avocado

Thursday, November 4, 2010

West Indies Banana Bread


1 pound very ripe bananas, (3 to 4 medium size bananas)

1 teaspoon dark rum

2/3 cup golden raisins

2 cups all purpose flour

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg, room temperature

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 tablespoon orange zest, grated

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans


1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Lightly butter a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan

3. Mash the bananas in a bowl with a fork and add the rum.

4. In another bowl toss the raisins with 2 tablespoons of the flour.

5. Cream the butter with the sugar until fluffy and light.

6. Add the egg and beat until smooth.

7. In another bowl sift the remaining flour with the baking powder, salt and nutmeg.

8. Add the grated orange rind.

9. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add half the banana mixture, blending

10. well, and then half the butter mixture.

11. Repeat the process with the rest of the bananas and the remaining butter mixture.

12. Stir in the raisins and nuts.

13. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

14. Bake for 1 hour until the loaf is golden brown or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

15. Remove the pan to a wire rack.

16. Cool for 10 minutes before removing the bread from the pan.

17. Remove bread from the pan and allow to cool completely on wire rack.