Holidays with Loisa: Pastelón de Plátanos Maduros

Welcome to Holidays with Loisa! This season we plan to bring you some classics, some twists on the classics, as well as some easy new ways to enjoy Latin flavor besides the big meals. We know the holidays look a little different this year, and many of us (ourselves included) will be taking on more dishes than normal. That in mind, we've gathered an inspiring group of chefs and creators to help you thrive during this unique time with a full season's worth of recipes & insight. 

Yet another wonderful recipe brought to you by Chef Yadira Garcia (@HappyHealthyLatina), Loisa's Head Chef & Educator and a partner in our business, Chef Irbania Tavares (@irbania), and Chef Nikki Gurley (@chef_gstackz). They've got an amazing collective going called Elevated Melanated Cuisine. Be sure to check that out, too. Also blessed to work with photographer and stylist Rosanna Añil (@nycfoodmuse) to capture all the magic!

~ PASTELÓN DE PLÁTANOS (SWEET PLANTAIN LASAGNA) ~

Serves 6 to 8

INGREDIENTS 

  • 4 very ripe plantains (about 3 ½ pounds), peeled and sliced lengthwise, ¼ inch thick 
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided by tablespoon (plus more to grease the casserole) 
  • 1 pound ground beef (90% lean; can substitute with crumbled tempeh for vegetarian alternative!!) 
  • 1 teaspoon Loisa Adobo  
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Loisa Sazón
  • 1 small onion, minced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 small red bell pepper, minced (about 1 cup) 
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Loisa Oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon Loisa Sal de Mar, more to taste
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 ½ cups Monterey jack, cheddar, mozzarella or vegan cheese, shredded and divided into 1/2 cups
  • 2 large eggs, beaten (or Just Egg, other vegan substitutes)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Lightly grease a 9x13 (or similar) casserole dish.
  3. In a small bowl, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Brush each plantain slice with olive oil and place it flat, side by side, in one or two baking sheets. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the bottom of the plantains are caramelized and golden-brown. 
  4. Meanwhile cook the beef (or crumbled tempeh).
  5. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. When the oil is hot (but not smoking), add the ground beef (or crumbled tempeh) and season with the Loisa Adobo and Loisa Sazón. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of Loisa Sal de Mar. Continue cooking the meat, breaking it up into tiny crumbles, for 5 minutes or until browned. Add the onion, pepper, garlic, Loisa Oregano, and Loisa Ground Black Pepper, stir well to combine. Cook for about 5 to 7 more minutes until the onion and pepper are tender.  Add the tomato sauce and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. 
  6. Meanwhile, remove the plantains from the oven and turn each plantain slice. Bake for 5 more minutes. Remove the baking sheet/s from the oven and let cool slightly. 
  7. Stir the beef and turn off the heat.
  8. Adjust the oven temperature to 350°F.
  9. Assemble the pastelón: cover the bottom of the casserole dish with a single layer of the plantain strips. Spoon half of the ground beef mixture onto the plantains. Top with ½ cup of shredded cheese. Repeat with another layer of plantains, meat, and cheese (reserve the remaining ½ cup of cheese). Top with a final layer of plantains.
  10. Pour the beaten eggs over the plantains. Bake the pastelón, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with the remaining ½ cup of cheese. Return the dish to the oven and cook for an additional 5 to 7 minutes, until the cheese has melted.
  11. Remove the pastelón from the oven. Allow it to cool for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving, which helps it maintain its shape when sliced.

A little bit extra about Yadi Garcia
Yadira Garcia is a trained Natural-foods Chef and certified Integrative Health Coach, of Dominican descent who grew up in the South Bronx of New York City. She is now leveraging her education as a community Shef-Tivist, educator, and Speaker under the platform she created Happy Healthy Latina, INC., helping to address food justice, nutrition education & health inequities in NYC. Together with her team she works with several Community Based Organizations, NYC Public Schools and Bronx/NYC Urban Farms as a culturally relevant cooking, nutrition education/food justice workshop curriculum creator, facilitator. 

Find and follow Yadi on Instagram at @HpapyHealthyLatina

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