Every once in a while, I crave Mami’s food. Good old fashioned, Puerto Rican comfort food. This one right here, would definitely be on my top five list of “last meals”. Pastelón is a layered dish of fried sweet plantain strips, seasoned ground beef, and cheese. Beaten egg is poured over the casserole to bind the dish together as it baked in the oven. There’s a really authentic version on The Noshery, which is also a favorite blog of mine! Traditionally, this dish is also a heart attack-inducing plate of greasy deliciousness, but now, you can make my version, which is super figure friendly, and a perfect make ahead dinner for guests. Just assemble and refrigerate, then pop into the oven to heat up.
(This fills two 10 ounce ramekins, with leftovers to spare!)
4 – 5 ripe plantains (the darker, the better!)
1/2 cup of my Delish Turkey Picadillo Recipe
1/3 to 1/2 cup fat free milk
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
2 teaspoons agave
1/2 cup + 4 tablespoons shredded part skim mozzerella cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmeggiano Reggiano
Dried or fresh cilantro, chopped
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil Cooking Spray or a Misto Sprayer
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and wash your plantains.
Cut the ends off the plantains and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake them for 20-25 minutes, until they pop out of the skin, and you can smell the caramelized, sugary sweetness wafting through your kitchen.
While warm, peel the baked plantains and place them into a heat safe bowl. I like doing this with a pair of tongs, you can just grab an edge of the peel with the tongs and the skin should peel right off.
Add in the milk, butter, agave, a pinch of salt and pepper, and a healthy sprinkle of Parmeggiano, to your liking.
Mash the plantains until they’re nice and smooth. If you need to add a bit more liquid, feel free. This is a very similar process to making mashed potatoes.
Now it’s time to assemble! Spray your ramekin with cooking spray.
Press down a 1/2″ layer of the mashed plantain into the bottom of the ramekin.
Top with a tablespoon of shredded mozzerella and a sprinkle of Parmeggiano.
Next, add in the layer of picadillo.
Add another tablespoon of cheese.
Next, top off the ramekin with another layer of mashed plantain and smooth it out.
Lastly, sprinkle 1/4 cup of the melted cheese on top and sprinkle with a bit of cilantro. Place onto a baking sheet and broil at 400F until the cheese is bubbly and golden. Caution, this happens quickly, so don’t go too far!
Now it’s time to revel in this thing of beauty.
No grease, no mess, no guilt and all DELISH! Serve with a simple salad, some avocado, and a smile. 🙂