Sunday, April 09, 2006

Plantain Pie with Cheese

Part of my new years resolution was to eat one new fruit or veggie a week. Last week I made brussle sprouts (which I LOVED) and this week I decided to make something with plantains. Unlike bananas, plantains are good through all stages of their ripeness. When they are green they resemble potatoes and when they turn black they get very sweet.

This recipe is a slight adaptation from a Latin dish I found in Bon appetite with a sweet and savory flavor.

3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large ripe (yellow) plantains, peeled, cut on diagonal into 2 inch long ovals
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves
1 pound ground beef
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup blue-cheese stuffed green olives, coarsely chopped, plus 3 tbls of brine
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp baking spice (or allspice)
1 tbls yellow cornmeal
12 oz queso fresco, crumbled

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, add plantain slices and cook until golden brown (about 3 minutes on each side). Using a slotted spoon, transfer slices to a sheet of foil. Pat plantains with paper towel and cool. Reserve 2 tablespoons oil from skillet for filling.

Line a greased 9 inch pie dish with a single layer of cooled plantains. Using fingers, firmly press slices together to seal any gaps. Set crust aside.

Heat the 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until onion is translucent. Add beef and saute until brown. Add tomatoes, raisins, olives, oregano, cinnamon, cumin, and baking spice and simmer until most of the liquid evaporates. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix in cornmeal.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Crumble half of the queso fresco over crust, then spoon in filling and press to compact. Sprinkle evenly with remaining queso fresco. Bake pie until cheese is melted and filling is heated through, about 20 minutes.

Adams thoughts : "Can't talk eating...I would probably rate this a ten. I love food like this. Mmmm. Mmm-Mmm-Mmm...(eats a few more spoonfuls)...I will have more stuff to add when I am not busy being in flavor country."

Monika's thoughts : This dish really has everything. It gets me pumped for all the tropical food we are going to eat on our honeymoon. I think if someone wants to make some thing a little different than your standard meat & potatoes this will fit the bill.


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