Here are the following ingredients:
Sofrito (see Tip*)
- 2 heads garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) drained capers
- ½ cup (125 mL) green olives, pitted
- 1 large onion, cut into chunks
- 1 EACH sweet green and red pepper, cut into quarters
- 3 jarred cherry pimientos, drained, seeded
- 8 oz (250 g) fresh culantro leaves (see Tip**), 1 inch (2.5 cm) of bottom stems removed
- 1 cup (250 mL) packed cilantro leaves, chopped
- 3 tbsp (45 mL) olive oil
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 1½ cups (375 mL) tomato sauce
- 1 pkg (1.14 oz/40 g) Sazón with saffron (store-bought or about 1½ tsp/7 mL recipe in Tip***)
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) red wine vinegar
- 2 lb (1 kg) Lean Ground Beef
- Seasoned salt
- 4 large ripe plantains (yellow with black spots)
- 1 cup (250 mL) olive oil
- 1 tsp (5 mL) fine sea salt
- 3 cups (750 mL) shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup (250 mL) shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 3 tbsp (45 mL) fresh Italian parsley leaves, chopped, divided
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) softened butter
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 2 cup (500 mL) tomato sauce
Here are the following shopping items to buy:
Follow these cooking methods/directions:
- Sofrito: Combine garlic, capers and olives in a food processor and pulse
until finely chopped. Gradually add green and red peppers, pimientos, culantro and cilantro, in batches, and purée until it
resembles a smooth dipping salsa. Measure out 1 cup (250 mL) sofrito for the Beef
Filling and store remaining in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to
- Beef Filling: Heat
oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Cook carrot, stirring, for 5
minutes. Stir in 1 cup (250 mL) sofrito, tomato sauce, Sazón seasoning and vinegar. Add ground beef and cook, stirring
often and using back of spoon to break up meat into small chunks, for 8 to 10 minutes or until browned. Add seasoned salt to
taste. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Plantains: Place
plantains on a cutting board and trim off both ends; discard ends. Slide the
tip of a knife just under the edge of the peel, without cutting into the flesh,
to remove peel; discard peel. Cut each plantain in half crosswise then
carefully cut each half lengthwise into four ¼-inch (0.5 cm) thick slices.
- Heat oil over
medium-high heat in another large skillet. Fry plantain slices, in batches,
turning once, for about 6 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a paper
towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon; sprinkle with salt. Set aside.
Combine mozzarella, Parmesan and 2 tbsp (30 mL) of the parsley in a medium bowl.
Brush a 13 x 9-inch (33 x 23 cm) shallow baking dish with butter. Divide the
plantains into 3 portions; arrange one portion in a single layer in bottom of
the dish. Spread half the beef mixture over plantains, then sprinkle with
one-third of the cheese mixture. Layer with another portion of plantains, then
remaining beef mixture and half the remaining cheese mixture. Arrange remaining
plantains on top, pour beaten eggs over the plantains, as a binder.
- Cover with
foil and bake in preheated 350˚F oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle
remaining cheese over top and broil for 1 minute or until cheese is melted. Let
stand for 5 to 10 minutes.
heat tomato sauce over medium heat in a small saucepan until hot and bubbling. Serve
casserole garnished with sauce and remaining parsley.
*Instead of making the sofrito, you can purchase sofrito cooking base in jars, available at Latin supermarkets. Puerto Rican sofrito differs from other Hispanic countries (tomato-based sofritos), green herbaceous Puerto Rican sofritos are also sold in Latin-American stores. Making it fresh is best!
**Culantro is a cousin of cilantro and has a minty flavour profile with long, narrow leaves. It is available in Asian and Latin supermarkets.
***To make Sazón -style seasoning from scratch, combine 1 tbsp (15 mL) EACH garlic powder, ground annatto seeds and ground cumin and 1 tsp (5 mL) EACH onion powder and ground turmeric in a small airtight container. With the lid on, shake well to mix. Store at room temperature for up to 6 months. Makes ⅓ cup (75 mL).