Piñón: Plantains Are a Staple of Latino Cooking [Recipe]
Piñón: Plantains Are a Staple of Latino Cooking [Recipe]

A unique flavor, they are a delicious comfort food for those who hail from the Caribbean.  Try this twist on a favorite Italian dish and enjoy!

 

Piñón

(Ripe Plantain and Beef Lasagna)

Serves 6

Piñón: Plantains Are a Staple of Latino Cooking [Recipe]

Vegetable oil for frying

6 ripe plantains, peeled

4 ounces steamed green beans, cut into pieces

4 cups picadillo (cooked ground beef)

1 tablespoon Goya olive oil (not extra-virgin)

6 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 300°F.

In a frying pan, heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil to 350° F. Slice the plantains lengthwise into quarters. Add to the hot oil, in batches, and fry for about 4 minutes until golden on both sides. Remove from the oil, and set aside to drain on paper towels.

In a bowl, combine the picadillo with the green beans, mix well, and set aside.

Prepare the piñón: Oil the bottom and sides of a 7” x 11” baking dish with the olive oil.

Arrange a layer of the fried plantain slices on the bottom of the baking dish. (You may have to cut some plantain slices into smaller pieces to fill in any empty spaces.) Press down with your hands. Add the picadillo mixture on top and spread into an even layer. Pour ¾ of the beaten eggs over the layer of meat, and prick the surface of the meat with a fork so that it absorbs the egg. (The egg holds the piñón together for even slicing.) Arrange a layer of the remaining plantain slices on top (you may have to cut some plantain slices into smaller pieces to fill in any empty spaces). Pour the remaining eggs over the plantains, and with a rubber spatula spread into a thin layer.

Place the piñón in the oven, and bake for about 40 minutes, until the egg has cooked, the meat is heated through, and the surface of the piñón is golden and springy to the touch.

Remove the piñón from the oven, slice as you would a lasagna, and serve.

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