Friday, May 16, 2008

Un pinon: Carribean style lasagna mmmm....

Ground beef filling:
1.25 lbs ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 tsp salt, to taste
1/2 tsp pepper, to taste
2 bay leaves
1 tsp ground achiote
1/2 tsp coriander
1/4 - 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
1 16 ounce can whole tomatoes, drained (juices reserved) and chopped
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup raisins
1.5 Tbsp red wine vinegar

For the lasagna layers:
4 semi-ripe plantains, yellow with some spots
olive oil, enough to coat the bottom of a pan
2 eggs
2-3 Tbsp. milk, or water1/2
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, Mozzarella or swiss cheese (choose your preference)
cilantro, optional for garnish

*Note that you can make the ground beef filling in advance and store in the fridge until you are ready to make the rest.

Cook ground beef in a large pot over medium heat until no longer pink. Add the onion, red and green bell pepper, bay leaves, and spices. Cook for a few more minutes until the onions and peppers begin to soften.

Add all remaining ingredients to the beef, including the chopped tomatoes and reserved juice, tomato sauce, raisins, and vinegar. Bring to a simmer and let the flavors combine for 10-15 minutes. At this point, taste and adjust the spices to your liking.

Set the beef aside to cool while you prepare the plantains.

Peel the plantains and cut diagonally into 1/4-1/3 inch thick slices. (Tip for peeling a plantain: the skin is a little thicker than bananas, so you'll want to cut one end off and slice through the skin lengthwise three times, spaced evenly around the plantain. Then the skin will peel off easily.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly oil a large rectangular baking pan (3 quart capacity). Combine eggs and milk in a bowl and lightly beat. Add half of the egg mixture to the bottom of the pan. Follow with a layer of 1/3 of the plantains, 1/2 of the beef mixture, and 1/2 of the cheese mixture. Repeat another 1/3 of the plantains, remaining beef, and remaining cheese. Top with a layer of plantains. Finally, pour the remaining egg mixture evenly over the top.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake until hot and bubbling. If you started with freshly cooked beef (not out of the fridge), usually all the ingredients start warm and you only need to bake for 30 minutes. However, starting with cold beef, you really need to bake for about an hour to heat through.Remove the foil, sprinkle with cilantro, and enjoy!

1 comment:

Jen said...

This sounds like a really interesting twist on lasagna. I'll have to try it out. :)