Spice It Up!
Here is a recipe for Pastelón de Berenjena y Plátanos Maduros from our friends at Dominican Flave. It’s a side dish that can morph into a main course if you add some ground beef to it..
5 large eggplants
6 ripe plantains
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 lb. grated mozarella cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Peel the ripe plantains and eggplants. Cut the eggplant into long slices (not wheels), about ¼-inch thick or less. Then cut the plantains, cut in half first and then in long slices. Saute the eggplant in hot oil, then place on paper to capture excess oil. Fry the plantain slices in the same oil. Set aside plantains while preparing Bechamel sauce. Grate the cheese, if it's not already grated.
Using a 9”x13” baking mold, apply some olive oil to its sides and bottom. Just as you would with lasagna, place the eggplant slices uniformly, then the Parmesan cheese, some black pepper, mozzarella cheese, then a layer of ripe plantains, then the bechamel sauce. Repeat these steps until the layers are formed in the mold. Pour the bechamel sauce, grated mozzarella cheese and olive oil on the finished layers. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven 45 minutes at 350˚F. When done baking, remove the foil and leave in the oven to allow the top to brown.
Pastelón can be served with a green salad, tomatoes, or as a complement to main courses.
* Eggplant type can be any of your preference. After slicing them, salt them lightly before frying. The ripe plantains can be boiled or mashed instead of fried, if you want to give it a different consistency or reduce calories.
* As for salt, remember that the cheeses and bechamel already have salt in them.
* For a meaty pastelón, add ground meat (cooked ahead of time) in between the layers of eggplant and plantains.
Esmirna Rivas ©2009 / Dominican Flave
Used with permission.