I’m back from vacation! With a bang. The bang being my head exploding as it re-entered the real world of work, studying and training. After putting most of the pieces back in order I’m here and ready to write!
Although not on my list of upcoming posts, a resolution update has been in store for a while. Now, I know what you’re thinking, here comes an update on my 2014 New Year’s resolutions. I will stop you there my friend. For two of my resolutions for 2013 are as of yet incomplete, so we’ll start at the very beginning (it’s a very good place to start).
2013 I aimed to find and cook a lasagna recipe Evelina likes as much as I do (also on the famed 25 before 25 list). A challenge because Evelina doesn’t like cheese, a main ingredient in most lasagna recipes. So I searched out a lasagna recipe with very little cheese, and found this one. (Original website still un-re-found, if you know where this is from, lemme know stat!)
I, finally, cooked up some pastelon in July. Here are the step by step instructions so you can make your own:
Ingredients: 1lb ground beef, 1 yellow onion, 3 cloves garlic, 1 green pepper, 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, 2 tsp adobo seasoning, 2 tsp oregano, 2 tsp vinegar, 1 envelope sazón (which does not exist in Sweden, so feel free to use 2 tbs of taco seasoning), 2 bay leaves, 8 green stuffed olives, 1/2 cup raisins, 1/4 cup tomato sauce, 4 plantains, 3 eggs, 2 tbs milk, 2 cups white shredded cheese, vegetable oil, salt to taste
- Buy plantains (and all the other ingredients listed above) at your local supermarket. Tip: Refrain from shouting across the produce section in glee when you finally find plantains in Sweden – you will get strange looks.
- Bring ingredients home (just trying to be clear here).
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Begin with the ground beef, garlic, onion, green pepper, taco spices (or sazón if you don’t live in Sweden), cilantro & oregano
- Chop onion, pepper, garlic cilantro & oregano. Place in mixing bowl.
- Blend with ground beef. Fry the blend in a large frying pan.
- Making sure your plantains are ripe (I allowed about a week for my plantains to ripen – as you see from the first picture they were green upon purchasing them, and mostly yellow & slightly green and brown when I was cooking.) Peel and slice the plantains thinly. Thinly! This is one thing I would have changed from my recipe – thinner slices!
- Butter the pan.
- Begin to fry the plantains in vegetable oil. (Canola oil works great too.)
- Add the raisins, tomato sauce, olives & bay leaves to the pan with the ground beef mixture.
- While frying the plantains and allowing the beef mixture to lightly simmer, whisk the eggs with the milk. An idea I had while cooking was to add cheese to the whisked eggs, but seeing as Evelina is anti-cheese I didn’t do this. Try it out if you do like cheese.
- Begin layering ground beef and the freshly fried plantains. I ended up with three layers of each, plantains on the top.
- Top with cheese. Not to beat a dead horse, but I only put a small amount of cheese over the top layer…as you may be able to guess, because Evelina does not enjoy eating cheese. Topping off the dish by pouring in the whisked eggs evenly.
- Put the lasagna aka pastelon in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, checking on it after 15 to remove when cheese is bubbling and slightly brown.
- Slice and enjoy!
I think this made enough for Evelina and I to eat about three meals each (served with a nice fresh garden salad, of course). So if you’re cooking for six this will work, but you should double the ingredients for a party of 12. This is how math works.
The verdict from Evelina: a fine meal. Little upset my pastalon wasn’t a hit with her, but I really enjoyed it. I hope you try it out!