To kick off our First Vegetarian Friendly Sabroso Saturday (#SabrosoSaturday) we want to share a Puerto Rican Classic improved to be Vegetarian by whom I consider to be Puerto Rico’s most talented Chef Wilo Benet.
Ripe Plantain and Soy Ground Meat “Lasagne”
4 ounces steamed green beans, cut into pieces
vegetable oil for frying
6 ripe plantains, peeled
4 cups picadillo (recipe below.)
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 eggs, beaten (If ovo vegetarian substitute by egg substitute)
1. Preheat the 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.
2. In a bowl, combine the picadillo with the green beans, mix well, and set aside.
3. 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 in the remaining eggs over the plantains, and with a rubber spatula spread into a thin layer.
4. 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.
5. Remove the piñón from the oven, slice as you would a lasagne, and serve.
3 tbsp. olive oil
½ cup sofrito
½ small onion chopped
1 cubanelle pepper chopped
½ cup of Goya spanish tomato sauce
3 cups of ground soy meat already reconstituted
½ cup slivered almonds
1 tsp. of adobo
3 tbsp. of chopped cilantro
- In a skillet at medium to high temperature heat the oil and stir in the, sofrito, onions and peppers. Stir occasionally until the onions are translucent.
- Add the soy meat, tomato sauce, almonds, adobo and cilantro and continue cooking in medium temperature until all the flavors are all well incorporated and the excess liquid has been evaporated.
- Reserve aside for the Piñon.
This Recipe was shared with us by our good friend Wilo Benet. If you would like to see more of Wilo’s Recipes which can be modified to vegetarian feel free to buy his book Puerto Rico True Flavors.
More About Wilo (photo credit – wilobenet.com)
Puerto Rican Chef Wilo Benet is owner of two restaurants, Pikayo – his fine dining and flagship restaurant — opened almost 20 years ago; and Varita a wood-burning rotisserie concept, which craftily places Puerto Rican comfort food front and center. Both restaurants offer menu and personalized vegetarian options.
Benet has redefined Puerto Rican cuisine and in the process has put the Island’s enchanting flavors on display for the whole world to admire.
Benet has participated on the Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern”, appeared as a guest judge on the season finale of the fourth season, and as a contestant in Bravo TV’s new series “Top Chef Masters”, a spinoff of the award-winning show, “Top Chef”.