Plantain and Cheese Casserole

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Plantain and Cheese Casserole Plantains may look like bananas, but they are definitely not bananas. That said, there is colorful folklore in the Dominican Republic that claims that plantains make you bananas. Though plantains in general and this dish in particular are adored across the Republic, hungry citizens chow down on the stuff like it’s going out of style, despite the risk of going crazy. So, we invite you to ascertain the validity of such folklore. Go bananas, which, of course are not plantains.

  • Yield: 6 to 8 Servings
  • Total Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes


  • 4 qt water
  • 8 ripe plantains (primarily black skin), ends trimmed,
  • halved widthwise
  • 5 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp adobo seasoning or chile powder
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ bunch cilantro, leaves chopped, stems minced
  • 2 tsp salt, divided
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup green olives, pitted, halved
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 114 -oz can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 1½ cups white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1½ cups Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 2 eggs, beaten
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Place water and plantains in a large pot on the stove. Bring the water to a high simmer and let the plantains cook for 15 minutes. Remove the plantains from the water, drain, and set aside to cool.
  3. While the plantains cook, start the filling by placing a skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When the oil begins to shimmer, add onion and pepper to the skillet and sauté for 6-8 minutes, or until the onion becomes translucent. Add beef, black pepper, cumin, adobo or chile powder, garlic, cilantro stems, and 1 teaspoon of salt to the skillet and continue to sauté for 4-5 minutes, or until the beef is browned and broken into small pieces.
  4. Add raisins, olives, oregano, tomato, wine, and vinegar to the skillet, bring the liquid to a boil, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer the filling for 15 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  5. When the plantains have cooled a bit, peel them and place in large mixing bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 remaining teaspoon of salt, and mash the plantains to a smooth consistency. In another mixing bowl, combine the cheeses.
  6. To assemble the casserole, coat the bottom and sides of a baking dish with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Spread half of the plantains in the bottom of the baking dish, flatten and compress with the back of a spoon or spatula.
  7. Place half of the cheese mixture atop the plantains, followed by the ground beef mixture, then the remaining half of the plantains. Smooth out the top. Pour the beaten eggs on top of the plantains, followed by the remaining half of the cheese mixture.
  8. Transfer the baking dish to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese on top has melted and begun to brown. Remove the pastelón from the oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes before garnishing with cilantro leaves and serving heaping, gooey slices!.

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