Tuesday, December 20, 2011

RECIPE: Puerto Rican Pasteles

Before I let this recipe get away from me, I'm putting it here for easy reference later!  This is one of those recipes that families don't release to just anybody ... so enjoy learning how to make one of my favorite all-time foods:  Pasteles.

Elia Torres is a wonderful Five Star Chef. She is here, making her world famous Latin dish of Pasteles. She makes them really Giant. They taste heavenly. (Puerto Rican savory cakes in banana leaves)

Pasteles are Puerto Rican special occasion food. The whole family usually gets together assembly-line-style to make large numbers of these starchy, tamal-like cakes and get them ready for the boiling pot. No Boricuan Christmas is complete without pasteles.

Makes about 12-15 pasteles, enough for 6-8 people
Masa (dough)

Green bananas, peeled and chopped -- 5
Green plantain, peeled and chopped -- 1
Yautía (taro root), peeled and chopped -- 1 1/2 pounds
Russet potato, peeled and chopped -- 1
Salt -- to taste

Onion, chopped -- 1
Green pepper, seeded and chopped -- 1
Garlic, peeled and chopped -- 3-4 cloves
Oil -- 2-3 tablespoons
Pork butt or shoulder, cut into small cubes -- 2 pounds
Tomato sauce -- 1 cup
Water -- 1/2 cup
Cilantro, chopped -- 1/2 bunch
Oregano, dried -- 2 teaspoons
Salt and pepper -- to taste
For Assembly

Banana leaves, hard spine removed and cut into 12x6-inch rectangles -- 15 pieces
Parchment paper, cut into 12x6-inch rectangles -- 15 pieces
Kitchen string --15 (20-inch long) pieces and 30 (10-inch long) pieces
Achiote or vegetable oil -- 1/4 cup

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