This is just a bit of advice for those of you who like to cook for your friends. We all have our favorite dishes, some of which are family recipes that go back generations. However, we tend to forget just how much taste buds vary until you are confronted with “this taste so interesting.” What?
Wanting to impress my friends last Saturday on our pot-luck ladies-night sleepover, I thought I would make Pastelón– it’s a delicious Puerto Rican lasagna that The Husband’s grandmother used to make. We really are a combination of cultures in our family with Mexican, Puerto Rican and Cuban ethnicities influencing almost every aspect of our daily lives. It seemed only natural to go with what I know.
The dish calls for a layer of sweet plantains, followed by picadillo (a Spanish ground beef hash is the best description), and then a layer of French-cut green beans. It’s topped with another layer of sweet plantains followed by pouring well-beaten eggs over it to seal the deal before baking. It seems some Pastelón recipes use cheese (yum) instead of green beans, but I wanted to keep it real, for family’s sake. Every step I took was done with care and naturally several taste tests as any good chef will tell you are essential to ensure the utmost quality. This was good stuff!
Now just the mere mention of its name impressed them, at first. But, I don’t blame the ladies for not gushing all over the dish as I recall not doing the same the first time I tried it. So what’s the take away? Keep it simple when you’re outnumbered by non-Hispanic friends? No. Maybe. All I’m saying is that when you want to impress the friends with your culinary skills and you aren’t too sure what their pallet can handle - go with Mexican.
Note: I did not use any of the recipes found on the links, but would gladly share mine. Just let me know.
My photo adventures in Florida