Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Puerto Rico, my heart's devotion...Part Two

I'm back with the results...phenomenal! My trial run was a success. In fact, the only thing I'll change for the holidays is the addition of olive oil in the masa. I've included it already in the recipe below. The absence of animal fat made for a less than clean removal of the cooked pastele and I'm a bit of a presentation whore. As if there was such a thing as a pretty pastele!

I think you'd probably die if you consumed the uber-filling fattening Malta alongside a plate of yellow rice and pasteles, but that doesn't stop it from looking like a grand idea! I picked up a 6 pack of these babies to help set the mood whilst slaving...er, I mean preparing the dish.

Pre-drained, frozen, cubed and later marinated in a bit of fresh sofrito juices extra-firm tofu.

Last step before the final dollop, wrap and 45 minutes of bubblin' salted boil

Vegetarian Pasteles makes 10-12

Masa:
2 large green plantains
3 very green bananas
1.5 lbs Yucca root
1 large Russet potato
Peel and cube the bananas and plantains, placing them in a large bowl of salted cold water while you grate the potato and yucca root. Then, add the cubed bananas and plantains to a food processor, puree and mix with the grated mixture. Add salt to taste and replace the fat from your non-existent meat filling with olive oil, your masa is ready once it is the consistency of cooked oatmeal.

Filling:
1/3 lb extra firm tofu well drained, frozen, thawed and cubed
2 medium bell peppers cubed
4-6 sprigs fresh cilantro
1/2 medium white onion cubed
1/2 cup chick peas
1/3 lb extra firm tofu cubed
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
a pinch of fresh saffron threads
3-4 cloves garlic
3 Morningstar farms bacon strips
1/2 cup olives with juices
Tomato sauce, tofu chick peas and olives aside, puree all of the above ingredients in a food processor. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a large frying pan and add mixture cooking over a medium heat until all ingredients have cooked down. Slowly add your tomato sauce and cook the mixture for about 30-40 minutes on low heat allowing all of the flavors to meld. Remove from heat, add tofu, olives with juices and chick peas and cover. Allow the mixture to sit until cool (or overnight which is recommended.)

Preparation:
Beckon your minions, parchment paper, aluminum foil (or string if you're really bad ass) and begin the layering process as follows: Add 1/2 cup of masa, spread it out on the parchment paper. Add 4 tbs of filling in the center, bring all four sides up a bit with the end of your spoon or spatula and add a final large dollop of masa to cover. Wrap in parchment paper like a present, flip and then wrap again with aluminum foil (y'know if you're not bad ass).

Cooking:
Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil and add your pasteles allowing them to cook for 45 minutes. Give a few minutes to cool, it'll make for a cleaner unwrap especially since the vegan recipe is lacking almost all of the fat in the original . I learned this the hard way-hence the not so sexy photos.

Enjoy!
Peace, roots and culture

3 comments:

Kathy said...

Like I said, I hate to cook and the only way I can get Irv to eat tofu is to cut it really little and toss it in a stir fry!

Looks good to me though, if someone else would just make it for me!

twoveganboys said...

Yum. These look delicious. I really like your blog.

fly tie said...

i'm a big fan of your food presentations. the images are always so intimate and tempting.

thanks for this info!

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