June 2007

Seviche de Camarones, Butterflied Chicken Cooked Under a Brick and Mango Sorbet.

This month, this country sets aside a day to honor a very important person in our lives: our fathers. For me, this is an incredible opportunity to put things into perspective, and really appreciate and cherish my relationship with my own Papi, who has worked so hard all of his life to care for his family, even after we were grown.
Papi is a very special breed of man, as you’ve all heard me tell. He was a New York City firefighter for 31 years, after which he retired with the rank of captain. I can tell you that this has been a source of immeasurable pride to me for all of my life. The fact that my father was a firefighter is just the start, however. My father has served as an inspiration to my siblings and myself, teaching us the meaning of accountability, responsibility, and honor. No wonder he calls himself The Silver Fox!!
I don’t have the pleasure of being able to cook for Papi that much anymore, because he and Mami have retired to their fabulous beachside condo, in Florida, but thankfully, he is visiting this year for Father’s Day. In fact, he’s coming up a week early so that he can be a part of the filming of the pilot for my new production! How fabulous is that?! So, as long as I have him here, I’m going to make sure I feed him well. I like to set up a chair poolside for him in the yard, give him a newspaper to relax (maybe even bring him a cold one!), and start the grill. The recipes for this month are going to reflect that very lazy, easy, June afternoon, starting out with a delicious, citrusy Camaron Seviche (shrimp seviche) with the slightest touch of heat (although you can feel free to up the ante!). I’m going to follow that with my favorite grilled chicken recipe, Butterfly Chicken Cooked Under a Brick and Mango Sorbet. The site exclusive recipe this month (and a lovely addition to your Father’s Day dinner) is for a Beef Picadillo Filled Pastelon de Maduros, a lovely baked casserole of mashed sweet plantains filled with a fragrant beef picadillo and cheese… delightful.
Bear in mind that there are as many pastelon recipes as there are recipes for chicken soup. This mouthwatering rendition is credited to Migui’s super fabulous mom, Doña Silver FoxMiguelina, of whom you’ve also heard me speak. My Mami makes her pastelon by caramelizing slices of sweet plantains first, then building the pastelon, layer by layer, leaving a well in the center for the picadillo. This is equally delicious, but a bit more labor intensive. The recipe I’m submitting today is a bit easier. This pastelon makes a wonderful addition to a buffet table, a barbeque, or even a brunch, and with a small salad it makes a very satisfying meal. I am definitely going to be your new best friend after you try this recipe.

So there you have it! My Father’s Day Alfresco Dinner for my very own Papi, Captain Ray Martinez, aka The Silver Fox! I love you Daddy! Thanks for teaching me everything I know (*wink*)! And to all of you who share the privilege of being a Dad:
Feliz Dia de Los Padres from Daisy and Capt. Ray!

Pastelon

Serves 6

  • 6 large sweet plantains or 8 medium ones
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 stick butter
    2-3 tablespoons evaporated milk (to soften the puree, to taste)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, or any similar cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1lb of beef or pork for picadillo

Preheat 0ven to 375 degrees

Optional to top picadillo layer: raisins, olives, hard boiled eggs and slice canned roasted red bell peppers

Boil the plantains in salted water.
Read the full recipe here…


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