Share Your Table Featuring Elaine

"I remember coming home from school, walking in the door, and being hit with the smell of the savory ground pork paired with sweet ripened plantains frying in the pan."

They say that our sense of smell conjures up memories in a more acute manner than any of our other senses. Perhaps that is why Elaine Rivera-Glenn, DAOU’s Executive Chef, speaks so movingly of coming home to the aromas of her mother’s cooking during the holidays and, well, every day when she was growing up.

For our dinner Elaine chose to make, “Platanos Rellenos,” a popular culinary tradition in her family’s native Puerto Rico.

“My mom cooked every day, a few times a day,” Elaine says. “And I think, hands down, my favorite was this dish. I remember coming home from school, walking in the door, and being hit with the smell of the savory ground pork paired with sweet ripened plantains frying in the pan. A little bit of batter bonds it together in individual parcels full of deliciousness. It’s everything that I loved.”

Elaine says that a full-bodied wine with a good amount of acid pairs well with the fatty and slight spicy, creaminess of the dish. “Chefs are all about salt and acid- always evaluating if a dish has too much of a baseline or if it needs a higher pitch.”

Watch Elaine's Story:

Platanos Rellenos

Ingredients:

2 ripe plantains

Neutral sauté oil

1 lb. ground pork

1 cup canned, chopped tomatoes

½ small yellow onion, diced

½ small pepper, diced

1 tsp each:  ground cumin, paprika, oregano

¼ cup chopped cilantro

3 cloves garlic, minced

¾ cup flour

1 pinch powdered garlic

1 pinch powdered onion

2 pinches salt  

Instructions:

For plantain fry:

Make a shallow cut along the length of the plantain. Put under warm running water and coax the peel off.

Cut lengthwise ¼” thickness

In a sauté pan, on medium heat, add oil to cover the bottom of the pan.

One by one, add the sliced plantains.  When golden, flip and repeat. 

Transfer to a rack or paper towel.

For braise:

In a small pot, on medium heat, add a drizzle of oil, then the ground pork and salt.

Cook until golden brown. With slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a bowl.

Discard the fat.  Add vegetables, cook until translucent.  Add garlic, spices, herbs, then tomato.

Stir. Return pork to pan.  Simmer for 15 minutes.  Taste for salt; adjust. Turn off heat and cool.

For batter:

In a bowl, add dry ingredients.  Add enough water to create a thick batter, stirring with a spoon.  

For assembly:

Form a plantain strip in a circle and secure with a skewer.  Fill cavity with a spoon full of braise.

Continue until all strips are assembled.

In a large sauté pan, on medium heat, add enough oil to cover the bottom. 

Working one at a time, add a spoonful of batter on the braise cavity.  Using a spatula, slide under the plantain package and gently flip into the pan. 

Continue with the rest.  Cook until golden brown.  Add batter to the other side. Flip and cook until golden brown.

Transfer to a cooling rack or paper towel  

Remove the toothpicks and serve.

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Share Your Table Featuring Oriana