The Pre Game Meal: Pastelon de Platanos Maduros
Shannon Allen, the wife of NBA All-Star Ray Allen of the Boston Celtics, believes in preparing healthy pre-game meals. She says it doesn’t matter whether you’re playing pro basketball before tens of thousands of fans in an arena or lining up a putt on the final hole with your buddies, you need the right fuel for the task.
When their son was diagnosed with diabetes, it really hit home with Shannon and Ray that healthy meals can give a person a decided edge no matter what activity they are taking part in. In addition to all the charitable work Ray does through his foundation, The Ray of Hope Foundation, the couple also stepped up their game in the kitchen. The fruits (and vegetables) of their labor, as well as entrees and desserts, are part of Shannon’s new cooking show, “The Pre-Game Meal.”
Shannon Allen believes there’s no need to sacrifice flavor on the altar of good health. In her show, which debuted recently on Comcast SportsNet and NECN, she prepares delicious recipes that are also good for you with assistance from local sports figures and celebrities.
In this issue, Shannon collaborates with David and Tiffany Ortiz on their famous Pastelon de Platanos Maduros. So kick back and savor the experience.
Pastelon de Platanos Maduros
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbs ground lean beef
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 28 ounces diced tomato, 1 can drained
- 1 tbs tomato paste
- 1 tbs dried oregano
- 7 large plantaines, very ripe (black), peeled
- 2 cups shredded chedder cheese
- Hot sauce
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut the plantains into thirds. Carefully lower the plantains into the boiling water with a slotted spoon. Boil the plantains until tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
Transfer the soft plantains to a food processor and add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Blend until smooth. If you don’t have a processor, put the plantains in a bowl and mash with a potato masher.
Preheat the oven to 325-degrees F. Coat the bottom and sides of a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Place a large skillet over medium heat and coat with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion and garlic; cook and stir with a wooden spoon until fragrant. Add the ground beef, breaking it up while cooking; season with salt and pepper. Once the beef is browned, add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and oregano. Season again with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until beef is fully cooked. Carefully drain off the fat into a disposable container.
Spread half of the mashed plantains evenly over the bottom of the baking dish. Top with the beef mixture, spreading in a even layer. Spread the remaining mashed plantains evenly on the beef. Top with shredded cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes, until the casserole is cooked through and the cheese is melted. Enjoy with Big Papi’s hot sauce.