Green Pasteles

 A green pastele served with Arroz con Gandules,It doesn't get more Puerto Rican than that!
A green pastele served with Arroz con Gandules,It doesn't get more Puerto Rican than that!
 From left to right,potatoes,Yucca root,green bananas and green plantains.
From left to right,potatoes,Yucca root,green bananas and green plantains.
 A few of the ingredients and fresh cilantro.
A few of the ingredients and fresh cilantro.
 Some thick bacon adds awesome taste!
Some thick bacon adds awesome taste!
 Keep the pork juices for the masa!
Keep the pork juices for the masa!
 Sofritto with meat ready for masa!
Sofritto with meat ready for masa!
 The easy way to shuck a plantain, run a knife from end to end after removing both tips!
The easy way to shuck a plantain, run a knife from end to end after removing both tips!
 Grating the masa!
Grating the masa!
 Making anato oil!
Making anato oil!
 Masa after being mixed in blender!
Masa after being mixed in blender!
 Masa meets meat mixture!
Masa meets meat mixture!
 If you aren't an old hand at folding pasteles, use a spoon and cheat!
If you aren't an old hand at folding pasteles, use a spoon and cheat!
 Ready for the pot bring water to boil and simmer on low 1 hr..
Ready for the pot bring water to boil and simmer on low 1 hr..
 A double batch, 24 pasteles, culinary gold!
A double batch, 24 pasteles, culinary gold!
 Ready for platting!
Ready for platting!
 A few tostones wouldn't be redundant!
A few tostones wouldn't be redundant!

Pasteles verdes or green pasteles are one of the best and tastiest uses of green plantains! Pasteles are a Puerto Rican tamale like food, consisting of a masa, which consists of plantains, yucca root, potato and green bananas and a meat filling of beef, chicken or most often pork. There is also an orange colored pastele which has pumpkin in the masa, hence the green discription to differentiate. It is a labor intensive food that is usually made around Christmas in large enough batches to last most of the year.

Pasteles are not hard to make, stuff the meat mixture into the masa and boil it for an hour. The real labor is the grating of the masa and the folding and tying of the wax paper. For these reasons it is usually made around Christmas time when the labor can be divided and even the kids can be put to work on grating the plantains, potatoes, green bananas and yucca roots. The best course of action is to make up the masa and meat stuffing the day before. Then set up an assembly line of folding and tying, the following day.

Using bacon grease is only a suggestion, that part can be omitted and you can add 4Tbs. of olive oil instead. If you are a vegetarian you can omit the meat and substitute all garbanzo beans instead of the meat. The banana leaf is optional, but I think you'll find it adds a lot of taste and texture. Yucca root is optional, if you can find some and they aren't too expensive, try them!

Ingredients For 12 Pasteles

Masa

Banana leaf squares 4in x4in

1 Roll of wax paper

5 Green plantains

1 lb Green bananas

1 lb yucca root

3 med potatoes

3/4 Cup olive oil

1 0z Annato seed achiote

3/4 Tsp. salt

Meat mixture Ingredients

1 Lb. Pork tender loin

1/2 Lb. Ham

4 Slices of bacon thick sliced

1 Large onion chopped

1 Tbs minced garlic

2 Tbs small capers

3/4 Cup chunky salsa

1 Sazon Goya culantro and achiote flavor packs

2 Tbs. olive oil

1/8 Tsp. pepper

1/3 Cup Cilantro finely chopped

1 16oz. can garbanzo beans

15 Sliced pitted green olives


Directions

Begin by frying up 4 pieces of thick bacon. Cook over low to medium heat until done but not crispy. Remove the beacon and set aside. To the bacon grease add 2 Tbs. olive oil and sautee a large onion. Then add the 15 sliced olives, 2 Tbs. capers and 1 Tbs. of minced garlic. When onions are transparent add 1/3 cup cilantro, then add 1/8 tsp. pepper. Next add 3/4 cup salsa and Sazon Goya flavor pack and set aside. Now chop pork loin into small square pieces (it's easier if meat is slightly frozen), then do the same for the ham. Add a tbs. of olive oil to a pan and over medium heat cook up the pork loin squares until about half done, the add the ham squares cook until just done( save all pork juices to add to your masa later). Pull out the meat and put in the pan with the onions(sofritto) and set aside.

Begin making the masa peeling the bananas and plantains potatoes and yucca roots and adding them to a large bowl of water that has 2 tbs. of salt in it (this keeps everything from discoloring). Then begin grating all of the masa items into a bowl. once all items are grated add 1/2 cup of annato seed oil to masa mixture.(make annato seed oil by slowly warming 1/4 tbs.annato seed achiote in 3/4 cups olive oil, the strain out seeds with wire strainer). Retain 1/4 cup of annato to brush on wax paper later. At this time add the pork juices that you saved from making the meat mixture. Add about 3/4 tsp of salt (or 1/4 tsp at a time until correct salty taste is reached). Mix in a blender or mixer until a doughy consistency is reached.

Begin making the pasteles by placing a 14 inch piece of wax (about 12in.wide) long ways in front of you. Now place a piece of banana leaf about 4in. by 4 in. in the center. Brush the leaf with annato oil and the put about 1 and a half large serving size spoons of masa. Next add 2 to 3 tbs of meat mixture to the masa. In opposite corners put a garbanzo bean and a whole olive (this is optional). Then with a spoon cover the top, bottom and sides with masa (see picture). Next roll in wax paper and push out flat, then from each each end push the masa back to the center and fold the ends. Now tie off. If you have problems with one that isn't folded well simply add another sheet of wax paper on top! If the wax paper proves difficult you can use foil, I just think wax paper freezes better. Once all pasteles are prepared, put in a large pot of boiling water and simmer on low for one hour. For pasteles to save, use a food saver and freeze them.

Other Nifty@50 recipes

New Orleans Red Beans & Rice

Bounty of the Bayou Jambalaya

Green Pasteles

Raisin Bread Flan

Plantain Casserole

Three Chef's Spaghetti

Chicken and Cheese Enchilada Casserole

Classic Cuban Sandwich & Black Bean Soup

Red Beans and Rice Puerto Rican Style

Arroz Con Pollo Y Gandules

Cuban Ham & Egg Melt Breakfast Sandwich

Spanish Rice & Refried Beans

Farmer's Breakfast Casserole

Super Quick Quesadillas

Jalapeno Cheese Meatloaf

Italian Breakfast Casserole

New Orleans Chowder

Cuban Style Pork & Potatoes

Banana Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

Comments 21 comments

Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 6 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

An inticing dish that sounds great with the Garbonza Beans;;))


nifty@50 profile image

nifty@50 6 years ago Author

Thanks Mentalist acer for posting! This is my interpretation of an old Puerto Rican classic. When it comes to pasteles, there are no hard fast rules. My preference is that the masa consist of at least 40 percent plantain, and I prefer pork, but in the red pasteles(pumpkin), chicken and raisins works well.


suny51 profile image

suny51 6 years ago

Hi nifty-You really know your dishes.looks and smells tasty.


judydianne profile image

judydianne 6 years ago from Palm Harbor, FL

Another great plantain recipe to try. I'm collecting your recipes so that I can have a good Puerto Rican meal one of these days!


nifty@50 profile image

nifty@50 6 years ago Author

Thanks suny51 for your kind comments! I have made these before using only potatoes & plantain for the masa and only pork tender loin for the meat mixture. Fresh cilantro and banana leafs are key flavor components that made this batch a vast improvement over my previous attempts.


nifty@50 profile image

nifty@50 6 years ago Author

My advise on Puerto Rican cooking is to ease in to it. Start with some easy dishes like tostones or red beans and rice. Both of these dishes can be done in under 30 minutes and will encourage you to further exploration! Eating at a Puerto Rican restaurant is a great motivator! Thanks judydianne for post!


Dr irum profile image

Dr irum 6 years ago

You have great knowledge about cooking ,its very nice dish .


nifty@50 profile image

nifty@50 6 years ago Author

Puerto Rican food is a food that most people immediately like! After you eat it a few times, you need some one a regular basis. While it uses a lot of spice it is not hot. Thanks Dr.irum for your post!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

Sounds very interesting. Will have to find a restaurant serving Puerto Rican food and try these sometime. Thanks for the education regarding what goes into Green Pasteles.


nifty@50 profile image

nifty@50 6 years ago Author

Thanks Peggy W for your post! Actually you can find pasteles is the frozen section of Publix or Harry's farmer's market or Food Depot and maybe Kroger's. They are made by Goya and although they aren't as good as these (in my opinion)they give you an idea what pasteles taste like!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

This is an awesome hub! Great pics and directions. The pasteles sound wonderful!


nifty@50 profile image

nifty@50 6 years ago Author

Thanks habee, you're too kind! In my prior attempt I felt there was a missing ingredient. This time I used cilantro and the taste blasted me to 35 years into the past, eating pasteles at my Grandfather's in Bayamon Puerto Rico! This was the missing ingredient! Hope you give it a try!


billyaustindillon profile image

billyaustindillon 6 years ago

This sounds wonderful - I have not had these but enjoy plantains and you recipes so I will struggle to make this one - I know it will be worth it.


olegapeach 6 years ago

Can't beat those green plantains. Thanks for introducing me. And bacon grease is something I seldom use but it too is tastee.


nifty@50 profile image

nifty@50 6 years ago Author

Thanks billyaustindillon for your post! Your first attempt will be a struggle on the dish, but with such delicious ingredients it's going to taste good! It will get easier and better tasting with each attempt!


nifty@50 profile image

nifty@50 6 years ago Author

There's a reason why green plantains are working their way in to grocery shelves every where! People are discovering their many uses, nutrition and value in a whole host of dishes! Thanks olegapeach for posting!


Motor leathers profile image

Motor leathers 6 years ago

I thought I would choke with saliva while watching the vidoe and the pictures! It looks really tasty.


nifty@50 profile image

nifty@50 6 years ago Author

While these are made similar to tamales, in my opinion their taste blows tamales away! Thanks Motor leathers for your post!


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

I thought pasteles only found in my country. But I am totally wrong. You have delicious pasteles recipes and I love it. Thank you very much!

Prasetio


nifty@50 profile image

nifty@50 6 years ago Author

I have found much to my surprise, that many island cultures have something very similar to Puerto Rican Pasteles! Including Hawaii and other islands in the Pacific! Thanks prasetio30 for your post!


theclevercat profile image

theclevercat 4 years ago from Massachusetts

Mmm! I've been looking for the right pasteles recipe! But I don't eat pork... what would you use instead? I could try ground turkey, but I would have to get the spicing right. It's a complicated recipe to get wrong and I know I'd get upset. :^(

Thanks for posting. Voted up, beautiful, and useful!

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