Roberto Trevino is executive chef at Casa Lola, Budatai, Bar Gitano and Barril in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
"Pasteles are a Caribbean version of a tamale and a beloved holiday and festival dish here in Puerto Rico. These could be served as a twist on the traditional main — but they could also be a great way to use up leftover turkey! There are quite a few steps in the cooking process, so you need to gather some friends and family and give yourself a couple of days to get it done. First, grind green plantains, yucca and taro root with a box grater until is like a thick paste. Add achiote oil and salt to season, then let it rest. Brine and roast turkey breasts, shred them and then stew them with cilantro, peppers and onions so they get really tender and full of flavor. If you want to get really traditional, add raisins and some green olives. Then fold the filling into banana leaves and steam them. Folding takes practice, but once you get the hang of it, it's easy. When they're done you unwrap them like a little gift. The trick is to make a lot at once because they keep wonderfully in the freezer."
Serve with: "In Puerto Rico, the usual accompaniment to a big roasted main course is arroz con verdures — rice and pigeon peas. But my grandmother always wanted to bring a little bit of traditional American thanksgiving to our Latin table, so she would make a cranberry sauce that included an escabeche of onion and vinegar. It was real New World, 'coming to America' cuisine. As for what to drink, I'm a strong believer in a nice beer, like a cold Medalla, with pasteles. I'd have about six while I was making them and six more while I was eating!"
Pro tip: "The best advice I have is to not be afraid to season aggressively. You can get so many great salts these days. And salt can really just take flavor the extra mile."