Picadillo and Plantain Casserole

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 35 min
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
Frozen ripe plantains are a great convenience product. After a few short minutes in the microwave, they are ready to use — either as a topping for this comforting casserole or as a side for a hearty stew or roasted meat.



  1. Microwave the plantains as the label directs.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook, crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onion and cook until it begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir to coat the beef in the spices. Make a space in the center of the pan and add the tomato paste. Cook, stirring, until the paste is toasted, about 30 seconds, then stir it into the beef. Add 1 1/4 cups water, the olives and brine and the raisins. Bring to a rapid simmer and cook until thickened, 6 to 7 minutes.
  3. While the picadillo simmers, preheat the broiler. Slice the plantains about 1/2 inch thick on an angle. Once the picadillo has thickened, transfer to an 8-inch square baking dish. Shingle the plantains on top, brush with olive oil and season lightly with salt. Broil until the edges of the plantains are browned and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle with the scallions.