Canoas (Ripe Plantain "Canoes" Stuffed with Ground Meat)
Fill baked plantain halves with a mixture of ground beef, ham, bell pepper and tomato sauce for a hearty Puerto Rican appetizer.
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- Calories: 170
- Calories from fat: 25%
- Fat: 4.7g
- Saturated fat: 2.1g
- Monounsaturated fat: 1.8g
- Polyunsaturated fat: 0.2g
- Protein: 5.9g
- Carbohydrate: 29g
- Fiber: 2.2g
- Cholesterol: 18mg
- Iron: 1mg
- Sodium: 116mg
- Calcium: 33mg
- Dash of salt
- 2/3 pound ground round
- 2 tablespoons chopped green bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped lean smoked ham
- 3 tablespoons tomato sauce
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh culantro
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 yellow plantains, peeled
- Cooking spray
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- To prepare stuffing, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add salt and beef; cook 2 minutes, stirring to crumble. Stir in bell pepper and next 7 ingredients (through bay leaf); cook 5 minutes or until bell pepper is tender. Discard bay leaf.
- To prepare plantains, working with one plantain at a time, cut a small portion from the outer curve to make a flat surface. Make a lengthwise cut on the inside curve, being careful not to cut all the way through (plantain will now resemble a canoe). Carefully scoop out about 1 tablespoon of plantain from center cut to allow room for filling. Repeat with remaining plantains. Place plantains on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Brush oil evenly over plantains. Sprinkle plantains with 1/4 teaspoon salt and red pepper.
- Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until plantains are tender; let cool slightly. Fill each plantain with 1/4 cup stuffing; top each with 1 tablespoon of cheese. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until plantains are tender and cheese melts.
Use a spatula or dough scraper to hold open the hot plantain while you fill it.
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