ripe plantains

Pastelon de Amarillos (Sweet Plantain Pie)

There’s food and then there's pastelon. It’s comfort food to another level. If life has been shitty lately I call my mom and beg her to make this. I’m convinced it can cure all ails. 

It’s actually pretty simple just a bit time consuming. It’s a 3 step process.

Step 1: Brown about 1lb of ground beef (I’ve used turkey and it’s pretty good) with adobo and sofrito.

  • Adobo can either be salt and pepper and some dry oregano or it can be mashed garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil. Or you can buy the seasoning from Goya.
  • The Goya Sofrito can also be bought in the frozen section of the grocery store. We make our own by pureeing: onions, peppers, garlic, cilantro,  salt, pepper and olive oil and keep it frozen for up to 6 months.

Step 2: Fry about 5 VERY ripe plantains. The darker they are the better, my mom waits until they are black and look like rotten but once you feel back the flesh it’s a sweet and soft bright yellow. The riper they are the better the pastelon tastes. You want to cut them into long strips, fairly thin and just fry them in oil until dark like shown above.

Step 3: Assemble. Once your meat and plantains are done it’s time to layer the pie, lasagna style. Plantains first like a lasagna, cover the bottom of the pan and then a layer of meat. Then, on top of the meat, add cheese (shredded cheese of your liking). Repeat until you run out of ingredients it’s usually 2-3 layers. Depending on the size of your pan. 

Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes and serve hot/warm. It’s the perfect blend of sweet and savory, melts in your mouth.

Serve alone or with a bed of rice and beans for an authentic Puerto Rican meal.

I’m not one for new year’s resolutions. But I did make a decision to share more of the recipes I post here. Even if they’re experiments. Most of the time I have a clear idea of what I want to make and other times I just kinda wing it. Sometimes experiments turn out good and other times not so much. (You usually don’t see those times 😹) I truly appreciate and enjoy all the DMs I get so keep ‘em comin’! Here we have herbed rice with black-eyed peas and lightly fried plantains. Rice and beans is a match made in heaven. I always feel satisfied and full of energy after eating 'em.

Herbed Rice with Black-Eyed Peas and Fried Plantains

For the Herbed Rice

1 cup white basmati rice

1 ¾ cups vegetable broth

½ medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup packed spinach

¼ cup packed fresh cilantro

½ tbsp. refined coconut oil

¾ tsp. salt

½ tsp. oregano


Combine vegetable broth, spinach and cilantro in a blender. Set aside.

Heat coconut oil on medium heat in a sauce pan. Next, add rice and cook until browned (stirring frequently) for about 4 minutes. Add onion and garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Next, add spinach broth, salt and oregano. Bring to a boil then simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before fluffing and serving.

For the beans

¼ - ½ cup vegetable broth (for cooking)

¼ yellow onion, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. smoked paprika

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tsp. salt

½ cup tomato sauce

2 cans unsalted black-eyed peas

1 cup water


Heat a large pot for a minute then add vegetable broth (broth should sizzle). Add onions and garlic and cook for about 4 minutes or until most of vegetable broth cooks off. If pot begins to look and sound dry add a bit more broth but just enough to keep the vegetables from sticking to the pot. Add in spices and give the veggies a quick stir then add tomato sauce, black-eyed peas and water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer covered for 15 minutes.



For fried plantains

1 ripe plantain (black peel)

1-2 tbsp. refined coconut oil


Slice plantain into ¼ inch slices. Heat a non-stick pan or skillet over medium heat and add coconut oil. Once melted, pan fry plantains until browned on both sides (about 2 minutes per side). Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels (to soak up excess oil). Allow to cool a bit before serving.


stopped by two vendors buying ripe plantains for a pastelón my mom was making for nye. i love christmas in pr because it’s all about getting together for the music, the food, the drinks, and so on, which we don’t limit just for the main holidays, there’s always an excuse to celebrate.

kodak portra 160

mamiya rx67 pro iid

dorado/vega alta, pr

2011 Bodega Elvira Calle Ca’ de Calle Reserva Red Wine

Enjoying this Argentine red blend. Dried strawberries, golden and dark raisins, a hint of ripe plantains, and a whiff of ground beef on the nose. Cooked strawberries, cherries, and boysenberries on the palate with a hint of banana/plantain peel.

4/5 bones


Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot

14.5% abv


Riverhead Table: A BRIEF HISTORY OF SEVEN KILLINGS by Marlon James -- WITH Marlon James!

A BRIEF HISTORY OF SEVEN KILLINGS by Marlon James took the world by storm when it was published in 2014. It’s a New York Times bestseller and won the coveted Man Booker Prize last year–that means it’s the best work of fiction written in the English language. That’s a big deal!

We’ve heard that many book clubs have taken on the challenge of reading Marlon’s 700+ page novel, so we figured there was no better time than the present to give it the #RiverheadTable treatment. But this time we turned the heat way up! Not only did we ask Marlon to cook a traditional Jamaican feast with us (he said yes), and not only did we partner with the soon to open Brooklyn restaurant Winsome (thanks for letting us use your kitchen and dining space, guys!), but we also ended up making dinner for 20 PEOPLE. That’s right. 2-0. A few members of Marlon’s family, NYC friends and our awesome apron partners Jones of Boerum Hill all came ready to eat. 

Here is where this edition of #RiverheadTable gets interesting for our readers: Marlon’s cooking style is as laid back as it gets, meaning his recipes come from memory and are often improvised. He created two of the dishes we ended up serving at dinner on the spot! Which means the menu we’re about to share with you isn’t exact by any measure. We did our best to keep track of everything Marlon did or had us do in the kitchen, but we can’t promise that we got it completely right. 

What we can promise is this: after five separate grocery runs and four hours, dinner was delicious. We know you’ll have a great time trying to recreate Marlon’s dishes for your next party. So put on your apron, chill a bunch of beer in the fridge and invite A LOT of friends…otherwise prepare your fridge for a hefty amount of leftovers!

Jamaican Jerk Lamb with Honey & Pistachio Crust with Wilted Watercress

Ripe Plantains in Raisin & Cinnamon Reduction

Potato Rundown

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Patties with Tomato & Molasses Sauce

Jamaican Jerk Lamb with Honey & Pistachio Crust with Wilted Watercress

For the lamb:

4 racks of lamb (or whatever the butcher thinks can feed 20)

2 bottles Jamaican Jerk Seasoning (Walker’s Wood or Eatons – NO EXCEPTIONS)


Black pepper

Canola oil 

For the crust:

Canola oil spray

1bunch chives, minced

1 bunch thyme, leaves separated from stems and minced (stems discarded)

1 bottle honey

1 bunch sage, minced

1 cup plain bread crumbs

1 pack shelled pistachios, crushed fine but ideal to have some chunky pieces in it

1 pack cashews, crush to a fine powder

For the wilted watercress:

10 cups watercress leaves with stems

10 cups arugula 

Pre-heat your over to 400 degrees. Using a sharp knife, cut the rack of lamb into individual medallions of fairly uniform thickness. In a large bowl coat the medallions in honey and Walker’s Wood Jamaican Jerk Seasoning (VERY IMPORTANT: The only other acceptable substitution for Walker’s Wood is Eaton’s—others simply won’t do). Heat a generous amount of canola oil in a heavy skillet or sauté pan over a medium/high flame. Fry the medallions in batches for about 1 minute per side until browned. Set aside. 

Make the honey/pistachio crust while the medallions cool! Mix your finely crushed cashews, pistachios, bread crumbs, thyme, sage, and chives together. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

When the medallions have cooled, spray a thin layer of canola oil on each side of the medallions and generously coat in the nut and bread crumb mixture. You want a thick crust! 

Once medallions are coated, spray medallions again on each side with canola oil and roast on a large baking sheet in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, depending on medallion thickness. You want the inside temperature to be about 130 degrees for medium rare, and the crust to be slightly browned. Take the medallions out of the oven when done and keep warm. 

Now make the vegetables: Quickly heat up the arugula and watercress in a lightly oiled sauté pan, about one to two minutes or until just gently wilted. Use this as bedding for the lamb medallions! 

Ripe Plantains in Raisin & Cinnamon Reduction

6 large ripe plantains, still slightly firm

2 medium green apples or 1 large green apple, peeled, cored and finely diced

1 container of cranberries

1 cup orange juice, plus extra

1 teaspoon cinnamon powder, plus more to taste

2 tbsp stick of unsalted/unsweetened butter

1 can chunky cranberry sauce

1 bottle canola oil (or similar)

1 bottle of red cooking wine

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Slice plantains on a diagonal, about a ½ inch thick. Deep fry in 350-degree canola oil until light golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. The center of each slice should no longer be tough or raw. Set aside. In a medium sauce pan throw in the cranberries, apples, 1 cup orange juice, 1 cup red wine, cranberry sauce, and cinnamon powder. Simmer it over medium heat, stirring frequently until it reduces and thickens quite a lot, roughly 15 minutes. This is a reduction sauce so you want it to be the correct consistency – be patient! Once the sauce is ready, place the plantains in an oven-proof baking dish and pour the sauce mixture over them. Toss well. Add a 2-second pour of red wine and of orange juice (just enough to moisten the mixture—we told you this would be inexact and interesting!), toss and mix. Put the dish into the oven, uncovered, for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes take the dish out, add 2 tablespoons of butter on top of the plantains, smear all over the top and then put the dish back in the over for another five minutes. Toss a final time and serve warm. 

Potato Rundown

2 lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and quartered (or 3-4 lbs yellow baby potatoes, not peeled and cut into halves)

1 can coconut milk

1 bunch thyme, leaves separated from stems and minced (stems discarded)

1 bunch tarragon, minced

1 bottle coconut oil 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil your peeled and quartered potatoes (work in batches if necessary) until you can slightly pierce through a piece with a fork. Heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a sauté pan or large skillet. Add boiled potatoes (again working in batches if necessary) and sauté with thyme and tarragon. Add coconut milk to the pan little by little to keep the potatoes moist and continue to simmer until they are nearly mushy but retain their shape. Stir occasionally so that the potatoes don’t burn, then season with salt/pepper to taste.

(That’s Richard, Marlon’s brother!)

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Patties with Tomato & Molasses Sauce 

For the patties:

4 cans black beans, drained

3 large sweet potatoes, quartered

½ -1 cup cooked brown rice

1 small bag of whole wheat flour

1 large egg, beaten

Canola oil

1 small bundle of chives, minced

Half of a large red onion, minced

Small bundle of tarragon, minced

For the sauce:

4 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 bottle of molasses

Salt and pepper

Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Place your sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with some canola oil before placing in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Roast until you can push a fork through the meat of the potatoes, then remove from oven and let the piece cool slightly. When cool enough to touch place the piece in a large bowl and use a potato masher (or your hands) to mash them completely. Set aside. Empty all four cans of drained black beans into a bowl and mash, again either with the potato masher or with your hands. Combine the mashed sweet potatoes and beans, and then add the cooked brown rice and the beaten egg. Mix well. Add minced chives, tarragon, red onion, salt and pepper. Add a dusting of whole wheat flour and mix well again. Grab a handful of the mixture and form into a patty. Repeat until you’ve used all of the mixture. Carefully deep fry for approximately 3 minutes or until the outside of each patty is slightly crispy. Top with additional salt and pepper to taste. 

Make the sauce while the patties cool: Place your roughly chopped tomatoes into a blender and puree until smooth. Pour the tomatoes into a saucepan and simmer over medium heat. Add a little bit of molasses until you reach the sweetness and flavor you desire. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve on the side so that your guests can put as much or as little of the sauce on their potato patties as they like!

And there you have it! A home style Jamaican feast for your next book club or dinner party. Thanks again to Winsome, Jones of Boerum Hill and Marlon James for making the latest #RiverheadTable one to remember! 

I made pochero today. The house smells so good. This is a popular filipino dish. There are so many versions, but this one is mine. He he. I used ingredients that I have. Other people add string beans and corn. I didn’t, because I don’t like string beans. Haha!

My mother usually makes this during the rainy months. And since it is monsoon here in Arizona, I find this should be fitting.

To make-

Heat Olive oil in a pot and sauté garlic, onions and pork cubes. You can use any part you like. You can also make this with fish, chicken or beef.

When the meat turns white, add water, potatoes, carrots, plantains. Simmer until the veggies are tender. Mash the ripe plantains to incorporate the sweetness into the soup.

Add a can of tomato sauce. Simmer until the pork is super tender. Lastly, add the cabbage, turn the heat on low and serve when the cabbage is cooked. Don’t forget to season with salt and pepper.


*Sausage & Egg Stuffed Plantain*

Peel a very ripe yellow plantain (peel should be nearly all black)
Lightly rub with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and bake on 400 degrees until golden, turning occasionally (about 30-40 min)

Make a slit down the middle of baked plantain and fill with egg scramble of choice.

Fried Sweet Plantains

Disclaimer: I don’t know if this is the traditional method of preparing plantains, this is just how I do it

This makes a really yummy sweet treat that’s relatively cheap to make (I think plantains are 44 cents each at my local grocery store). It’s a great side dish or dessert. Just a hint though, if you’re buying plantains and want to cook them for this recipe anytime soon, avoid the green ones because they’ll take forever to ripen. Green plantains are much more starchy than sweet and this won’t taste right. You can use them for things like tostones however! 


  • 1 ripe plantain (hint: probably going to look like a rotten banana, the blacker plantains are the sweeter they are. google what they look like if you’re not sure)
  • Some type of oil or butter to fry them in. You only need a couple of tablespoons, we aren’t deep frying
  • Sugar/vanilla/cinnamon/honey or salt/lime juice to put on top (optional)

These are actually pretty simple to make

  1. Slice ends of plantain, then make a slice down the center of the peel, pull peel off
  2. Slice plantain
  3. Heat your oil/butter in a frying pan over medium low heat (ripe plantains have a high sugar content and will burn easily if the heat is too high so watch them)
  4. Put the plantains in the oil in a single layer (don’t overlap any of them)
  5. Once one side is golden brown, flip them with a spatula/fork and brown the other side
  6. Once both sides are browned, remove the plantains from the pan. You can add your sugar/salt topping now if you want
  7. Enjoy! 
Read this for no more 4c hair. It works!!!

Now who said 4c hair girls can’t have a define curl pattern. Of course you can ;]. I’m going to give you the secret to curly hair. Forget being “4c” You’ll have everyone thinking you’re a 4a-4b in no time. :D

So these are the ingredients you’ll need:

You’ll need your greek yogurt, baking soda, ripe plantain or banana, the tears and blood of the lord Jesus Christ, honey (MUST BE RAW), unsulfured molasses, the saliva of the alaskan snow worm (be careful, they’re vicious),

coconut aminos (whatever the fuck that is) mix that shit up, put it on yah hair. And last but not least, dip your head in blessed water for 2 hours! (Try not to drown) And then you should be set.

After you’re done doing all of that shit! Dip your hand into some nice organic gel and plaster that shit all over your head. Ta da! Curly goodness =]