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Daisy Martinez's ultimate Father's Day dish

(CBS News) NEW YORK - Latin cooking queen and celebrity chef Daisy Martinez offered up her ultimate dish, one all dads will love, as "CBS This Morning: Saturday" celebrated Father's Day.

It's sweet and savory: Pastelon - a plantain and picadillo casserole.

Not only is Daisy the host of the Food Network's Viva Daisy, she's executive chef of Mamiverse.com.

She's also an award-winning cookbook author.

Daisy not only shared recipes, but warm memories of her dad with "CBS This Morning: Saturday" viewers.

All "CBS This Morning: Saturday" recipes
Blog: "What's Cooking"
Special section: Food and Wine

RECIPES

Pastelon: Plantain and Picadillo Casserole

Copyright 2010, by Daisy Martinez, from "Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night," published by Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., whose parent company, CBS Corporation, is also that of CBS News and CBSNesws.com

  • Makes 12 buffet servings
  • Prep time: 2 hours
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • 9 fully ripe plantains

  • For the picadillo (makes 4 cups):

  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 1-1/2 pounds ground beef, pork or turkey
  • Kosher or fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 c sofrito
  • 1/4 c alcaparrado or coarsely chopped pimiento-stuffed olives
  • 2 t tomato paste
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • Pinch ground clove (if using beef or pork)
  • 2 t all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c raisins, optional

  • To finish the pastelon:

  • 1 t butter, softened
  • 1 t vegetable oil
  • 12 extra-large eggs

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees f. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and spray the paper with cooking spray.

2. Peel the plantains and cut them on a sharp diagonal into 1/2 inch slices. The slices should be about 3 inches long (shorter near the ends). Line the plantain slices up side by side and spray the tops with cooking spray. Bake until well browned on the bottom, about 20 minutes. Pile the plantain slices up on a plate to cool. Repeat as necessary with the remaining plantains.

3. While the plantains are baking, make the picadillo: spray a large deep skillet with vegetable cooking spray. Set over high heat and crumble the ground beef into it. Cook, stirring, until all traces of pink are gone, about 4 minutes. Add the sofrito and cook, stirring, until the liquid from the beef and sofrito is evaporated and the mixture is sizzling, about 6 minutes. Add the alcaparrado, tomato paste, cumin, clove and salt and pepper to taste. Lower the heat (so the tomato paste doesn't stick to the bottom and burn) and cook until the tomato paste changes color, a minute or two.

4. If necessary, spoon off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pan. Add the flour and cook 2 minutes, stirring. Add 1/4 cup water, raise the heat to medium, and bring to a boil. Stir in the raisins and check the seasonings and add salt and pepper if you think it needs it. Remember, you want a well-seasoned picadillo to balance the sweetness of the plantains. Cool the picadillo while baking the rest of the plantains.

5. Assemble the pastelon: grease the bottom and sides of a large (12-inch) cast iron skillet with the butter, then pour the oil over the butter. Cover the bottom of the pan by making concentric circles of overlapping cooked plantain slices. Spoon the picadillo over the plantains and smooth into an even layer. Cover the picadillo (as you covered the bottom of the pan) with concentric circles of overlapping plantain slices. The pastelon can be assembled to this point up to an hour in advance and kept at room temperature covered with a damp kitchen towel or several thicknesses of damp paper towels.

6. Heat the skillet over medium-low heat just until you can hear sizzling. Reduce the heat to low and very slowly pour the beaten eggs around the edges of the pan and over the top of the pastelon. Pour in as much of the egg as you can without overfilling the pan. Run a heat-resistant spatula around the edges of the pan, separating the plantains and picadillo from the side of the pan and letting the egg from the top seep around the sides of the pan, making room for more egg. When all the liquid egg has set up, add the remaining egg and continue running the spatula around the edge of the pan until that batch of egg is set and the pastelon "drinks" up the rest of the egg. Set the skillet in the oven and bake until bubbling around the edges and the center is set, about 25 minutes. Cool 15 minutes before serving. The pastelon will stay warm enough to serve (if left in the pan) for to an hour. Unmold it (see below) just before serving.

7. Run a thin knife around the edges of the pan to make sure the pastelon won't stick to the pan. The pastelon can be served directly from the pan, which is easiest to do with an offset spatula. Or for a more dramatic presentation, invert the pastelon onto a serving platter: choose a large round serving platter-if it has a rim, the "well" of the plate should be at least an inch or two wider than the pan. Put the platter upside down over the pastelon. With a pot holder or oven mitt, grasp the pan handle with one hand and use the other hand to clamp the platter in place over the pastelon. Invert the pan and the platter. Be brave and use one quick motion. Leave the pan in place for a few minutes, then gently lift it. If any of the plantains stick to the pan, simply scrape them off and re-place them on top of the pastelon. Cut into wedges using a very sharp knife and a gentle sawing motion.

Note: The ideal plantains for making this version of pastelon are completely black, but not at all mushy. If you were to fry the plantain slices (as is done traditionally) instead of baking them, a slightly less ripe plantain is ideal. Frying will soften up a plantain much more than baking. If there's any question about whether your plantains are ripe enough to make pastelon, it is better to err on the side of riper rather than "greener" plantains. The sweet flavor of ripe plantains is a key part of this dish.

Tips:

Save the ends of the plantains, which aren't neat little slices, to plug up odd little spots in the top and bottom layers of the pastelon.

A heavy, well seasoned cast-iron skillet is really the best pan for this. It will cook the underside of the pastelon evenly and gently and the seasoned finish reduces the chances of the pastelon sticking when it comes time to invert it.

Variations:

Add a little heat to the picadillo by seasoning it to taste with chile powder or crushed red pepper flakes.

Spike the filling by soaking the raisins in rum or brandy for an hour or so and drain them before adding them to the picadillo.

Substitute ground chicken or turkey for the ground beef.

For an earthy note, soak a handful of dried mushrooms in hot water to cover. Drain and rinse them well, then chop them coarsely. Add along with the sofrtio when making the picadillo.

For more of Daisy's recipes, go to Page 2.

Casa de Steak Salad

Makes 6 servings

Copyright 2010 by Daisy Martinez, from "Daisy Holiday Cooking," published by Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., whose parent company, CBS Corporation, is also that of CBS News and CBSNesws.com

For the dressing:

  • 1 c crema (see note) or sour cream
  • 1/2 c mayonnaise
  • Juice and finely grated zest of 1 lime
  • 1 1/2 c crumbled cabrales or other blue cheese (about 5 ounes)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:

  • 1 lb slab bacon
  • One (5-ounce) container "spring mix" greens or mesclun
  • 1 bunch radishes, trimmed and cut into very thin slices (about 2 c)
  • 1 large english (hothouse) cucumber, cut in half lengthwise, seeded, then cut into 1/2-inch dice (2 generous cups)
  • 2 t olive oil
  • Kosher or fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Make the dressing:

1. Whisk the crema, mayonnaise, and lime juice and zest together in a small bowl until smooth. Fold in the cabrales and season with pepper to taste. The dressing may be made up to 2 days in advance. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Prep the salad ingredients:

2. If necessary, cut the rind off the bacon. Cut the bacon into 1/4-inch slices and then cut the slices crosswise into 1/4-inch lardoons. Put the lardoons into a large skillet with 2 tablespoons water. Set over high heat and cook until the water is evaporated and the bacon starts to sizzle. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the bacon is lightly browned but not at all dried-out, about 6 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Discard the fat or save for another use. The bacon can be made several hours before serving the salad and kept at room temperature (don't refrigerate).

3. Wash the salad greens and dry them well, preferably in a salad spinner. The greens can be wrapped in damp paper towel and stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a day. The radishes and cukes can be cut up to several hours before serving and refrigerated. The radishes will stay nice and crisp in a bowl of ice water. Drain the radishes thoroughly before putting the salad together.

Toss and serve the salad:

4. Toss the greens, bacon, cucumbers, and radishes together with 2 tablespoons olive oil in a serving bowl. Season the salad lightly with salt and pepper and toss again. Serve the salad with the dressing on the side, letting guests help themselves to both.

Note: crema mexicana is a tart dairy product with a consistency thin enough for spooning or drizzling. A drizzle adds a creamy-sour note to finished dishes like soups and stews or serves as the base for dressings like this one. Crema is available in latin groceries and larger supermarkets (check the dairy aisle, near the latino cheeses). If you can't find crema, substitute sour cream thinned down with enough water so it drips easily from the spoon.

Cinnamon-scented coffee

Cafe de olla

Copyright 2010, by Daisy Martinez, from "Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night," published by Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., whose parent company, CBS Corporation, is also that of CBS News and CBSNesws.com

  • Makes 8 servings
  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • 1/2 c packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 t molasses
  • 5 heaping t spanish-style coffee or espresso
  • 2 c of milk
  • 1/4 c chopped unsweetened chocolate
  • Granulated and/or brown sugar for passing

1. Bring 6 cups of water, the brown sugar, cinnamon sticks, and cloves to a boil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the molasses and return to the boil, skimming any foam from the top.

2. Remove the saucepan from the heat, stir in the coffee and let steep for 6 to 7 minutes. Strain and set aside.

3. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until the sides begin to bubble. Discard the skin from the top of the milk and whisk in the chocolate until it is melted. Divide the milk among 8 warm coffee cups. Fill the remainder of the cup with hot black coffee. Pass brown and/or white sugar at the table for people to adjust the sweetness as they like.

Banana and Dulce de Leche Strudel

Copyright 2010, by Daisy Martinez, from "Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night," published by Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., whose parent company, CBS Corporation, is also that of CBS News and CBSNesws.com

  • Makes 12 servings
  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • 6 ripe bananas
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1-1/4 c sugar
  • 1/2 c plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 4 t butter
  • 1/4 t cinnamon
  • 1 c coarsely chopped pecans
  • 16 sheets of phyllo dough
  • 6 t butter, melted

1 c finely crumbled dry-textured almond cookies (such as stella d'oro), amaretti cookies or anise toast

1. Slice the bananas lengthwise into quarters, then cut them crosswise into 1/2 inch or so pieces. Toss them in a bowl with the lemon juice and set aside.

2. Using the sugar and 1/4 cup water, make a caramel. As soon as the caramel is done, remove the pan from the heat and (carefully!) Pour the cream into the pan . It will bubble up, then die down. As soon as it is safe, whisk the caramel until smooth and creamy. Return the skillet to low heat and whisk in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Whisk in the cinnamon and set aside to cool briefly.

3. Add the caramel and pecans to the bananas, stir well but gently and set aside. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

4. Lay the phyllo sheets out on the work surface and cover them with a damp kitchen towel. Remove 2 sheets of phyllo from under the towel, set them on a dry clean towel and brush the top sheet with butter. Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of the crumbled cookies over the butter. Repeat three more time to make 4 layers of phyllo, butter, and cookies. Spoon one half the banana mixture over the center of the phyllo, leaving at least 1 inch on both of the short ends and about 2 inches along the long ends. Using the towel, fold the long sides of the phyllo over the filling, then pinch the ends together to seal and tuck them under the log. Flip the log onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat process to make another strudel.

5. Bake until golden and crispy on top, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Michelada

Copyright 2010, by Daisy Martinez, from "Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night," published by Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., whose parent company, CBS Corporation, is also that of CBS News and CBSNesws.com

Make 1 drink

  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle hot sauce
  • Big dash Worcestershire sauce
  • One 12-ounce bottle light-bodied beer (Corona is a good start)

Put the lime juice, hot pepper sauce, and Worcestershire sauce in a large tumbler. Fill the tumbler halfway with ice and slowly pour in the beer. Find a hammock!

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