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Canoas (Sweet Plantain Boats)

Puerto Rican sweet plantain boats filled with a delicious beef mixture and topped with creamy mozzarella cheese make the perfect savory dish to share with your loved ones.

Tasty Team

Canoas (Sweet Plantain Boats)
Total Time

1 hr 3 min

1 hr 3 min

Prep Time

15 minutes

15 min

Cook Time

48 minutes

48 min

Total Time

1 hr 3 min

1 hr 3 min

Prep Time

15 minutes

15 min

Cook Time

48 minutes

48 min

Ingredients

for 4 canoas

Beef Filling

  • 1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ cup yellow onion (75 g), diced - about 1 small onion
  • 1 green bell pepper, small
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro (10 g), plus more for garnish
  • 1 lb ground beef (455 g)
  • ¾ teaspoon adobo seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons tomato sauce

Plantains

  • 3 cups vegetable oil (720 mL)
  • 4 ripe plantains, peeled
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Assembly

  • 16 oz shredded mozzarella cheese (450 g)
  • fresh cilantro, torn, for garnish

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C)
  2. Make the beef filling: Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the onion and green pepper and sauté until softened and translucent, 3–4 minutes. Add the garlic and cilantro and cook for another 1–2 minutes, or until fragrant.
  3. Add the ground beef, breaking up with a spatula to incorporate into the vegetables. Season with the adobo, garlic powder, and black pepper. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook for 4–5 minutes, or until the meat is no longer pink. Drain any excess liquid.
  4. Return the skillet to the stovetop over medium-low heat, stir in the tomato sauce, and cook until heated through, 2–3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside until ready to use.
  5. Make the plantains: Heat the vegetable oil in a large, high-walled skillet over medium-low heat until shimmering. Working in batches if needed, add the plantains and fry, turning every 30 seconds or so, until golden brown on sides and soft enough to be pierced with a fork, 8–10 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to drain until cool enough to handle.
  6. Transfer the plantains to a cutting board. Cut a slit lengthwise down each plantain, being careful not to cut all the way through. Use 2 forks to gently pull each plantain open. Use a fork, flat-side down, to press the base of the “canoe” to widen. Season with salt. Transfer to an 8-inch baking dish.
  7. Fill each plantain with ¼–⅓ cup of shredded mozzarella cheese, add about ½–¾ cup of the beef filling to each plantain, then top with ¼–⅓ cups more cheese. Cover the baking dish with foil.
  8. Bake for 20–25 minutes. Remove the foil and broil for another 2–3 minutes, or until the cheese is brown and bubbly. Garnish with torn cilantro.
  9. Enjoy!

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