Kitchen Krafts

Piononos de Plátano

1 1/2 pounds (.7 k) lean ground beef, mashed very fine

1/2 cup cooking oil

1/2 cup very finely chopped onion

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 tablespoon garlic salt

1/8 cup very finely chopped green pepper

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1 cup tomato sauce

1 cup water

3 green olives, diced very fine

12 capers, halved (optional)

bananas *

1 egg, beaten

  1. 1.

    Brown the meat, using just enough oil to keep it from sticking (remaining oil will be used for the bananas). Stir constantly so that the meat doesn’t clump together.

  2. 2.

    When the meat is barely browned, add the next 7 ingredients. Keep stirred.

  3. 3.

    Stir in the water, olives, and capers. Cook, stirring, until heated through. Remove from the heat and set aside.

  4. 4.

    Slice the bananas lengthwise about 1/4″ (6 mm) thick; sauté them (again, use only enough oil to keep them from sticking) until they’re a light brown and can bend without breaking.

  5. 5.

    Remove the banana slices from the skillet and let cool just enough to let you form them into rings; fasten the ends together with a toothpick.

  6. 6.

    Fill the rings with the meat mixture.

  7. 7.

    Brush the tops of the piononos with the egg, then put that side down in the skillet to cook, and brush more egg on top. Spoon a little of the oil on top of the egg so that it won’t stick when you turn it. Let cook on the second side until the piononos are heated through. Serve.

Fruit-Juice Crackers

1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted

3 1/2 cups flour

1 cup apple or berry juice

  1. 1.

    Stir the melted butter with the juice.

  2. 2.

    Mix in the flour a little at a time.

  3. 3.

    Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is very thin—about 1/8″ (3 mm).

  4. 4.

    Cut into 2″ (5 cm) squares, then prick with a fork.

  5. 5.

    Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake at 375° F (190° C) for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Eat as is, with cheese, or with Fruit Dip (see recipe here).

Stuffed Dates

8 ounces (227 g) pitted dates

nuts (whole almonds, filberts; walnut, pecan halves)

powdered sugar

Push a nut piece into the middle of each date, then dust with the powdered sugar. Store in a box lined with waxed paper.

Fruit Dip

8 ounces (227 g) vanilla yogurt

1/3 cup cottage cheese, drained if necessary

1 tablespoon grated lemon peel

1/4 cup orange juice

  1. 1.

    Line a sieve or strainer with a paper towel, then pour in the yogurt; let it stand at least an hour until it thickens.

  2. 2.

    Put the remaining ingredients into a blender and process until smooth.

  3. 3.

    Stir the cottage cheese mixture into the yogurt until thoroughly blended. Serve with wedges of fresh fruit, raw vegetables cut into bite sizes, or Fruit-Juice Crackers (see recipe here).

[illustration] Illustrated by Dick Brown

Show References

  1.   *

    If you can’t get the large cooking bananas from a specialty shop, ask your grocer for the largest, firmest bananas he has. (Sometimes they aren’t put out because they’re not quite ripe, but that’s OK for this recipe.)