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Step 1

Make the sofrito: Peel 4 garlic cloves and place in a food processor; pulse to chop. Coarsely chop 1 medium onion, 4 ají dulce peppers or 1 red bell pepper, 1 Cubanelle pepper or green bell pepper, and 1 small bunch culantro or cilantro and add to food processor. Pulse until combined but still slightly textured (like a tapenade). Set aside.

Step 2

Using the tip of your knife, make shallow lengthwise cuts in the skin of 6 ripe (yellow) plantains (about 4 lb.) to score, then peel. Slice each plantain in half crosswise, then slice in half lengthwise to make 4 pieces for each. Halve each piece lengthwise again (you should end up with 8 thin slices per plantain). If you're feeling fancy, you can also skip the crosswise slice and go for thin, full-length plantain slices, like in the photo.

Step 3

Heat 1 cup vegetable oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high. Working in batches, fry plantains in a single layer, turning halfway through, until golden brown, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer to paper towels to drain, sprinkle with kosher salt, and let cool. Reserve oil for another use or discard. Reserve skillet.

Step 4

Slice ½ cup pimiento-stuffed manzanilla olives crosswise and set aside. Heat 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil in reserved skillet over medium. Add 1 cup sofrito (freeze extra sofrito in ice cube trays, then transfer to a freezer bag or airtight container; use whenever you’re starting a recipe with sofrito!) and 1 cup tomato sauce and cook, stirring, until sofrito begins to soften, 5 minutes. Add 1 lb. lean ground beef and 1 Tbsp. homemade or store-bought adobo seasoning and cook, stirring, until browned, about 8 minutes. Add ½ cup raisins, ¼ cup dry red wine, and reserved olives. Cover skillet (use a baking sheet if you don’t have a lid), reduce heat to low, and simmer 15 minutes. This is your picadillo.

Step 5

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly coat a 13x9" baking dish with oil. Whisk 3 large eggs in a small bowl. Arrange a third of the fried plantain slices in baking dish in a single layer, piecing together any broken ones. Top with half of the picadillo, then ½ cup shredded mozzarella. Repeat with half of remaining plantains, remaining picadillo, and another ½ cup shredded mozzarella. Top with remaining plantains. Pour whisked eggs evenly over and let sink in.

Step 6

Bake piñon, uncovered, until set, 20–25 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining ½–1 cup shredded mozzarella (depending on your level of ). Return to oven and bake until cheese is melted, about 4 minutes. Let piñon cool 5–10 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.

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