Friday, September 18, 2009

Chilean Corn Casserole

RECIPE ~ Chilean Corn Casserole

A traditional Chilean dish, this "Pastél de Choclo" is a family favourite. Here is my mother's vegetarian version, which omits the usual beef and chicken. Make lots, you'll want seconds!

5 bags of frozen corn kernels (1-pound bags), thawed
1 Tbsp each butter and vegetable shortening or olive oil
1 onion, minced
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk (cow's, soy or rice)
1 heaping Tbsp minced fresh basil or 1 tsp dried basil
sea salt to taste
sugar for browning

Using a blender or food processor, puree the corn in batches until blended but leaving a rough texture, like chunky oatmeal. (Do not overprocess into a smooth paste.)

In a large pot, fry the onion in the shortening and butter until soft. Add the blended corn and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly to avoid sticking. Cook for at least 30 minutes, until fully cooked. Stir in basil and salt and cook 10 more minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the eggs and milk then stir into the corn mixture. Immediately remove from the heat and mix well. Empty the corn mixture into a large casserole dish or deep earthen dish (must be oven proof) and dust the top with sugar, about 2 tablespoons. Place in the oven at 350F for about 15 minutes until the edges start to bubble. Change the heat to broil and cook just long enough to brown the top, about 5 minutes. Check to make sure it doesn't burn.

Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly, about 5 to 10 minutes. Serve with a plate of sliced tomatoes with minced onion and cilantro, seasoned with olive oil and salt. Serves 4.

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