Tuesday, March 03, 2009

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 organic 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.

VATAS although corn is not recommended for Vatas, the creamy consistency plus addition of basil help balance this dish for Vatas; serve with side-dish of vegetables well-cooked with ghee and spices
PITTAS a great Pitta dish; minimize onion, basil and salt; use fresh basil
KAPHAS a great Kapha dish; limit salt; choose soy milk


fidlerflute said...

Hi there...did you really mean that the recipe uses 5 kg of corn? This amount barely fits in the pot and seems like it would serve much more that 4 people. Did you mean 5 pounds? Thanks!!

Claudia Davila (Fran) said...

Thanks for catching that, fidlerflute! It is indeed 5 bags of 1 pound each, not 1 kilo. I've corrected that in the recipe!

"The Traveller" said...

Hi Claudia, Your recipes are just amazing.They seem very very contemporary and modern yet with the "local" taste preserved.I am 25 and I guess your recipes are a great treat for all of us at home. Smacky and very healthy.Plus,your descriptions on the three doshas for each recipe is helpful.It has broadened my reading towards Ayurveda and I'm lovong it !

Unknown said...

I love your blog and the recipes! A friend (Argentum Vulgaris) sent me here ... and I'm so glad he did.

I'm going to follow you and add you to my blog roll.

Thanks for sharing your recipes!

Small Footprints

Anonymous said...

I need to make this recipe to feed 40 people. I noticed that your recipe calls for 5 pounds of corn and only 2 eggs. Are those calculations correct for feeding 4 people? I can't imagine someone eating more than 1 pound. I've tried to research other recipes and it seems the few I've found use drastically different amounts of egg and corn. Please help!

Claudia Davila (Fran) said...

Thanks for the great comments, Traveller and Small Footprints! As for making this recipe for larger groups, my mother (who gave me this recipe) recommends just doubling the recipe for one large casserole dish, and then doing that 5 times, so you get 5 large casserole dishes that serve 8 people each (=40 servings). That way the corn gets ground evenly and the contents get cooked consistently with the appropriate number of eggs in each. Hope this helps!

Rick Roux said...

Dear Fran,

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Unknown said...

Hi !!
It is a grt recipe but i have also read that eggs and milk are incompatable athough it is commonly used.I guess its a grt recipe but not an Ayurvedic recipe.

Anonymous said...

Can you give details on how to make this with the meat it traditionally has? Thx!

Claudia Davila (Fran) said...

For sure, this isn't an ayurvedic recipe, but making the recommended modifications do help a little. Primarily this is just a vegetarian recipe of my childhood that I love and wanted to share :-)

The original non-vegetarian version consisted of frying onions in lard, then adding lean ground beef plus spices such as salt, pepper, cumin and paprika. Stir in a handful of whole, pitted black olives. There should be enough beef mixture to cover the bottom of the casserole dish by one to two inches. On top of the beef layer, arrange pieces of cooked chicken (quantity to taste), then top with the corn casserole mixture. Then bake as directed!

Payal said...

This sounds delicious! In Gujarat, India, most people are vegetarian. We have a version of this that you might find more ayurvedic. Fresh corn kernels tempered with mustard and cumin seeds, cooked in milk/coconut milk, and water, and seasoned with salt, a bit of sugar, lemon juice, cilantro, and fresh chile de arbol or serrano. We use fresh corn so it's a seasonal dish but you could use frozen - just thaw and lightly process in a food processor to break up the whole kernels. Doing this releases the "milk" of the corn that adds to the flavour and gives the dish a lovely risotto-ish texture.