A Chilean inspired dish from Martin Casado's upbringing and his attempt (Video in the end)
Our version of Pastel de Choclo
Here is a dish near and dear to my half Chilean side of my upbringing, and that is the Pastel de Choclo. Earlier this year we went to Chile (Chile article here) and Ashley got to try this first hand done by locals.
Traditionally you should do them in these unique terracotta clay mini pots that are about the same size as a soup bowl. We didn't have these so I improvised with a large casserole dish. Plus, we were going to share this feast with our neighbors. The advantage of those small pot bowls is you get a nice crispy corn layer that forms and makes the experience that much more enjoyable but this method was just as effective. It was so good!!!
Ingredients: (Video below on instructions too)
2 large cans (29 oz) of whole kernel corn (you can do fresh as well)
1 whole red onion
1 lb of grass-fed ground meat
4 tablespoons of Salt
2 tablespoons of Sugar
1 tablespoon of Orégano
1 teaspoon cumin and black pepper
2 broiled in water chicken breast cooked prior
1 can of large black olives
4 hard-boiled eggs and I cut them in half
First, prior to putting everything together we cooked the ground beef and onions first and broiled the two chicken breasts. I seasoned the ground beef with some pepper salt I got at our local green market. I let that sit while I prepared the rest of the dish.
Second, I got the two big cans (29 oz each) of kernel corn, emptied out the water, and added it to my blender. Do a couple of revolutions in the blender but let it still be a little thick. Don't over blend it into liquid. Put that into a pot and put it on low heat. Now, add one tablespoon of salt and one tablespoon of sugar, and 1 tablespoon of basil. As an option, you can add a little butter. Mix it up but don't overcook it just enough to get it warmed up.
Now, the assembly, have all your ingredients ready to go and start forming the plate.
Pour a small amount of pureed corn on the base and start to layer this beautiful dish up.
We first added the grass-fed cooked ground beef and made a nice layer across the bowl. Next, I added small cut up pieces of the chicken breast evenly distributed. Then, I sporadically and artistically laid out the broiled eggs and black olives. Now, finally, get your pureed corn and layer it over the top and cover all the ingredients till you only see one big layer of yellow corn distributed equally. The final touches before you put it in the oven is to put one tablespoon of sugar over the top so that will caramelize a little and make the top layer to form a crust. We also added a little heat with some hot sauce over the top to finish our pastel.
Preheat the over to 320 degrees for 15 minutes.
Place the pastel de choclo in over for 30-35 minutes until you see the top start to harden a little. In the clay, individual pots, you get a nice solid hardening of the corn on top, and goes well. On our casserole dish, we got a little hardening but overall it was a success. The neighbors loved it and my culture lives on.
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