Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Chilean Corn Casserole "Pastel del Choclo"

When I was in Chile for a semester during college one of my favorite dishes was pastel de choclo. It is the perfect comfort food with the combination of ground beef and corn topping.  It's very similar to Shepherds Pie except with corn instead of potatoes.  I found this recipe on Fran's House of Ayurveda for a vegetarian version of the Chilean dish.  I wanted to add a little more substance to our dinner so I added some Veggie Protein Crumbles to the bottom of the dish, like they do with ground beef in Chile.  Steve was impressed with the quality of the "fake meat" and really liked that it added a different dimension to the dish.

These amounts made about 3 servings. If you have a larger number you are cooking for just increase the amounts.  If it's a very large crowd I would suggest making a few smaller batches so the flavor and crispiness is more universal.

Chilean Corn Casserole "Pastel del Choclo"
1 pound frozen corn, thawed
1 tablespoon EVOO
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 egg
Soy or cow's milk
1 teaspoon dried basil
salt and pepper
1 package Veggie Protein Crumbles (or ground beef or turkey)

Blend or food process the corn until it is the consistency of oatmeal.  You want to make sure not to over blend into a soupy texture.  Heat the EVOO in a pan and add the corn paste and onion powder. Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes stirring constantly to prevent sticking. In a small bowl combine the egg and milk before adding the mixture to the corn.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat another skillet over medium heat and saute the Veggie Protein Crumbles in EVOO for a few minutes until they are crispy.  Place the Veggie Protein Crumbles in the bottom of a casserole dish and top with the corn mixture.  Place in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

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