Pastele de Choclo

Discussion in 'Egg, Chicken, & Other Favorite Recipes' started by bigmike&nan, May 1, 2011.

  1. bigmike&nan

    bigmike&nan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Pastel de Choclo

    This is by far my favorite dish from Chile. Food in Chile is usually simple as overall Chile is rather poor (except for the rich class of Santiago who are almost all foreigners). But here is a dish that combines common ingredients prepared so that the end result is rich and delicious. One notion a lot of people have about Chilean cuisine is that it is spicy and like Mexican food, that is not so. Chile has old German, French and Mediterranean influences that date back from the early 1850’s, those influences are seen in the way this dish is prepared. There are three basic elements to the dish that when combined and baked make Pastel de Choclo, or Corn Pie - poached chicken, cooked corn and sauteed ground beef w/ onions. One could say it's "like" a shepherd's pie, sorta of. I never saw this dish prepared while I was in Chile but any time I had the chance I ate this in restaurants. I spent hours pouring over recipes and looking at different YouTube videos - I used to say this here years ago but now it is so much more true: the internet is a vast resource of ideas and recipes. Use them to learn and as a springboard to great recipes of your own creation. My apologies to my Chilean friends if I don't have this just right - yet I challenge any of you to try my pastel de choclo and tell me you don't love it...

    1 medium sized disposable roasting pan (13x10x4)

    4 chicken breasts (bone in/skin on)
    1 1/2 Lbs. Ground Beef (85%)
    1 Large Onion (small dice)
    1 Tbls chopped garlic

    12-14 Large Ears Fresh Corn (or 3lbs frozen corn kernels)
    1 qt while milk

    1 cup white sugar
    1/2 cup corn oil
    1 cup semolina flour
    1 cup all purpose flour
    2 Tbls baking powder
    1 Tsp ground cinnamon
    1 Tbls corn starch
    6 eggs, separating egg yolks and whites into separate bowls

    1 Cup Oil Cured Olives (pitted)

    Basic Seasoning:
    1 tsp. Poultry Seasoning
    1 tsp. Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
    1 tsp Dry Thyme
    1 Tsp Cumin
    1 Tsp Coriander
    1 tsp seasoning salt
    1 tsp celery salt

    4 chicken breasts (bone in/skin ON)

    Start a large pot of cold water on high flame, add the chicken breasts and bring to a boil, reduce to simmer. Skim all scum and dispose (starting with cold water helps break down and separate impurities from the chicken in the form of the scum). After skimmed add a hearty pinch of the Basic Seasoning and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. Then remove chicken to a plate with tongs, but save the stock for the other elements of the dish.

    Preferably the fresh corn is available and cheap, use the frozen in winter if necessary. Husk and then cut off the corn from the cobs with a large sharp knife. Add Corn to a large pot and then add 1 Tsp Basic Seasoning and the milk a little at a time while cooking. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer, add a generous pinch of Basic Seasoning. Cook 20 minutes, stir often to avoid any corn sticking to bottom, occasionally adding ladles of the stock from the poached chicken to keep it very moist. Then puree corn in a blender or food processor in batches. Once all corn is very well pureed add the semolina, flour, sugar,corn starch, cinnamon and corn oil and cook on low heat about 5 minutes. Now let this rest and cool completely. Add the egg yolks and baking powder to the mixture. Beat the egg whites until they are quite stiff, add a little white sugar if needed. Now gently fold the egg whites into the cooled mixture. You have essentially made a corn souffle mixture of sorts as a topping for the pastel. Set aside for assembly process

    Start another skillet on high heat, add olive oil and then when oil is hot add onion, saute for 2 minutes. Then reduce to medium heat and add ground beef and minced garlic and Basic Seasoning, saute until beef starts browning lightly then reduce to low and add ladles of the stock from the poached chicken always keeping the pan very moist. Continue to cook beef a total cooking time of about 15 minutes, always adding more stock to keep the pan very moist.

    Assembly process. Take ground beef onion mixture and pour into an aluminum turkey roasting pan, distribute evenly. Now skin and debone chicken breasts and break chicken meat into medium sized chunks and arrange evenly over ground beef. Pit 1 Cup Oil Cured Olives and distribute between chunks of chicken meat in pans, distribure about 1/2 cup raisins over this mixture. Next ladle the cooked corn mixture over beef/chicken/olives so that all is covered. Sprinkle 4 Tbls. White Sugar over the top of the pan so when baking the top of the corn carmelizes nicely. Place pan in a preheated 400 Deg. oven and bake for 45 minutes. Remove and let stand 5 minutes before serving. In Chile this would be accompanied by a simple plate of sliced tomatoes and cucumbers with a dressing of olive oil and white vinegar and chopped cilantro. For single people if you have small Corning Ware containers you can make small portions and freeze them, and then bake as described when convenient

    need a little hand torch to crisp up the top on this, the salad is a gussied up version of what you'd be served with the pastel

    Today's update recipe done up in a 14x10x4 1/2 inch turkey roasting pan I got at Walmart ($3.00).

    Last edited: May 22, 2011

    JAPJRGIRL21 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 1, 2010
    That sounds so yummy!!
  3. bigmike&nan

    bigmike&nan Chillin' With My Peeps

    My wife found fresh corn pretty cheap in the market so I figured it was time to make this for her since she's never had it. Thanks to the internet: a cornucopia of great printed recipes and YouTube videos - so many variations, so little time. LOL
  4. flowerchild59

    flowerchild59 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2010
    Southern IL
    That looks like something I would try since it can be made gluten free........I am trying to avoid glutens in wheat and such. Thanks for posting that recipe.
  5. Momagain1

    Momagain1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2011
    Central IL
    that looks amazing! Wonder if I can lower the fat & carb ratio in it??
  6. Momagain1

    Momagain1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2011
    Central IL
    do you know how many this serves and serving size?

    This looks like a LOT of food and I'd need to 1/2 it...can I do that w/o compromising the texture/flavor of the dish?
  7. Terri O

    Terri O Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:FUnny that you should post this as I was thinking exactly the same thing! I might just have to try this when the corn comes in.

    OP--Did you post it in the recipe section too? THen it will be easy to keep finding it! Terri O
  8. bigmike&nan

    bigmike&nan Chillin' With My Peeps

    There is no trouble in halving this recipe. I was telling the wife (while we were savoring this out on the deck) that it needed a thinner layer of beef and a LOT MORE corn. As I said above I spent a lot of time looking at online recipes, but where I really got my eyes opened and learned a lot was watching video after video of people all over the world making their variation on this dish. In Chile there is a really very large variety of corn, I think it was call Collosso - ears easily 2-3 times the size of our American corn, with really big kernels, like a lot of vegetables there they are quite fibery and don't work in some dishes like we'd use them without a lot of cooking. I think for this dish to have the texture I am used to you cook the corn for 10-15 minutes and then REALLY and I mean really puree it. Add it all back to the pot, toss in your corn starch and corn meal (and more water from the pot you poached the chicken pieces in) and continue cooking at least 10 minutes more.

    I poached up a huge chicken breast (the thing must have weighed a pound) and some thighs. I ended up using only the breast - please us bone in-skin on chicken, you want the flavor those cuts give the stock while poaching. You simply peel off the skin and pull the meat off the bones, with breasts that is dead easy. Next time we got to my in-laws I am taking this. THis video gives you a good idea how to make individual (or restaurant style) portions and the tomato/onion salad to serve it up with.

    Last edited: May 15, 2011
  9. KenK

    KenK Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2011
    Had not clicked on this thread because I assumed it was some kind of chocolate desert!
    I'm making this when the corn is ready in the garden.
  10. bigmike&nan

    bigmike&nan Chillin' With My Peeps

    I spent hours researching online looking at recipes and YouTube videos of this dish. It seems there are as many variations of Pastel de Choclo in Central and South America as there are countries. I worked up what I think will be a remarkably good dish. Please take time to try. I am baking off one today and will update the photos in the recipe.

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