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Meat and Corn Pie (Pastel de Choclo)

Photo: Oxmoor House
Hands-on time 50 mins
Total time 1 hr, 42 mins
Yield Serves 6 (serving size: 1/6 of casserole)
Think of this dish as Chilean shepherd's pie, except the top crust is made with fresh pureed corn instead of potatoes. It is traditionally baked in individual clay dishes, but the directions here call for one large casserole. To use individual dishes, just decrease the cooking time by 5 to 10 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 8 ears yellow corn
  • 1/2 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 2 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 pound 95% lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup fat-free, lower-sodium beef broth
  • 2 hard-cooked large eggs, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives, chopped
  • Fresh basil leaves (optional)

Nutrition Information

  • calories 449
  • fat 14.4 g
  • satfat 4.4 g
  • monofat 5.9 g
  • polyfat 2.3 g
  • protein 32.6 g
  • carbohydrate 52.5 g
  • fiber 5.2 g
  • cholesterol 136 mg
  • iron 3.7 mg
  • sodium 552 mg
  • calcium 80 mg

How to Make It

  1. Remove husks from corn, and scrub silks from corn. Cut kernels from ears of corn to measure 6 cups. Place corn kernels, milk, cornmeal, sugar, and salt in a blender or food processor; process until pureed.

  2. Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add corn puree, and cook 10 to 12 minutes or until mixture is thick like oatmeal, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in basil.

  3. Preheat broiler.

  4. Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place chicken on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Broil chicken 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until chicken is done. Cool slightly; shred chicken with 2 forks.

  5. Preheat oven to 375°.

  6. Combine raisins and 1 cup hot water in a bowl. Let stand 10 minutes.

  7. While raisins stand, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes. Add oregano and next 4 ingredients (through garlic); sauté 1 minute. Add beef; cook 5 to 7 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Sprinkle with flour; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and broth; cook 1 minute or until slightly thick, stirring constantly.

  8. Drain raisins; discard liquid. Spread beef mixture in an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with shredded chicken, sliced eggs, raisins, and olives. Pour corn puree over casserole, spreading to cover filling. Bake at 375° for 30 to 35 minutes or until corn puree is lightly browned and forms a crust. Garnish with basil, if desired.

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