A popular dish in central Chile is pastel de choclo. Chileans love meat; corn is grown in Kansas size quantities here. For many in this valley, the corn, basil, onions, and eggs are produced in fields near the house.
Let's name this recipe Pastel de Choclo Ceriani, since it was given to my hostess Susaan Straus by her husband Ricardo Ceriani’s sisters.
The basil, corn, and onions (not pictured), are grown on the farm here in Nogales about 60 miles north of Santiago.
add 1/2 cup of raisins, a medium can of black olives - pitted or not Salt and pepper and 1/2 t cumin (optional)
2 hard cooked eggs, quartered.
Fill the food processor full to overflowing with 3-4 packages of frozen corn (if you don't shuck your own. Ricardo picked and shucked the corn a few hours before we ate the pastel de choclo.)
add 20+ leaves of fresh basil (basil at right in Susaan's garden. Note the tomatoes in background, not ripe yet due to cool weather right after planting.)
Process until semi-liquid with chunks - blend in a tablespoon of olive oil.
Spoon the meat mixture into the bottom of a paila (stone bowl). Top with corn/basil mix.
Cook in a 350 oven until the corn is browned - about 30-40 minutes.
Voila! Pastel de Choclo Ceriani
Photos by Paul Tamburello