Saturday, September 28, 2013

Vegan Mofo #29 - Terry’s Creamy Corn Crusted Tempeh Pot Pie (Pastel De Choclo),,,

Vegan Mofo #29 - Terry’s Creamy Corn Crusted Tempeh Pot Pie (Pastel De Choclo)

The Region - Chile
The Book - Viva Vegan!
The Author - Terry Hope Romero
The Recipe - Creamy Corn Crusted Tempeh Pot Pie (Pastel De Choclo)
Page # 144
Difficulty - Easy
Duration - Roughly 1 hour 15 minutes or less depending on how fast you chop.

We’re really zig-zagging across the globe now as I scramble to wrap up the last of Mofo. From India, to France, and now back to South America with a Chilean dish known as Pastel De Choclo. Apparently a version of this dish also exists in nearby Argentina and Peru but Terry’s version is more akin to the Chilean variation.

Traditionally the dish is made using the new sweet corn which is ground and seasoned with fresh basil. The filling is typically made up of minced meat - gross- vegetables and seasonings, then topped with a blended corn mixture and poured into individual earthenware bowls where it is then baked. Since it was only my husband and I eating, and I didn’t feel like getting very fancy with it I took Terry’s suggestion and cooked the entire thing in a big casserole dish rather then individual bowls, and I think it turned out pretty great, though the pictures make it look more like a lasagna then a pot pie - oh well.

I was pretty ecstatic to try this dish as I’d been eying it with curiosity ever since I originally bought Viva Vegan! I don’t know why it takes me so long to make some recipes but that seems often to be the case. Maybe the long ingredients list threw me off, but really this dish doesn’t take so long to prepare. The filling is a hearty mix of potatoes, tempeh, onion, carrot, cumin, oregano, paprika, vegetable broth, red wine, soy sauce, pepper and the classic combination of raisins and green olives. I love the sweet addition of raisins into a savory dish, and the slaty olives make for a good contrast as well. I think the only thing I would do differently is add a little heat, maybe a tsp or two of Taymer’s Bajan seasoning or a few dashes of cayenne pepper. Also for my tastes a tad more salt would have worked wonders.

Once the filling is prepared and layered in your casserole you top it with a blended mixture of sweet corn, cornstarch, non-dairy creamer, garlic, salt, pepper, fresh basil, and a pinch of sugar. Once the filling is placed over top you bake until golden brown. I think next time I would add a bit more garlic to the topping as well as some unblended corn kernels as I like the texture of whole corn. Other then that I think it was a really fantastic dish. I like that it’s unique, and different to what I normally eat, and I love how fast and easy it comes together. Most of the cooking time is just waiting on the baking to be finished which is always nice as it gives you time to prepare a side salad, do some homework, or read a book. I also love that this dish is pretty healthful, low fat, and doesn’t contain any processed ingredients - well besides the cream but if you make the cream yourself as I did then no problema right? It makes it a delicious, virtually guilt free dinner that you can feel good about.

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