Pastel de Choclo a la Chilota

A pastel de choclo is a batter-topped casserole popular in Chile. The batter is question is made with pureed fresh corn. Serve with a pungent, fresh salsa.
Country of Origin
Preparation time

1 cup dry white wine
3 lb. mussels, debearded
3 lb. clams
3 tbsp. butter or vegetable oil
1 link (5 inch) chorizo, chopped
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
3 scallions, minced
1 tsp. sweet paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. minced parsley
12 medium shrimp, peeled
12 to 16 bay scallops (or 6 large sea scallops)
12 green olives

Corn Topping

11 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
3/4 cup milk
12 large basil leaves
4 tbsp. butter (1/2 stick)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg, lightly beaten


1. Prepare the filling: In a large pot, combine wine and 1 cup water and bring to a rapid boil. Add mussels. Cover and steam for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring once or twice, until they are wide open. Transfer mussels to a colander. Add clams to cooking liquid and steam in the same manner until open. Transfer to the colander. Strain the cooking liquid and reserve. When the clams and mussels are cool enough to handle, pull the meats out of the shells and discard the shells.

2. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add chorizo, onion, and scallions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes. Season with paprika and cayenne. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and gradually stir in 1 1/2 cups of the reserved cooking liquid. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Add parsley.

3. Make the corn topping: Puree the corn kernels in batches, with milk and basil, in a blender or food processor. For a smoother texture press mixture throug a sieve.

4. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add corn puree and salt and pepper to taste. Stirring constantly with a spoon, add egg and cook over low heat until mixture has slightly thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Taste for seasoning.

5. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Divide mussel and clam meats, shrimp, and scallops evenly over 6 individual earthenware dishes (holding about 2 cups each). Ladle the chorizon sauce over seafood and place 2 olives in every dish. Cover with the corn puree. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until topping is lightly browned. Serve hot.