Thanks to Pamela Palma for sending me the Pastel de Choclo recipe, which is what I originally set out to make, but then came across a variation at the bottom of the recipe and decided on Pastel de Papas instead.
This is a Chilean dish usually made with ground beef. It's kinda like Shepperd's Pie Latin style. One of the foods I most dislike in the world is ground beef. As a child growing up poor, all we ever ate was ground beef via hamburger helper or fast food burgers. Once I started working and was able to afford my own meals, I swore off the stuff, only rarely to have a hamburger maybe twice a year. Now that I'm in my mid-30's, I can eat a few more hamburgers (kobe beef preferred:-) but I still refuse to buy and/or cook with ground beef.
My choice of ground meat: ground chicken.
This recipe was fairly simple, pretty tasty, although a bit overpowering on the cumin, and the potato cauliflower topping went really well with the chicken filling. I did make quite a few changes, the chicken for one, then for the potato topping I wanted to get more veggies in so I substituted half cauliflower for the mash. Next time I will also add some cayenne pepper for some heat. I served this with a simple side salad for greens.
Pastel de Papas y Coliflor
2-3 Tbsp Oil (Olive)
1/2 Onion (Chopped)
1/2 Tsp Crushed Garlic
1 lb Ground Chicken
1 Tbsp Paprika
1Tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 Tsp Cumin
1 Tsp Oregano
1 C Chicken Stock
1 Tbsp Flour
Salt & Pepper to Taste
-Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the Onion and sauté until translucent.
-Stir in the Garlic and sauté for another 1-2 minutes.
-Add the Ground Meat & Spices and sauté, breaking up the meat, until it is just cooked through, 6-8 minutes.
-Pour in the Stock and bring to a simmer. Sprinkle Flour over all and stir in well. Simmer for another 5-8 minutes until lightly thickened. Adjust seasoning, remove from heat and pour into an 8x8 baking dish then set aside.
2 Russet Potatoes (Small-Medium Size, Boiled & Peeled)
1/3 Head Cauliflower (Chopped & Steamed)
1/2 C Milk (Non-Fat)
1/4 C Mozzarella (Shredded)
1 Egg (Beaten, then Set Aside)
Salt & White Pepper to Taste
-Dice Potatoes & Cauliflower in a large mixing bowl. Add Milk and Mash (I used a hand mixer to whip it together)
-Add Cheese and mix in, then add Beaten Egg and S&P to taste.
-Once all mixed together, pour on top of meat and spread out evenly over dish.
-Bake at 375 for 40 mins.