Paraguayan Corn Torte
Chiya Guasu


Serves 6

This torte is one of the classic examples of what can be done with corn. I especially like this dish because of its versatility: it can be used as a main course for a meatless meal, as part of a buffet, or as a side dish for any fish or meat. Whichever way I serve it, it is always a hit. The classic cheese used for this torte is Chihuahua, but you can experiment with different cheeses, such as fontina, which works very well here.

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 medium-size onion, halved and thinly sliced into
  •      half-moons (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced leeks (white part and 1 inch of the green),
  •      washed well
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 to 8 ears corn (4 cups kernels), or one 20-ounce package frozen
  •     corn, thawed
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal mixed with 2 teaspoons baking powder
  •     and 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk 8 ounces fontina cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 7 x 11-inch baking dish.

2. In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the onion, leeks, and salt. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

3. In a food processor, process the corn until smooth. Add the butter, egg yolks, cornmeal mixture, and milk and process until well mixed. Add the fontina and pulse until the ingredients are well blended. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, add the onion mixture, and mix well.

4. In a medium-size mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Carefully fold into the corn mixture. Turn into the prepared baking dish, sprinkle evenly with the Parmesan, and bake in the middle of the oven until golden brown, about 45 minutes.

5. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before cutting into serving-size portions.

  • from:
  • The South American Table
  • The Flavor and Soul of Authentic Home Cooking
  • from Patagonia to Rio de Janeiro with 450 Recipes
  • by Maria Baez Kijac
  • Harvard Common Press
  • Paperback (2003)
  • ISBN-10: 1558322493
  • Recipe reprinted by permission.

Buy the Book

The South American Table


Visit Destinations page for more South American food by individual country.

This page modified February 2007

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