This South American specialty is easy and sure to please a crowd without the hassle of preparing individual tamales. Try it this Three Kings Day. Serves 6-8.
• 2 lbs. Boneless center pork chops, trimmed of fat
• 8 cups Water
• 1 Medium onion, diced
• 3 Garlic cloves, minced
• 2 tsp. Salt
• 1-12 oz. Bottle chili sauce
• 2 cups Milk
• 1 ½ cups Yellow cornmeal
• 1 Tbsp. Unsalted butter,
• 1-11 Canned sweet corn, drained
• 4-5 large Green olives with stuffed with pimento, sliced (optional)
• 1 cup Grated chipotle cheddar cheese or your favorite
• Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. In a large pot, bring pork, water, onion, garlic and 1 ½ teaspoons salt to boil. Simmer covered, about 2 hours or until meat is very tender.
2. Remove pork from broth and allow both meat and broth to cool. Once broth is cool, remove fat if necessary.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Shred the pork using 2 forks, discarding excess fat. Using the center cut of the pork chop reduces the fat calories.
4. In a medium sauce pan, warm chili sauce, add pork and 1 cup of the broth (include some of the diced onions). Simmer covered for 10 minutes.
5. Strain the remaining broth and reserve 2 cups.
6. In a large saucepan whisk together broth, milk, ½ teaspoon salt, and cornmeal and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking frequently.
7. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, whisking occasionally, until thick and smooth, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in butter.
8. Using cooking spray, lightly coat a deep casserole dish and spoon about ⅓ of the cornmeal mixture evenly over the bottom.
9. Like a lasagna, layer with pork mixture. Sprinkle corn and green over the top of the pork.
10. Then spoon the remaining cornmeal mixture evenly over the top of the casserole. Sprinkle with the cheddar and parmesan cheese.
11. Bake for 20-25 minutes until filling is bubbling and top is golden brown. May need to broil for last two minutes of cooking.
12. Let rest for 10 minutes and serve.
Elizabeth Carrion, a Dominican, co-founded Mi Cocina, a New Jersey-based catering service that also offers cooking classes, with her sister, Ana Martinez. Follow her on Twitter: @micocinalatina and visit her website micocina-latina.com.