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Sopa Paraguaya – Paraguayan Corn Bread

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sopa-paraguaya-paraguayan-soup-polenta-cornmeal-corn-bread

This delicious South American corn bread recipe has slowly cooked onions and mozarella cheese. Serve as a side dish for stews (that's how the Paraguayans enjoy it) or grill and serve as an appetizer with salsa fresca.

Serves 12

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 2 ½ cups mozzarella cheese, roughly grated
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 eggs, separated

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. If using a convection oven preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Grease a loaf pan with 1 tablespoon butter. Set aside.

In a large sauce pan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over low heat and add onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft, 7 minutes. Stir milk to pan and allow to heat without boiling. Slowly add cornmeal, ¼ cup at a time, stirring constantly until smooth (mixture should become really thick, but smooth). Remove from heat and stir in cheese, remaining butter, and egg yolks. Season with salt and pepper.

Place egg whites in a clean bowl. Using a hand mixer, beat eggs until soft peaks form, 3 to 4 minutes. Gently fold in egg whites to cornmeal mixture, until incorporated, being careful not to over mix.  

Pour mixture into pre-prepared loaf pan. If using a regular oven, bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center turns out clean. If using a convection oven, bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center turns out clean.

Remove from oven and turn out into a carving board and allow cooling for a few minutes before slicing. Serve as a side dish for stews or as an appetizer topped with fresh herbs and tomatoes.

Cook’s Note:

For a quick and delicious twist: turn on gas grill to high and grill the slices of corn bread on both sides, 1 ½ minutes per side. Top with fresh salsa and serve immediately.

This Paraguayan corn bread recipe is a staple in that country! Named Sopa Paraguaya, which translates to "Paraguayan Soup", this bread has also become popular in a region of Brazil called Mato Grosso do Sul that makes boarder with Paraguay. My father used to own a cattle ranch in that region and this recipe reminds me of those fun days I used to spend there as a child.

sopa-paraguaya-paraguayan-corn-bread

Despite the firmer consistency, the texture of this bread is like of a really flufy polenta.

sopa-paraguaya

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