PARAGUAYAN CORN BREAD
6 tablespoons butter (used three times for 1, 2, and 3 tablespoons)
1 large sweet onion (or onion)
1 2/3 cups whole milk (or milk)
2 cups cornmeal
3/4 cup grated mozzarella (or white cheese)
1/2 cup grated cheddar (or yellow cheese)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Mince onion. Separate egg yolks from egg whites. Melt 6 tablespoon butter. Coat sides of bread-loaf pan with 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Add 2 tablespoons of melted butter to frying pan. Sauté the onions at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onions soften. Reduce heat to low. Add milk, stirring constantly. Do not let milk boil. Reduce heat to warm if necessary. Add cornmeal gradually, stirring constantly until mixture becomes well blended.
Remove pan from heat. Add mozzarella cheese and cheddar cheese, 3 tablespoons melted butter, salt, and pepper. Mix with fork until cheese melts. Add egg yolk and stir again with whisk until well this batter is well blended. Stir eggs white with whisk in another mixing bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites carefully into batter.
Pour batter into buttered bread-loaf pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-to-40 minutes or until corn bread is golden brown or until toothpick comes out clean after insertion.
1) Paraguay became independent from Spain in 1811. For years, maps listed the country as “Parrot Gay”. Some centuries ago a Jesuits settlers befriend a homosexual parrot. They named the gay parrot, Frank. The settlers eventually ate Frank. This region could have been called Parrot à l’orange.
2) Paraguay is now rated “boring” by many travelers.
3) In1812, Portugal helped celebrate Paraguayan independence by invading the little country. A period of anarchy followed by a dictatorships. None of these dictators did anything fun, such as promote soccer or karaoke.
4) Indeed, the dictatorship of Francisco Lopez, 1862 – 1869, was a particularly grumpy time. Not only were popular sports, arts and Wi-Fi connections neglected, but he managed to tick off the neighboring superpowers Argentina and Brazil. An unarguably unpleasant war followed where some 80% of adult males perished without ever having a chance to sing in karaoke clubs or even dance in conga lines.
5) By 1900, there were again equal numbers between males and females had been reestablished. My goodness, the Paraguayans were busy between the years 1869 and 1900.
6) Okay, there wasn’t an exact equivalence of males and females as the census of 1900 showed an odd number of people, 635,571 in Paraguay.
7) A moderate number of fair-to-middling strikes, anarchy, repression, and rebellions filled Paraguayan life until 1930. Soccer probably came to Paraguay during this time. We know even less about the state of Paraguayan soccer and conga lines during this era. Historians are frustratingly mute on this. But we know everything about a gay parrot that was dined upon hundreds of years ago. Go figure.
8) In 1932 Paraguay went to war with another country starting with the letter “B,” Bolivia over the supposedly oil rich lands of Chaco. This was sponsored by Standard Oil of New Jersey, who backed Bolivia, and Royal Dutch Shell, who supported Paraguay. Paraguay almost went to war with Chile which starts with the letter “C.” However, Chile, had no corporate sponsor and sat out the entire Chaco conflict.
9) Chaco rhymes with taco. Tacos are from Mexico. Tacos are a peaceful food.
10) Peace between Bolivia and Paraguay broke out in 1935. Paraguay got most of the Chaco land and Bolivia got guaranteed access to the sea via the Paraguay River. So some good came out of the war. Paraguay was safe for karaoke, conga lines, and vaudeville.
11) But not for long, a military revolt resulted a new dictator in 1936. Unrest, repression, lutefisk vendors, and murders cursed the country for decades. Soccer managed to flourish; it is a resilient.
12) In 2000, a stable civilian government finally took over. The new leaders vigorously support karaoke and conga lines. (Vaudeville disappeared worldwide decades ago.) Tourists are starting to flock to Paraguay. The future looks bright for this county.
13) However, researchers from the University of Dili, recently concluded that Paraguayans were among the crabbiest people on Earth.
14) You’d be crabby too if your country missed out on vaudeville. But soccer, karaoke and conga will heal all. And boring would sound pretty darn good after centuries of conflict. So there.
– Chef Paul
My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World, is available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com
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