I absolutely adore the dialogue this humble newsletter engenders with readers. Susan Murphy from Long Island wrote me the following after receiving her Autumn issue of The Baking Sheet:
"...the recipe for the Potato Borek made me think of a recipe that I just found in a 1983 cookbook with international recipes from countries all over the world. I picked up the cookbook for $1.00 at a library in Rhode Island which sells books to raise money. One recipe in particular caught my attention for Sopa Paraguaya-Paraguayan Cornbread. The recipe consisted of onions, chopped and fried in oil, milk, salt, lard or vegetable oil, cheese, cottage cheese, cornmeal, and eggs. It was heavy on the fat and the onions. So I did a search on the Internet and came up with a few hits for Sopa Paraguaya, but none that sounded really good and at least somewhat healthy. Do you have any recipes for Sopa Paraguaya?"
Off I went on a recipe hunt. I found a number of recipes, each of which had something about it that appealed, but none that I was willing to buy into altogether. So I did some combining and morphing and testing. I learned that Paraguayan cornbread is often baked in the drippings from a roast chicken, which sounded mighty good to me; something like a Latin American Yorkshire pudding. Some recipes called for separating the eggs and folding them in, but that seemed a bit prissy for what was originally a sturdy country dish, often served next to a hearty beef soup or stew. As the recipe came together, I realized it was a nutritional powerhouse. One serving has practically all the whole grains you're supposed to be getting per day, there's lots of protein from the cheese, and with a couple of minor tweaks it can be made with very little cholesterol.
This is a dense, very moist, quite yummy dish. Perfect for winter with a roast, some chili, or some soup. I hope Susan and everyone else will find it as satisfying as we did.
Susan Reid, editor The Baking Sheet