Although empanadas tend to steal the show, tartas (savory tarts or pies) are just about the next best thing when you’re craving a combination of flaky dough and hearty filling. What they lack in portability, they make up for in ease of preparation. Instead of stuffing, folding and crimping a dozen or so empanadas, you merely whip up your filling and pour it into the pie shell. Tartas always appear on the menu at Argentine rotiserías (take-out joints), and the variety of options available for fillings rivals that of empanadas, with veggies generally taking center stage.
This tarta de pollo y choclo, or chicken and corn pie, makes for a great light meal together with a green salad and a crusty piece of bread. If you’re in a hurry to get food on the table, use a rotisserie chicken rather than poach the chicken.
1 round of ready-made pie crust or masa para tartas
1 tablespoon butter
2 stalks green onion, chopped (both green and white part)
¾ cup chopped red pepper
1½ cups canned corn
2 chicken breasts, poached and shredded (roughly 3 cups)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 cup cream cheese, softened or queso crema (available in Argentina as Casancrem, Mendicrem)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased 9-inch pie dish. Fold any excess dough under itself and crimp the edges decoratively. Prick the dough lightly with a fork all over. Bake the crust until the edges begin to brown, pressing the bottom and sides of the crust occasionally with the back of a fork, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly.
2. Reduce the oven temperature to 325ºF.
3. Over medium heat, melt the butter in a medium skillet and sauté the green onion and red pepper until soft. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, add the corn, chicken, parsley, green onion and red pepper. Stir to combine and season the mixture with salt and black pepper to taste. Add the cream cheese and eggs to the chicken mixture. Mix thoroughly and pour the mixture into the pre-baked shell, smoothing the top.
4. Bake the tart in the middle of the oven for 35-40 minutes or until the filling is set. Cover the crust with aluminum foil if it begins to get too dark. Allow the tart to rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.