I am on a chile and corn kick. Chiles, corn and cheese to be more precise. This is something that I have been wanting to make for quite sometime but it has been difficult for me to find enough good poblano peppers at a price that I can afford. Finally I hit the mother load and picked up a dozen peppers. My grocery store will no doubt soon put the peppers on an even better super sale to clear out the rest of the foreign peppers.
Ok, not completely foreign but not a common cooking pepper around here either. Sometimes this helps me. I will buy the wrinkly peppers on sale for roasting and storing. I also buy the soon to be black plantains when they go on sale because the grocery manager doesn’t know that is prime picking. These super sale racks are a good source for stale doughnuts (bread pudding!) and day old bakery bread. Remember when you could ask and they would just give the old bread to you?
So here I am with my first round of peppers, the short and chubbiest of which are reserved for baked chile renellos/poblanos. Relleno means stuffed and could refer to any variety of stuffed pepper. Chile poblano is, as it says specifically the stuffed poblano pepper.
This is such a favorite of mine that I like to think I made it up myself. Every variation I serve gets credit as original right? As it happens, mom made it growing up. Now that I think about it, there was one night when I lucked out to be the one person with the rare truly spicy poblano. My nose ran and I drank lots of milk while the family teased me until someone else tried the pepper and then promptly reached for the empty milk carton. haHA! Who laughed last?!
Typically the Poblano is a mildly spicy pepper, not a hot-as-Hades variety. But every now and again, they will get ya.
The whole family makes their own baked chiles in cornbread and this is one version I share with you. Feel free to change up the flavors. Try a beef and cheese pepper with fresh corn in the corn bread or BBQ chicken with onions and chipotle corn bread. Fillings should be pre-cooked.
- 3 ears of corn roasted and cut off the cob
- 1/2c cherry tomatoes
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1Tb cilantro, roughly chopped
- +1c shredded jack or cheddar cheese
Season the tomatoes, onion and garlic and place together under broiler to roast. Roast, turning until skins blacken.
Dice roasted onion and add to a bowl along with the tomatoes, corn, garlic and cilantro. Give it a good stir then add cheese. Mix it all together.
Select 6-8 poblano peppers to fit into your cast iron skillet. I place my raw peppers in the pan to test fit them. Arrange them into a spoke pattern, fitting the peppers preferably so none over lap. More space between peppers equals more cornbread.
Roast the peppers until almost black. This can be done in a cast iron skillet or under the broiler. Avoid over roasting as the peppers might become too soft to handle. Peel and discard skins to the stock pot.
Stuff the peppers through a slit in the tip or side of pepper. Take advantage of any tears in the skin rather than slitting the pepper open further. Stuff the filling into the cavity of the pepper until plump. Place stuffed peppers into pan in spoke patter. Never mind the tears; they will be covered with cornbread batter.
- 1c corn flour (or a.p. flour)
- 1c corn meal
- 3Tb baking powder
- 1ts salt
- pinch sugar
- 1 egg
- 1c milk
- 1/4c oil
Whisk together Dry. In a separate bowl, whisk egg. Add milk and oil
Stir Wet into Dry.
Pour batter over top of stuffed chilies placed into the cast iron. Fill no more than ½” from the rim of the pan. With a spoon, cover peppers with mixture making sure that the ends and tops are coated with batter.
Upon pulling the hot pan out of the oven, grate cheese over the top of the dish, allowing to melt. Serve by cutting wedges of cornbread that include 1-2s pepper per person, garnish with cilantro and sour cream.
We eat this as a one pot meal on the first night and have the leftovers with a side of steak for the second night. For three nights of related meals, marinate the steak while you make the chile filling. Cook up and slice the extra steak on the second night, and slice and serve it the third night with the leftover corn mix for tacos.