I remember the first time I made chile rellenos. I had a friend from work who was from Mexico and he offered to give me a class. At the time I was living in Boston and had probably hadn’t even eaten much Mexican food, let alone anything authentic. I was a willing student and was thrilled to learn a new recipe. Little did I know of the many steps involved in this classic dish-roasting and peeling the chiles, stuffing them with cheese, whipping egg whites, dipping the chiles, and finally frying them. I had never peeled a chile before, and back then this seemed like a huge chore, but I think it was the whipping of egg whites that put me over the top! At any rate, they were delicious and I was happy to have this recipe under my belt.
I am no longer a chile novice. Living in southern California, I have access to beautiful fresh chiles at the local farmers’ market and I frequently toss a few into my bag without having any plans for how I’ll use them. In the summer I love to stuff them with fresh corn and a little cheese. Other times I might make a rice filling with some spiced ground beef. This recipe comes from the August issue of Bon Appetit where they served it with grilled pork chops. I decided that it would be the perfect side dish to grilled flank steak and I was right.
Poblano Chiles Stuffed With Potatoes
6 large fresh poblano chiles, roasted and peeled*
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
12 ounces (about 2-1/2 cups) unpeeled yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/3″ cubes
1-1/4 cups coarsely grated sharp white cheddar
1 tablespoon fresh oregano
* I like to roast chiles over a hot grill until skin is blackened. Remove and place in a bag and let steam in bag for a few minutes and skin will peel off. You could also do this under the broiler.
Toast cumin seeds in a small skillet until slightly darkened and aromatic, about 1-2 minutes.
Cook potatoes in salted boiling water until just tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and cool. In a bowl toss potatoes with grated cheddar, cumin seeds, oregano and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Slice each chile down one side, remove seeds and stuff with potato cheese filling. The magazine calls for placing the chiles on foil and cooking them on the grill until the cheese is melted, for about 15 minutes, however I cooked mine in a baking dish in the oven.
Photo from Bon Appetit.