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Poblano Tortilla Gratin

September 27, 2011

Last weekend we got a couple poblano peppers in our CSA box, but there’s not much you can do with just 2 peppers, so I picked up a few more at the market. While I love my recipe for polenta with poblanos, I wanted to try something new this time! My Gourmet Today cookbook has a whole chapter dedicated to vegetarian entrees, and this recipe caught my attention because I also had a large bag of corn tortillas in the freezer that I had been wanting to use.

The final result was like a enchilada casserole, very cheesy and delicious! Poblano peppers have a mild flavor distinct from green bell peppers, and this flavor is brought out by roasting. Although there aren’t a lot of ingredients or complex steps, each step of this recipe does take some time. So to prepare it more quickly and efficiently, you can make the filling and sauce while the tortillas are in the oven, so the whole recipe should only take about an hour if the peppers are roasted ahead of time. Don’t worry about cooling the tortillas completely before assembling the gratin. If I ever make it again I will probably slightly reduce the amount of milk, as the sauce was pretty thin even with the large amount of cheese in it. However, it did firm up after cooling slightly and was fine when reheated the next day.

Poblano tortilla gratin

Serves 4

Ingredients

Filling

  • 9 (6- to 7-inch) corn tortillas
  • 3/4  pound poblano chiles, roasted and peeled
  • 2  tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2  cups chopped white onions
  • 1  tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1  teaspoon salt
  • 1  (14- to 15-ounce) can stewed tomatoes, diced

Sauce and topping

  • 2  tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2  tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2  cups whole milk
  • 3  cups coarsely grated cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (about 12 ounces)
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon pepper

Directions

  1. Toast the tortilla wedges: Put racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Stack tortillas and cut into 8 wedges. Spread tortilla triangles in one layer on two large baking sheets and bake, stirring occasionally and switching position of pans halfway through baking, until crisp and pale golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool tortillas. (Leave oven on.)
  2. Prepare the chiles: Open chiles and spread flat; discard seeds and stems and cut out ribs. Cut chiles lengthwise into 1/4-inch-wide strips. Reserve about 1/4 cup for garnish.
  3. Make the filling: Heat oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderately low heat until hot but not smoking. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in salt, tomatoes with juice, and remaining poblano strips and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Make the sauce: Melt butter in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes to make a roux. Add milk in a steady stream, whisking, and continue to cook and whisk constantly for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and gradually add 2 cups of the cheese, stirring until cheese is melted, then add salt and pepper.
  5. Assemble and bake: Arrange half the tortillas in a greased 2-quart or other shallow baking dish. Spoon filling evenly over top. Cover with remaining tortillas. Pour sauce over tortillas (tips of tortillas will stick up) and sprinkle with remaining cup cheese and reserved poblano strips. Bake, uncovered, in upper third of oven until gratin is bubbling and top is golden, about 30 minutes.

One comment

  1. Unfortunately, the 2nd closest option, Anaheim peppers is not always available in my neighborhood Walmart for whatever reason.



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