I'm torn. I conceived of this as a gratin, made with sliced potatoes, but then I was tempted by fabulous fingerling potatoes at the market and made it more like a casserole, with the potatoes chopped up instead. Good thing I was distracted - the result of potatoes, sweet corn, and roasted chiles with a bit of cream and plenty of cheese on top was a winner.
Most people would experience this as a side dish, but it works as a main dish - with a salad or sautéed greens on the side - at my house on a harried weekday night. Leftovers with a fried egg make an awfully tasty breakfast, lunch, or simple dinner.
Feel free to make things cheesier, adding layers of about 1/2 cup grated cheese each in with the vegetables as you assemble the casserole.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings
- 2 to 4 poblano or Anaheim chiles (large green chiles are what you're looking for)
- 2 ears sweet corn
- 4 medium potatoes or equivalent in fingerling or butterball potatoes
- 1/2 cup heavy cream or chicken stock
- Butter for the pan
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- About 1 cup grated Monterey jack cheese
- First you need to roast the chiles. If you have a gas stove, set the whole chiles directly over a flame until charred, and turn to char all the sides. If you don't have a gas stove, heat the broiler. Core the chiles (removing the stem, core, and seeds), cut them in half lengthwise, press them flat - skin side up - on a baking sheet and set under the broiler until charred. Let the charred chiles sit for 10 to 15 minutes and then remove the blackened skin (you can do this under cool running water, if you like). Chop the chiles, put them in a large bowl, and set them aside.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. While it heats, cut the corn kernels from the cobs. Use a large hole grater to then grate the cobs to remove any remaining corn milk and bits of tender kernel. Add the corn to the chiles.
- Scrub the potatoes clean but leave the skins on. Chop them into bite-size pieces and add them to the chiles and corn. Add the cream and toss everything to combine.
- Butter a baking dish that will accommodate the vegetables. Layer in about 1/3 of the vegetables and sprinkle liberally with salt and a few grind of pepper. Layer with another 1/3 of the vegetables and salt and pepper. Top with the final portion of potatoes, corn, and chiles. Drizzle any remaining liquid in the bowl over the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper and cover with the cheese.
- Bake until the potatoes are tender and the cheese if melted and browning, about 45 minutes. Serve hot or warm.