Poblano Potato Corn Chowder
I love revisiting the flavors of home. Nothing tastes like New Mexico quite like roasted green chiles. For this recipe I use poblanos, which have a beautiful flavor and they are more widely available than New Mexico Hatch, which is very specific to the region. In the fall as you drive through Santa Fe, you can smell folks roasting their green chile harvest over open fire. I spent many afternoons as a child peeling and seeding roasted chile to be frozen and used all winter long. Roasting the poblanos in the oven gives that wonderful smoky taste, I’ve found the best way to peel and stem them is to do it submerged in a bowl of water. The seeds and peel parts just ‘rinse’ right off. preferred cooking oil 1 small yellow onion, about 1 cup when chopped finely 3 celery stalks, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 tsp salt 2 bay leaves 2 teaspoons cumin 1 teaspoon oregano (mexican oregano if available) 2 teaspoons salt 2 yukon gold potatoes, washed and cubed into approximately 1/2 inch cubes 4 cups Veggie broth or water 3 small poblano peppers 1 1/2 cups frozen or fresh corn kernels garnish with a squeeze of lime and a few leaves of fresh cilantro salt and pepper as desired
1. Preheat the oven to 400, place the poblanos on a lined baking sheet in the oven, turning occasionally until all sides are showing blackened spots and you can see the skin peeling away from the pepper.
2. Remove from heat, and place into a paper bag for 10 minutes. This helps the skin separate from the pepper. Dunk the pepper in a bowl of cold water, and peel and remove the seeds/stems. Then finely chop.
3. Heat oil in a medium sized soup pot, add onions and celery. Stirring occasionally until the celery is turning translucent. Add garlic, salt, bay leaves, cumin, and oregano. Stir for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes and water/broth, bring to a simmer and cook for 8 - 10 more minutes until the potatoes are tender. Add corn and chopped chili. Garnish and serve.
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Illustration by Beth Sworobok