Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Chile Cheese Gratin with Chorizo

All summer I've struggled with how to use all the peppers I've been getting from our CSA. My kids don't eat spicy foods (what a bummer!) and since I don't make a separate meal for the kids, I don't usually use the peppers, unless they are the bell peppers (I've found even some of the so called sweet peppers are too hot for my kids). Then, I found this recipe. I was excited to find a side dish that used lots of peppers. In fact, I bought a couple of Hatch chile peppers to supplement the peppers I had in my fridge.

Curtis and I both really liked this. I don't know how often I'll make it, especially with the chorizo, because between the chorizo and cheese, it is rather greasy. I was glad I served it with a meal that otherwise had no meat and low fat. M wanted to eat it too, because of the tortilla chips on top, so she ate the top cheesy tortilla layer. The original recipe doesn't call for the chorizo (it is listed as a variation), so feel free to leave that out. This recipe serves 3 - 4 people as a side.

Chile Cheese Gratin with Chorizo
from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman

1 T olive oil
6 poblano peppers or other mild fresh chiles or bell peppers, roasted and cleaned
up to 1/2 lb Mexican chorizo, crumbled (optional)
1 c tomatoes, chopped (canned tomatoes work great too)
1 1/2 c cheddar, Monterey Jack , or cojita cheese (or a mixture), grated
1/4 c fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 c tortilla chips, crushed

Cook the chorizo in a skillet until browned. Cut the chiles into large chunks. Layer the chiles, then chorizo, tomatoes, and cheese, sprinkling layers occasionally with cilantro, in a 1 1/2 qt casserole or gratin dish. Top with the tortilla chips. Bake in a preheated 375 degrees oven for 25 minutes until cheese is melted, bubbling, and browned. Serve immediately with a dollop of cream cheese (optional)


laura said...

Hey there--
Found your blog via the Johnson's Backyard blog. I, too, have a ton of peppers they gave me and I don't tend to eat spicy foods and have no idea what to do with all of them! I even had to google 'poblano' pepper so I would know which one it is.

Anyway, all of that to say, I don't think I have enough for this recipe and I don't really want to buy extra peppers (since I already have approximately 20!). Are there any of the rest that you think would work?

And....I happen to be a cooking idiot, but I'm trying to learn! So when you say roast and clean the peppers....well, can you be a little more specific for us dummies out there? :)

Melani said...

In the labels (to the right of the posts), click on Poblano Peppers or just peppers and several other recipes will pop up--I really like the chiles en nogadas and the poblano chicken enchiladas. The directions for roasting the peppers are in the poblano chicken enchiladas recipes, but I'll post those separately again in the next few days. The cilantro pecan pesto also uses poblanos and is very similar to the pesto by the same name you can buy at Central Market.