Thursday, September 22, 2011

Notes from Nikki-Potatoes and Roasted Poblano Gratin

Potato and Roasted Poblano Gratin
You may have noticed a decrease in my posts since the advent of fall (and by that I mean post Labor Day). For those of you who don't know me, I have four children that I homeschool. Those four children are also involved in a plethora of activities (dance, sports, drum lessons, attending programming at Open Connections [a resource center for homeschoolers], etc). I also work part-time as a teacher at Open Connections, and am a doula and lactation consultant with Well Born Baby (even though I am a busy mama, I am still taking clients... please send me your referrals :-) []). Yes, my plate is oh so full (no pun intended), and my time in the kitchen has been limited as a result. So, what does any of this have to do with Potato and Roasted Poblano Gratin? Well, besides providing an explanation for my lack of recipes this month, I also realize that I'm not the only one who is feeling frazzled this time of the year. As the lazy days of summer draw to a close and our schedules become a bit more demanding, we all start to feel tapped out. I don't know about you, but this causes me to crave some serious comfort food. This dish provides just that, comfort. It's warm and heavy and satisfying, just what my body and soul are craving at this time of the year when the days are suddenly shorter and the nights are colder, and by nightfall, I'm simply tuckered out. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. The roasted poblanos really set if off, so I wouldn't suggest leaving them out or using them fresh. Roasting them gives the dish a depth that wouldn't be possible with fresh peppers. Enjoy!

1 large (or 2 small) yellow onions, chopped
2-3 cloves of minced garlic
3-4 lbs. of potatoes (I used a combination of new purple and red potatoes from our Inverbrook share that have been patiently waiting on my kitchen counter), boiled until tender and sliced 1/8-1/4" thick
2-3 T extra virgin olive oil
6 small poblano chile peppers (anaheims will also work for a milder version), roasted under a broiler until charred on all sides, steamed in a covered bowl for 10 minutes, and then stemmed, skinned, seeded, and chopped (wear gloves, trust me)
1.5 C fresh or frozen corn kernels (thawed if frozen)
2 C half and half
Sea salt
1.5-2 C shredded Mexican cheese of your choice (I used a combination of jack, manchego, and anejo)
1 T butter
1. Preheat the oven to 375.
2. Saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet.
3. Add in the roasted chiles and corn, stirring to incorporate.
4. Add in the potato slices, tossing to coat. Season generously with sea salt.
5. Turn off the heat and set aside.
6. Butter a deep casserole dish, and fill with the potato mixture. Press the mixture down into the pan so that it is evenly distributed.
7. Drizzle the half and half over the potato mixture, and top with the cheese.
8. Bake until the gratin is bubbling and the cheese is melted and browned a bit (about 30 minutes).
Serves 8-10

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