The combination of fresh puréed chiles and tomatillos with roasted chiles and onion allows for both brightness and complex spice in this Tex-Mex play on corn bread. Monterey Jack cheese also adds a savory tang to the tender, slightly sweet bread. Incredibly addictive, this side dish is great plain or smothered in pepper jelly.
As you shop for this recipe, look for firm but not rock-hard tomatillos that still have their husks mainly intact. When roasting the peppers, don't be afraid to get char. After they steam in the tinfoil, the skin is easy to peel off, exposing the soft, roasted flesh.
To learn more, read "Snacks vs. Skins."
Green Chile and Tomatillo Corn Bread
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes, plus cooling time
2 poblano peppers—one whole and one halved, stemmed and seeded
2 jalapeño peppers—one whole and one halved, stemmed and seeded
½ medium white onion, peeled
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup cilantro leaves, loosely packed
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for greasing
4 small (8 ounces) tomatillos, husked and sliced in half
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup (4 ounces) grated Monterey Jack cheese
1. Set the oven to broil, with the rack about 6 inches away from the heat source. Line a baking sheet with foil. Roast the whole poblano pepper, the whole jalapeño pepper and the onion, turning occasionally, until evenly blistered and blackened in some spots, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully gather the edges of the foil to enclose the roasted peppers and onion. Allow to cool completely, then stem, peel, seed and roughly chop the peppers, and roughly chop the onion. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, lower the oven to 350º and grease an 8-inch square baking dish. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cumin.
3. In a blender, purée the remaining halved poblano and halved jalapeño, the buttermilk, cilantro, melted butter, tomatillos and egg until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and slowly fold in the dry ingredients until just incorporated. Stir in the chopped, roasted peppers and onion along with the cheese.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting into squares and serving.
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