1 fresh jalapeño chili, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded jack cheese
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper
8 fresh poblano chilies (2 lb. total; also called pasillas)
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 can (4 oz.) chopped green chilies
1/2 cup half-and-half (light cream)
How to Make It
In a 2- to 3-quart pan over medium-high heat, stir cornmeal, 1 1/2 cups water, milk, 3 tablespoons butter, 1/2 cup corn, red bell pepper, and jalapeño until mixture bubbles and cornmeal no longer feels gritty, about 5 minutes.
Stir 3/4 cup cheese and cilantro into cornmeal mixture. Let stand until just cool to touch. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
About 1/2 inch below stems, cut tops crosswise off poblanos; save tops. With a fork, scrape out and discard seeds and pith. Holding a chili upright, spoon in cornmeal mixture, pushing gently with spoon and shaking gently to fill chili to rim. Replace poblano tops and secure with toothpicks.
Lay poblanos on their sides in a shallow 10- by 15-inch casserole. Cover tightly with foil and bake in a 375° oven until chilies are tender when pierced, 40 to 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a 1- to 2-quart pan over medium heat, frequently stir onion in remaining butter until limp, 8 to 10 minutes. Add canned chilies, remaining 1/2 cup corn, remaining 3/4 cup cheese, and half-and-half; stir until cheese melts, 1 to 2 minutes.
Remove toothpicks from poblanos and spoon sauce over chilies. Add salt and pepper to taste.
What a disappointment! I only had 6 poblano peppers to begin with and after making the filling I only had enough for 5 of the peppers even though the recipe calls for 8. So I made a second batch of the filling and used some extra anaheim peppers I had on hand. Doubling the filling gave me enough for 6 poblano peppers and 6 large anaheim peppers and about 1/2 cup left over. The filling tasted great, everything smelled great and I was so excited to eat them! What a mess. When the timer beeped I opened the oven to find that all of the filling had oozed out into the pan. It was like a bunch of peppers in a sea of thick soup. The filling did not set up at all. We ate them anyway and the flavor was very good but it certainly was NOT a tamale inside of a pepper! I am going to try this recipe once more, doubling the filling and doing some major tweaks to thicken it up. Hopefully it will work.
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