Chile Cheese Cornbread

This chile pepper is often mislabeled ‘Pasilla’, which is a different pepper entirely.It is one of the most popular chiles in Mexico and has won the appreciation of many a chef worldwide because of the superior flavor it has over regular bell peppers.

They have a tough outer skin that usually requires roasting and peeling before use. These very large chile peppers are most popular in chiles rellenos recipes, but cooking with these as a substitute for bell peppers in any recipe will enhance the flavor.

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3 poblano chiles (about 7 ounces total)
1 cup yellow cornmeal (preferably organic and stone ground)
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour (I use King Arthur)
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup (packed) grated extra-sharp cheddar
cheese with small pieces of the cheddar cheese mixed in (about 5-6 ounces total) * I used the larger grater holes to grate the cheese
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled


Char chiles over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. Enclose in paper bag let stand 10 minutes. Peel, seed and chop chiles.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter 9 x 5 x 2 3/4-inch metal loaf pan. Whisk cornmeal and next 5 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Stir in cheese. Whisk buttermilk, eggs and butter in another medium bowl to blend. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients and stir just until blended. Mix in chiles. Transfer batter to prepared pan.

Bake bread until deep golden brown on top and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. (* Original recipe called for 45 minutes baking time, however, mine cooked in 30 minutes). Cool in pan on rack 10 minutes. Turn bread out onto rack and cool completely. The cornbread is better the second day and will hold well wrapped and stored properly. (It can be prepared 2 weeks ahead. Wrap in foil freeze. Unwrap and thaw at room temperature.)