Masa Cornbread Stuffing with Chiles

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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1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3 cups chopped white onions
5 garlic cloves, minced
18 ounces fresh Anaheim chiles (about 6 large), seeded, chopped (scant 4 cups)
18 ounces fresh poblano chiles, seeded, chopped (about 3 cups)
4 large fresh jalapeño chiles, seeded (if desired), chopped (about 1 cup)
1 1/2 tablespoons ground New Mexico chiles
1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 13 x 9-inch loaf Masa Cornbread , cut into 1-inch cubes (12 to 13 cups)
6 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, cut into 1/3-inch cubes (optional)
4 large eggs
1 cup low-salt chicken broth


Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic, and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add all chiles and sauté until beginning to soften, 12 to 14 minutes. Stir in ground chiles and next 4 ingredients. Transfer vegetable mixture to bowl. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, then cover and chill.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter 15 x 10 x 2- inch glass baking dish. Stir cilantro into vegetable mixture. Place cornbread cubes in very large bowl, and add vegetable mixture and toss gently. Toss in cheese, if using. Whisk eggs and broth in medium bowl, then pour over stuffing and toss gently to moisten. Transfer stuffing to prepared dish. Cover dish with buttered foil, buttered side down.

Bake stuffing until heated through, about 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake until top is golden, about 30 minutes longer.