Sauteed Corn with Chiles and Bacon
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.
This recipe yields about 6 sidedish-sized servings.
3 slices of bacon
1 small onion (we like purple onion in this dish, but any variety, including scallions, will work)
2 garlic cloves
1 small red bell pepper
1 Poblano pepper
1 to 3 jalapeño peppers (to taste)
salt to taste (maybe ¼ teaspoon of Kosher salt, or about half that if using regular table salt; see Notes)
freshly ground black pepper to taste (several grinds for us)
3 to 4 cups sweet corn (frozen or kernels cut from fresh corn; see Notes)
garnish of jalapeño pepper and/or onion slices (optional)
Slice the bacon into pieces of 1-inch or a bit smaller. Place the bacon pieces in a large frying pan on medium heat, then cook them until nicely browned (8 minutes or so).
Meanwhile, peel the onion and cut it into dice of ½ inch or less. Set aside.
Peel the garlic and mince finely. Set aside.
Wash the red bell pepper and the Poblano pepper, then remove the stems and core. Chop the peppers into dice of ½ inch or so. Set aside.
Wash the jalapeño peppers and cut them lengthwise. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the ribs and seeds (be careful, the oil on these is hot; keep fingers away from your eyes). Chop the peppers into very small dice (or use a mini food processor; you may want to reserve a round or two of the jalapeño as a garnish). Set the diced peppers aside, then wash your hands with soap and water to remove the hot jalapeño oil from your skin.
By now the bacon should be nicely browned. Remove the bacon pieces from the frying pan with a slotted spoon and allow them to drain on paper towels. Spoon most of the bacon drippings out of the pan, leaving a tablespoon or so. Add the diced onion, garlic, and peppers to the frying pan. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sauté the mixture until the onion is translucent—5 minutes or so.
Meanwhile, measure out the corn (if you’re using fresh corn, cut the kernels from the ears; see Notes). When the onion is ready, add the corn to the pan. Cook until just done—usually 2 or 3 minutes.
Add the drained bacon pieces back to the pan, stir to incorporate, and taste. Adjust seasoning if necessary, and serve. We like to garnish with slices of jalapeño and/or onion.