Serrano Ham and Poblan

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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2 large poblano chiles
2 cups fresh corn kernels (from 2 large ears) or frozen, thawed, divided
2 large eggs
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted, slightly cooled
1 tsp. salt
large pinch of baking powder
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup instant corn masa mix
4 oz. 1/4-inch-thick slices Serrano ham or prosciutto, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 cup coarsely grated Manchego cheese


Char the chiles over a gas flame or in the broiler until blackened on all sides. Enclose the chiles in a paper bag for 15 minutes, then peel and de-seed them, cutting lengthwise into 1/4-inch-wide strips.

Preheat an oven to 350F.

Generously butter a 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish and combine the 1-1/2 cups of corn, the eggs, and the next 3 ingredients in blender. Blend until almost smooth, then transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the sour cream and masa mix. Stir until blended, then stir in the ham, cheese, chiles, and remaining 1/2 cup of corn. Transfer the mixture to a prepared baking dish and bake until the corn pudding has puffed up and is golden brown in spots on top, about 40 minutes.

Recipe from Bon Appetiti Magazine, December 2005.