For 6 people
- 1 large tomato or 4 plum tomatoes (about 3/4 pound)
- 6 medium fresh poblano peppers
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered
- 2 large cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 3 cups cooked cheddar cheese grits (recipe follows)
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup coarsely grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1. Core the tomato with a sharp paring knife. Arrange the tomato, pepper, onion, and garlic in a 9-x-13-inch roasting pan, with the peppers gathered at one end. Brush all the vegetables with the olive oil, and sprinkle them with salt. Slide the pan under the broiler (about 3 inches from the flame or heating element), with the peppers nearest you; you’ll be turning them frequently as they roast. Turn the peppers every 3 minutes until their skins are blistered and blackened all over, about 9 minutes total. Transfer the peppers to a large bowl. Transfer the tomato, onion, and garlic to a medium bowl, and let them cool. Set aside the roasting pan. I did find it easier to cut one small side of the pepper off, remove the seeds, and boil it for a few minutes, instead of roasting the pepper.
2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
3. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, gently massage their skins to remove them and discard. Cut a 3-inch slit down the side of each pepper and gently spoon out the seeds and any whitish, fibrous veins. Fill each pepper with 1/2 cup cheese grits, and place in the roasting pan.
4. When the tomato, onion and garlic have cooled, remove the skins from the tomato and garlic. Process the tomato, onion and garlic in a blender or food processor, about 30 seconds. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the peppers.
5. Bake the peppers on the middle rack until the tomato sauce bubbles gently, about 15 minutes. Scatter the cheese on top, and place the pan under the broiler about 2 inches from the flame or heating element until the cheese has browned.
6. Serve immediately.
- 2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste
- 1 cup stone-ground yellow grits
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels (fresh off the cob tasted amazing)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup grated pepper jack cheese (about 3 ounces)
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
2. Reduce the heat to medium low, and cook the grits, stirring frequently, for 40 to 45 minutes, until they are thick-soupy and the grains are tender to the bite. Stir in the milk and corn kernels, and cook for about 2 minutes to warm the corn.3. Remove the grits from the heat, stir in the butter, pepper Jack and pepper, and continue to stir until butter and cheese are melted. Season to taste. If the grits are stiff (rather than loose and creamy), stir in more milk to loosen them. I then served it with this great black bean recipe:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 large jalapeño chili, seeded, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon (generous) ground cumin
- 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed, drained
- 1 14 1/2-ounce can low-salt chicken broth (I used vegetable broth)
- Fresh lime juice
- Chopped fresh cilantro