Roasted Poblano Pepper Farmer’s Market Burrito! (Poblastically Pepptastic!)

Awww, yeah.  This ain’t your mama’s burrito, people.  THIS burrito is wrapped inside a ROASTED POBLANO PEPPER from the Farmer’s Market!  Kin ‘Ah git a UNGH UNGH!!



Yes, Sunday is Farmer’s Market Day here in Hollywood, California, and I found myself hypnotized by this gorgeous poblano pepper!  (So much so, that apparently I am unable to take a photo that isn’t blurry.)  Chiles Rellenos are my fave Mexican meal, so I have quite the love for the poblano, but had never tried cooking with one myself.  Still, the bumpy, crazy green guy stared up at me longingly, saying “Please Punky Chef, take me home.  I promise to be FABULOUS for you.”  Really, it said that to me.  I mean, just look at it:

Please, lady.  Make me somethin' SPECIAL, won't you?

Please, lady. Make me somethin' SPECIAL, won't you?

How could I resist?  Plus, once I lifted it to my punky nose and inhaled that sweet, tangy, spicy, slightly smoky aroma, the deal was signed.  And then I tried to stuff the little guy with roasted corn, black beans, organic Roma tomatoes, sweet onions and pepper jack cheese, but discovered in the process that it’d be better just to roll the whole puppy up, burrito-stylie.  And so was born the Roasted Poblano Pepper Farmer’s Market Burrito!  The POBLITO!  The PPB!  The Chilito Pobluscious!  Ah, forget it.  Just come with me, already…

Serves: 2

Small, sharp knife
Toaster Oven/Broiler
Small frying pan
Small bowl
Baking tin

2 poblano peppers
1 ear corn
1 Roma tomato
4 spoonfuls black beans, rinsed and strained
1 slice sweet onion
Pepper jack cheese
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
Olive oil
1 pat butter
Kosher salt/pepper
1 squirt lemon juice
Topping: sour cream, avocado (optional)

Okay, so this one’s a little more high-maintenance than some of the others, but only because there are four separate steps: we roast the pepper, we roast the corn, we stir the veggies together, then we BAKE.  Not so hard, right?  And you can even prep the peppers in advance and put them in the fridge if you want.

So our first step comes courtesy of blog babe Meryl and her cool blog I just found today called Inspired Bites.  Meryl told me (through her blog) that all you need is a toaster oven!  Seriously, just place your poblanos on the toaster tray, turn the heat up all the way to broil, and let ‘er rip for about twenty minutes!  Who knew it was so easy?  (“Easy peasy!” says Meryl.)  You want to keep an eye on it and turn it twice during the process to make sure all the sides get blackened.  When it’s done it looks like this:

a little blurry, but you get the idea...

a little blurry, but you get the idea...

Just let it cool completely, and then peel the skin off with your fingers:

If only we could do this with our own skin, eh?

If only we could do this with our own skin, eh?

And that’s your roasted pepper, finished!

While the pepper is broiling and then cooling, you can also be prepping your roasted corn.  We’re going to shave the kernels off the cob, and then throw them in a frying pan with butter and salt until they brown.  (I mean, please, what could be better?)  BUT FIRST!  I must share a new TIP with you, because after a couple years of chasing corn kernels around the kitchen – those suckers’ll ROLL, baby, let me tell you – today I finally came up with a new method.  Lay the ear of corn down on your cutting board, hold a little knife flat, and slowly – SLOWLY, PEOPLE – work it across, lifting the kernels up without (hopefully without) popping them out.  Like this:

Gently, gently, no sudden movements...

Gently, gently, no sudden movements...

The loose kernels will still sit on the cob itself, until you finish a row and dump it onto your cutting board.  It’s a painstaking process, but so worth it.  (If I find one more renegade corn kernel under my feet on the kitchen floor, I’m gonna scream.)



Place a small pat of butter in your little frying pan and melt it on medium heat.  Add the corn and sprinkle some kosher salt, stirring it to coat all the corn with the butter.  You want to get the corn just a little bit browned, about ten minutes, stirring occasionally to get all sides and all kernels.


Again with the blurriness - good thing Punky is a Chef and not a Photographer...

Well done!  That’s Steps 1 and 2 FINISHED.  See?  This isn’t so bad.  The rest is EASY.  First preheat your oven to 425º.  Now just chop up your Roma tomato, rinse and drain your black beans, and chop up one slice from an onion.  (See the TIPS page for onion chopping tips.)  Throw all of this in a bowl with the corn and add 1/4 teaspoon chili powder (a little goes a LONG way, trust me on this), a pinch of kosher salt, some pepper, and a squirt of lemon juice.  (I know I should get my lemons at the Farmer’s Market, but they go bad too fast, so I just buy those cheesy plastic doo-hickeys from the grocery store… Even Punky ain’t perfect, people.)  Stir it up with a fork.

AGAIN with the blurriness.  Jeez, Punky.  Hold it together, girl.

AGAIN with the blurriness. Jeez, Punky. Hold it together, girl.

And now we slice, layer, and roll!  Run your small knife down one side of the poblano peppers, and then carefully cut out the tops and all the seeds.

Note the skin peeled off in the corner.  And just give yourself over to the sliminess of this particular step.  That's why we rinse our fingers, friends.

Note the peeled skin off in the corner. And just give yourself over to the sliminess of this particular step. That's why we rinse our fingers, friends.

Pour just enough olive oil in the pan to cover the bottom and lay the flayed peppers out.  (You might have to do this one at a time for space.)  Slice your pepper jack cheese thinly and lay it over the flayed peppers.

Do you feel a little violated looking at this?  Somebody cover them up!

Do you feel a little violated looking at this? Somebody cover them up!

Fork out the veg mixture and cover all the cheese.  AND NOW WE ROLL!  Well, it’s more of a fold, actually – I don’t think you’ll get more than a single layer – poblano peppers aren’t that big.  (So maybe I should’ve called this the Roasted Poblano Pepper Farmer’s Market Omelet?)  (Nah.)  A tip for the folding: I found it worked better to roll it from the bottom to the top, rather than from side-to-side vertically.  Does this make sense?  It just gave me a wider area to work with.

Pour a little olive oil in the pan and mushel it around to cover the surface, so the burritos (porrbitos? poblitos?) don’t stick, and gently place your masterpieces in the center.

Ready for the oven!

Ready for the oven!

Mmmmm.  I miss it already.  And just let those extra bits hang out in the pan – we’re going to use them as a colorful garnish on our plate.  Bake the whole enchilada (ahem, burrito) for 10 to 15 minutes, or until you can see the cheese oozing slightly.  When they’re ready, place on a plate and, if you like, add a dollop (the greatest word EVER, btw) of sour cream, and then with your fork, “sprinkle” the rest of the veg mixture from the pan along the top of the peppers, giving them that great colorful SPARK.  Add a couple slices of bright avocado, and…




Prepare your ears for the compliments you’ll be getting on this one.  (This is why we make two at a time – so we have one for a friend and can then sit back and listen as they worship us.)  The greatest thing is that it’s like a veggie burrito and a chile relleno all in one!  And it’s slimming because we don’t have the starchy tortilla, breading, or the rice.  It’s also incredibly flavorful, as the zingy poblano mixes with the sweet and salty corn, the acid of the tomatoes mixes with the sharpness of the pepper jack, and the snap of the pepper’s texture contrasts with the smoothness of the black beans.  Oh… such fabulousness.  Poblito, we have done you proud!

And of course the other greatest thing about this meal is that almost ALL of it comes from the Farmer’s Market.  The poblano peppers, the Roma tomatoes, the onion, the corn, the avocado, and even the CHEESE.  How great is THAT?

After a few bites, I found that the tang of the sour cream was overwhelming the zing of the poblano pepper, and I didn’t want those two flavors competing, so I just scraped the rest of the sour cream off.  Maybe try it both ways?  I love the color of the bright white sour cream against the red, green, purple and yellow of everything else, but I have to be honest, the flavor of it didn’t really work for me.  (And when I make this again, I’ll take a picture without the sour cream and possibly even revise history by coming back to this post and changing all of it.  It’ll be like the sour cream NEVER happened.  Creepy.  And punky.)

So congratulations, my punky friends!  You have now been initiated into a whole new world… and it’s POBLASTICALLY PEPPTASTIC!


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Ms Pink said,

    Ok – so YUM!
    I’m making these tonight…or at least a version of them since I don’t exactly have everything 🙂

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