As a California native, I’ve been lucky to have access to some amazing, authentic Mexican food. While I appreciate the craft that goes into a handmade tamale, and hours of work it takes to make a magnificent mole, sometimes the gratification you get from food at an inauthentic “Mexican” restaurant is just as satisfying. If you’ve ever been to a Chevy’s restaurant, you know what I’m talking about. That pile of dense, moist, cornbread that they named “tomalito” is one of my favorite culinary inventions of all time. “Tomalito” doesn’t show up in any Spanish online dictionary, but my sister (minoring in Spanish at UC Davis) told me that it could mean “little tamale”. Whatever it is, it’s delicious – dense, moist, sweet, bursting with corn flavor in every bite. When our local Chevy’s went out of business, my family was devastated. How would we get our tomalito fix? Years later, I set forth to create a recipe similar to this famous ~tomalito~ but make it even better by stuffing it in a poblano pepper.
Tomalito Stuffed Poblanos
Position a rack on the top level of oven and set oven broil to high. Place the poblanos on the rack and roast for a few minutes on each side, until the skin starts to blister. Remove from the oven and reset temperature to 350.
Cut a T-shape in the poblanos with the top of the T towards the stem. Open the pepper and remove the seeds and ribs. Place peppers on a roasting tray.
Blend the corn kernels and milk in a blender until a smooth consistency forms. In a bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix thoroughly to combine. Stir in the blended corn mixture. Gently mix in the cornmeal, baking powder, and salt, making sure there are no lumps.
Spoon the corn mixture into the poblanos, making sure they are evenly distributed. Bake for 45 minutes or until the corn mixture is set. Serve with queso fresco and salsa verde, if desired.