Comfort Food: Potato & Poblano Pepper Gratin ♥

Not quick nor pretty but deliciousSo when you're Too Busy to Cook, do you spend an hour making just a side dish? And then wait another hour waiting til it's ready for the table? AND use a a sinkful of dishes, a big pot, a skillet, a food processor and a baking dish? Of course not. (But I do rely on Kitchen Parade's collection of Quick Suppers.)

So when this wonderful scalloped potato dish was featured in Bon Appetit's
'Too Busy to Cook'
reader recipes, I had to chuckle. And then I picked up some poblano peppers and made it straight-away. Quick it's not and pretty it isn't -- but delicious it is. It is a great idea for a St. Patrick's Day feast on Saturday? I think so! So are these other recipes ideas for St. Patrick's Day festivities!

  • use the full quantity of peppers since poblanos are quite mild; I was half short on peppers, only enough to create a smoky background.
  • heed the instructions for salt since the Gruyere didn't provide as much saltiness as thought
  • cut the potatoes thinner
  • use a big-enough pan; even with only part of the poblano cream, it spilled over into the oven
  • finish under the broiler for a more appealing presentation

For other vegetable casseroles, hot dishes and gratins, see this section in the Recipe Box.

Too Many Chefs Poblano Rice Cakes
Coconut & LimePoblano Peppers Stuffed with Chicken
Albion Cooks Cheese & Poblano Quesadilla with Black Beans and Sweet Potato Stew

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Hands-on time: 60 minutes (over the course of about 70)
Time to table: 2 1/4 hours
Serves 8

Salted water to cover
1 1/2 pounds red-skinned potatoes, skins on, left whole but imperfections removed
Salt & pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups diced poblano chiles (from about 8 small chiles, stems, inner membranes and seeds removed, I used a generous cup but recommend the full two cups)
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup cream (oh my, yes ... )
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon garlic
Salt & pepper to taste

1/3 pound Gruyere, grated
Salt & pepper

Bring the water to a boil, adding potatoes as they're prepped. Cover and cook at a medium boil until fully cooked (a knife will slip in and out easily). Drain into a colander. Let cool (I skipped this step which I think made it harder to cut thin and even slices). Peel, then slice thin.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil til shimmery. Add the peppers and onion and saute until soft, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and process til smooth, as much as you can. Add a splash of the cream, and continue processing until smooth. Then add rest of cream, the milk and garlic but only give it a quick whirl, you're not trying to whip. SEASON.

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a baking dish. Spread bottom with about 1/4 cup of the poblano sauce. Arrange a layer of potatoes. SEASON. Top with just enough sauce to cover. Cover with half the cheese. Arrange a second layer of potatoes. SEASON. Top with more sauce to cover (if there's some leftover, I would probably save for something else, the full amount may be too much). Top with remaining cheese. Bake for about 45 minutes or until bubbly and beginning to brown on top. If needed, place under broiler to finish browning. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes to thicken before serving.

A Veggie Venture is home of the Veggie Evangelist Alanna Kellogg and vegetable inspiration from Asparagus to Zucchini. © Copyright 2007
Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Alanna, I love poblanos, and they're available year-round in my local (rural Rhode Island) supermarket, so I have no excuse for not making this dish. Poblanos, potatoes and gruyere sound like a great combo.

  2. that looks so good...a cup of cream (scream!).

  3. This sounds fabulous. And if you say Poblanos are mild, I'll use the full amount. :)

  4. Lydia ~ I'll look for your report soon then ;-)

    Bee ~ wonderful

    Catherine ~ no kidding

    Rachel ~ Thanks!!

    Sher ~ Quick, get the salts!

    Lady ~ I do! But since both tastes and the peppers themselves vary, start with half the amount to see how they work for you.

    As always, thanks for stopping by. I know we do looooooooove our rich vegetables. Good thing they're occasional indulgences.

  5. this is mouthwatering, homestyle goodness! the calorie count on this isn't that bad either. i can't wait to try it. lovely photograph.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna