Prep 15 mins Cook 15 mins Assemble 3 mins Eat 33 mins
This is no ordinary potato salad! Add some charred chiles – Anaheim, Hatch, Pasilla or Poblano and a jalapeno and you have some mild fireworks going on in your mouth! The chiles are toned down by the milky corn and Mexican crema sauce. The balance between all the flavors is captivating and anything but the same old boring potato salad. The combination is downright delicious and I encourage you to make this for your next cookout.
This recipe from Salads: Beyond the Bowl by Mindy Fox was a hit in our Main Dish Salads cooking class. I never had the opportunity to meet Mindy at our New York office, but we both worked at La Cucina Italiana magazine until the U.S. edition was shuttered. The recipes in La Cucina Italiana under her direction were always inventive and so I was glad to find her book loaded with some very creative salad recipes like the Potato Salad with Charred Poblano Peppers, Sweet Corn and Crema.
The small Yukon Gold potatoes like Melissa’s Dutch Yellow Potatoes make this recipe more delicious and much easier, since you don’t peel the potatoes. I made it with the larger brown peeled Idaho potatoes on one occasion, but the taste was not as creamy. To make the potatoes in a flash, cut the small potatoes in half so they are near bite size and similar in size and cook in a wide pot of salted water until fork tender. At the same time, place the chiles on the grill to char them. I used Anaheim chiles. Mindy used Poblano chiles and feel free to try mild Hatch from Hatch, New Mexico (available in August) or Pasilla chiles – whatever is available. Watch the grill and turn the chiles until all sides are semi-blackened. Immediately place them into a plastic bag to steam for at least 15 minutes, longer is better. To learn how to roast chile peppers, click here. Once they are steamed, the skin pulls off easily and you will remove the seeds and stems and dice the large chiles and mince the jalapeno.
While the potatoes and chiles are cooking, strip the corn from the cob with a corn stripper or a sharp Chef’s knife.
Immediately cook the onion and corn in a skillet, adding in the garlic and minced jalapeno at the end. The minced jalapeno can be added with the onion and corn if you prefer not to roast it on the grill.
Once the potatoes are drained and cooled, assemble the vegetables together. Place the potatoes, diced chiles and corn mixture in a serving bowl.
Mexican crema, which is a thin sour cream is the base of the sauce that binds everything together along with lime juice, cumin and salt. I can easily find it in the market here in Southern California, but Mindy suggests mixing sour cream and plain yogurt together if you can’t get the Mexican crema in your area. Cacique is one of the major brands, and my store carries about six brands of crema. Mix the crema mixture together to have ready for the grand finale.
For the grand finale, pour the crema mixture together along with some chopped cilantro over the vegetables and mix gently to combine. Garnish with additional cilantro sprigs. Now get ready for the fireworks!
Potato Salad with Charred Chiles and Corn
2 pounds small Yukon Gold potatoes (1 1/2″ to 2″ in diameter)
2 large Anaheim chiles (or Poblano, Hatch or Pasilla)
1 medium jalapeno chile
2 Tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
3 ears fresh corn, cut from the cob
1 medium red or white onion, diced
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup Mexican crema or 1/4 cup sour cream + 3 Tablespoons plain whole milk yogurt
1 1/2 Tablespoons lime juice
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt to taste
1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
1. To make the potatoes in a flash, cut the small potatoes in half so they are near bite size and similar in size and bring to a boil in a wide pot of salted water until fork tender. They will cook in about 10 minutes. Do not overcook. Drain and let cool.
2. At the same time, place chiles and jalapeno on a grill to char them. Watch the grill and turn the chiles until all sides are semi-blackened. Immediately place them into a plastic bag to steam for at least 15 minutes, longer is better. Once they are steamed, the skin pulls off easily and you will remove the seeds and stems and dice the large chiles and mince the jalapeno.
3. While the potatoes and chiles are cooking, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the cut corn and onion, reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently for 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cook for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and let cool. Add the minced jalapeno to the mixture when ready and stir together.
4. Once the potatoes are drained and cooled, assemble the vegetables together…the potatoes, diced chiles and corn mixture in a serving bowl.
5. In a small bowl, stir together the Mexican crema or sour cream and yogurt along with the lime juice, cumin and salt to taste. When ready to serve, add this mixture to the assembled vegetables along with the cilantro and gently stir. Garnish with some cilantro sprigs.
Servings: 6 – 279 calories per serving