I love spicy food, and I especially crave the heat of chile peppers in the summertime, when Midwest gardens are overflowing with jalapeños, Fresnos, serranos and more. Here we’re focusing on poblanos; the smoky flavor you get from charring them paired with the sweetness of the corn and creaminess of the potatoes makes for one of my favorite taco fillings. A good poblano should have a little heat to it, but not too much.
Often, the same chiles can have varying degrees of heat based on where in the world they were grown, soil conditions and age. To reduce their spiciness, remove all seeds and ribs. You can also soak chile peppers in a blend of one part vinegar and three parts water for 30 minutes to an hour to reduce their heat. If you’re a pepper head like me, though, you’ll appreciate the heat poblanos add to these tacos.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
On a gas grill cooktop or outdoor grill, set peppers directly over open flame, turning with tongs to evenly char on all sides. Place charred peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside.
In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add onion and season with a pinch of salt and pepper; stir occasionally and cook until caramelized, 10 minutes. Transfer onions to a small bowl and set aside.
Wrap tortillas in aluminum foil and warm in oven for 15 minutes. Keep wrapped in aluminum foil until ready to assemble tacos.
In the same skillet over medium heat, heat remaining oil. Add potato and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir occasionally and cook until softened, 10 minutes.
While potatoes are cooking, remove plastic wrap from poblanos. Using either a butter knife or your fingers, remove charred outer skin. Rinse peppers, remove stems and scoop out and discard seeds. Cut poblanos into long strips and set aside.
In the skillet with potatoes, add cooked onions and poblanos, plus garlic and corn and cook for 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Add heavy cream and cook 3 to 5 minutes more, until cream has almost fully reduced. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Unwrap tortillas from aluminum foil. Divide poblano-corn-potato filling between 12 tortillas and top each with cotija cheese and cilantro. Serve.