Monday, September 2, 2013
Rajas con Crema
One of the food items I miss the most from Mexico, aside from avocados which are number one, are Chiles Poblanos. We use them in so many dishes: corn soup, chiles rellenos, chiles en nogada, dried as chile anchos... Unfortunately they are quite difficult to find outside of Mexico (though I think they are not uncommon in the US). On Saturday we went to visit a friend in Lelystad (a city north of Amsterdam) and just by coincidence I found out that the girls from Mexicaanse Winkel would be there at a small market, so of course we wanted to see what they had. I was expecting canned and dried goods so imagine my surprise when I saw they had fresh chiles poblanos! We immediately bought half a kilo. And so, yesterday I decided to make one of my favorite dishes, rajas con crema, stripes of smoked poblano pepper with corn, potato and cream. You can use it as a filling for tacos or as a side dish... it is delicious with rice and grilled meat or chicken.
What you need
0.5 kg poblano peppers (I had 7 chiles)
1 cup corn kernels (if you can get them natural, that's ideal, I used a can).
1 cup diced potatoes
250 ml cream
salt and pepper
butter / oil
What to do
The first step is to roast the peppers, the easiest way to do this is directly on the flame, but if you have an electrical stove, this can be done in the oven, using the broiler and regularly turning the chiles. You want the chiles to develop blisters and become almost fully black, while still staying a bit firm. Once your chiles are roasted, put them together in a plastic back for about 20 minutes, to let them "sweat" and cool down. After this time, check if they are cool enough to be handled without burning your fingers. Peel the chiles (the skin should come off really easily), trying to get rid of all the blackened parts, then open them and get rid of the seeds and veins. If you don't do this your rajas will be extremely spicy, but maybe you like them so.
Once they are de-seeded and de-veined, cut them in stripes. Our chiles were actually very very hot so I soaked them in water with 1 tsp. vinegar and 1 tsp sugar for 10 minutes or so, but this is normally not necessary.Next cut your onion in long slices / semicircles and heat a large pan. Add a mix of oil and butter and sautée your onions until translucent, watching closely so that they don't brown. Add the diced potatoes and cook until they are almost done. Next add the poblano pepper stripes and season with salt and pepper. When the potatoes are cooked add the cream and the corn kernels and cook everything together until thick and creamy. Enjoy!