This recipe, if followed as written, will feed 4-6 people until they can’t move. You could probably shrink the proportions and make a smaller amount, but it’s very tasty and a major pain in the ass to make so cook up a lot at once then don’t think about it for a while.
6 good-sized poblano peppers
1 jar of Mexican crema. The one I get is prolly 540ml or so.
1 can of diced chilies
1 can (or 1 cob) of corn (not creamed), drained. If you want to be super fancy, get a bag of Trader Joe’s frozen Mexican street corn and use it thawed. Feel free to also thaw the sauce pucks and throw them in to add extra flavours to your dish.
1 small white onion, cut into strips
Corn tortillas. Seriously, don’t use flour tortillas. You need corn for this.
MANY CHEESES. Get creative. My favourites to use include Monterey Jack, Cojita, Asadero, Oxaca – basically, anything you can get at an authentic Mexican or Spanish store. You can also use cream cheese for additional creaminess, but I am not a fan.
Diced chicken. I usually get a roast chicken from the grocery store, but you could use cooked chicken breast or chorizo or not use any kind of meat at all.
One (1) chicken bullion. I use a heaping teaspoon of this stuff, but a cube or powder-based one will work too. If you’re going for vegetarian, use a veggie bullion.
Some sort of pan lubricant x2
You need to char and peel those peppers. It is going to be a catastrophic pain in the ass, but it’ll be worth it. Using a BBQ or a gas stove or a blow torch, place the peppers directly on some sort of fire. Turn them with tongs until the entire pepper is charred black, but the pepper is still firm. This is important: don’t overcook the peppers, you just want to burn all the skin off. When you have the pepper crispy black, place it in a large bowl and cover it with a plate. Continue until all your peppers are charred and in the covered bowl.
While your peppers steam a bit, slice up your onion and cheeses. Don’t worry about shredding the cheese, just cut it into pieces small enough to melt. Set it all aside.
Grab your steamy pepper bowl, and while wearing gloves (or bare-handed, idc) strip as much of the charred skin off the peppers as you can. Don’t rinse them in the sink for this, as you’ll wash off all the flavour juices. Once most of the skin has been removed, slice the peppers into strips and discard the core and seeds. This is a messy, slimy job. I hate it.
In a large sauté pan, heat up one lubricant and toss in your onions. Cook over medium heat until soft. Add your poblano strips and protein and cook for a few minutes. Sprinkle liberally with black pepper and stir in your bullion.
Add crema. Start with about half the jar, and plan to add more whenever things aren’t saucy enough. Add the corn and diced chilies, then start throwing cheese in like your life depends on it. Add more crema and stir the whole mess as it cooks.
Get a clean pan and very lightly lubricate it up (I use PAM for this). Turn the heat on medium-low and put as many corn tortillas in the pan as it’ll hold. The goal here is to just warm the tortillas up a bit so they’re floppy and delicious. I use my hands and flip the tortillas once while cooking, then transfer them to a tortilla holder because that’s a thing I own. Stack ’em up on a plate for communal eating.
Scoop the rajas con crema into a bowl and serve with the warm tortillas. Top each taco with your favourite salsas and hot sauces (we use a super fresh pico de gallo and a jalapeño El Yucateco sauce) and cilantro unless you’re one of those people who think it tastes like soap. Pickled cabbage would be good here. Go to town. It’s a delicious place.
One of my favourite dishes from La Taqueria in Vancouver has always been the rajas con crema. It’s one of the few things I haven’t found a suitable replacement for way out here in Suburbia, so I ran through a few test runs before I came up with .. not a perfect recreation, but definitely a delicious one. This dish is kinda complicated to make, because it comes together extremely quickly when actually cooking but the charring and peeling of the peppers is somewhat of a nightmare. The fact that I make this dish as often as I do is testament to deliciousness, because I am a very lazy person at heart yet I will still do every annoying step needed to make something that ends up feeding us for several days in a row.
Poblano peppers are really mild, so this is not a spicy dish. If you like spicy, you can add pickled jalapeños or hot sauce(s). It’s also not the most attractive dish in the world, but it is REALLY FRICKIN’ GOOD so I think it’s worth making. It’s hearty, creamy, ever-so-slightly spicy, sweet, and tangy all at once and everyone will be extremely impressed with you and offer you baronets and shit. There will be a NetFlix special, but hold out for Disney+. You can swear there now.
Also, if you’re in the Vancouver area, you can get the crema, chilies, and hot sauces at Los Guerreros on Kingsway or in Langely. It’s a tiny place, but they’ve got an awesome selection of Mexican groceries. We go once a week or so to stock up on their pico de gallo, which I go through by the bucket. Super affordable, crazy delicious, and really authentic if you’re into that sort of thing. You can also swap out the crema for sour cream if you really want, but it’s such a nice touch that I encourage you to go balls out on the Mexican ingredients.
One thought on “rajas con crema”
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