This is a great appetizer for company. With Rajas Poblanas you mix the earthy flavor of Poblano chiles with smooth Crema Mexicana.
Once you make it you’ll see that it resembles the Texas Mexican Chile con Queso. Both combine chiles with cream and cheese for contrast in both taste and mouth feel.
This is yet another example of how the Texas Mexican regional cuisine developed simultaneously alongside the other regional cuisines of Mexico.
In the Mexican constitution of 1824, the republic of
Mexico included “Coahuila y Texas” as one state, as you can see on the map. (1) It extended
far North and South of the Rio Grande river which at that time was used in the region for transportation and irrigation.
I sometimes like to serve both Rajas Poblanas and Chile con Queso side by side to savor the nice, interesting differences.
Recipe(serves 6 as appetizer)
1 White onion, sliced into 1/4″strips
1 Tbsp Canola oil
3/4 cup Crema Mexicana (use creme fraiche if you don’t have Crema Mexicana)
1/2 cup Panela cheese
Salt to taste
1. Place the chiles under a broiler or on a comal and keep turning them until the skin is completely blistered and just a little charred. Place in a paper or plastic bag for several minutes so that the steam loosens the skin, and then remove the skin, seeds and veins. Slice the chiles into 1/2″ wide strips.
2. Peel and slice the onion into 1/4″ wide strips.
3. Cube the Panela cheese into 1/2″cubes
4. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat, add the onions and sauté until they soften.
5. Keeping the heat on medium or low, add the chiles and the Crema Mexicana and heat them thoroughly.
6. Add the Panela cubes and stir gently.
7. Season with salt.
Serve the Rajas with hot corn tortillas, of course. Warning: You may uncontrollably crave a margarita!
(1) Map used by permission of the University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin.