One of my all time favorite Mexican foods is Rajas – mild Poblano peppers, roasted, cut in strips and in the case of “con Crema” simmered for a few minutes in cream. Often served with cheese mixed in, they can be rich or can be served simply, as shown below.
Rajas lend themselves to riffing – here I’ve used a beautiful mixture of peppers and a bit of sweet potato and served them in taco shells, but they can be burritos or added to burritos, smother a steak or be served in a baked potato or baked sweet potato.
Many other additions can be made to this dish: it’s not uncommon to hear of Rajas with corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes and/or squash. Additional ingredients are generally cooked first, then added in with the peppers. As a matter of fact, that makes this a dish that would be a great way to use up a few left overs if you have them in the fridge.
Rajas can be finished and served in many ways, too. They can have a lot of cheesy goodness or a judicious sprinkle. They may be sprinkled with pepitas, pumpkin seeds, cilantro and have the whole range of toppings. Rajas can be an appetizer, a topping or condiment (traditionally on skirt or flank steak, but lately I’ve been seeing them topping burgers), but here is my favorite way to serve: as a taco.
- 2 Poblano peppers
- 2 Bell Peppers
- 1 Jalapeno
- 1 pound sweet potatoes (approximately)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 red onion
- 1/2 teaspoon (to taste) oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup cream
- 8 – 12 small flour tortillas
- optional toppings: crema or sour cream, cheese (Mexican, Jack or Colby), cilantro, salsa, lime, etc.
Preheat the broiler. Place the peppers on a baking sheet covered with foil and broil until the skin is blistered and just charred, turning to cook on all sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Place the charred peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the skin.
Be careful not to over char your peppers or they will be overcooked and easily fall apart. The timing is going to vary depending on your broiler. Also don’t leave them too long covered, as they will still continue to cook and you’ll have the same problem. You can char on the grill, on the burner of a gas stove or with a torch, too.
Open peppers, remove seeds, stem and ribs and discard. Turn the peppers over and flatten them out, peel the blistered skin off the peppers. Slice into 1/4 inch slices.
Peel sweet potatoes, cut into 3/4 inch dice, place in a microwave safe bowl. Add about 1/4 cup water, cover with plastic wrap and cook for about 5 minutes until potatoes are soft but still slightly firm.
Heat oil in a large skillet, add onion and saute until softened. Add potatoes and continue to cook until the onions are slightly browned and the potatoes pick up a bit of color. Add peppers, oregano and cream and cook for a moment or two longer until the cream has thickened and coats the rest of ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste.
Cheese can be added as a garnish or if you’d like, cheese may be added right into the hot rajas. Garnish as you wish.
from the kitchen of www.frugalhausfrau.com