Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Rajas Con Queso

Guys. GUYS. If you're one of those people who relishes an scorching sunburn for the sweet satisfaction you get peeling it - have I got a recipe for you. I went into the process of making this dish not knowing too much about it, other than the fact that it was structured around the poblano pepper. I'd seen poblano peppers at the specialty grocery store in town, so I did a little research and found a recipe that would make them sing: Raja Con Queso (aka veggie strips in a boatload of dairy).

To prep the peppers for this dish, you need to broil them until the skin gets black and bubbly (pro tip: brush them with vegetable oil to get the skin extra bubbly). Right before you throw them in the sauce, you've got to peel away the blackened skin - which was so much like peeling a sunburn I got a weird shudder of satisfaction and there's no need to judge I get how weird that is.

The dish itself was good, but here in Canada we don't often have queso fresco, so I subbed in goat cheese which was a little too tart. I'd recommend cutting it with something milder like mozzarella or ricotta. With these warnings in place, let's get cooking!

Rajas Con Queso Recipe

Serves: 15 tacos                         Prep Time: 5 min                         Cook Time: 30 min

5 Poblano peppers
1 White onion
4 Garlic cloves
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup queso fresco (or half goat cheese, half mozzarella)

Corn tortillas
Salsa Verde

Fire It Up

Place the top oven rack as close to the broiler as possible (1-2 inches) and preheat the oven to broil. Place the poblano peppers on an aluminium-covered baking sheet and lightly coat each with vegetable oil. Put the peppers in the oven for about 3-5 minutes each side or until peppers look blackened. As soon as you take the peppers out, place them in a large ziplock bag lined with paper towel and seal. Let sit for 10 minutes.

Saute It

While the peppers sit, heat vegetable oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high. Chop onion into thin rings and then cut rings in half. Dice garlic. Add the onions to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes before adding garlic. Turn the heat down to low-medium and saute until onions are translucent, then add sour cream.

Finish It

Remove the peppers from the ziplock bag and peel the skin off (best part). Remove the stems and cut each in half to scoop out the seeds. Cut peppers into long, thin strips (rajas) and add to the skillet. Add queso fresco and stir until melted.

Serve It

Scoop a generous helping into a warm corn tortilla and top with cilantro (option to add salsa, as these tacos are not very spicy).

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