Rajas con Crema (Poblanos with Crema)
To make rajas poblanas con crema, a Mexican favorite that features tender strips of roasted chiles and sliced onion cooked with crema, we started by broiling poblanos until they were completely charred and then wrapping them in foil to steam. This imbued the chiles with smoky flavor and made them easy to peel. White onion gently cooked in butter added a bit of sweetness, and garlic contributed savoriness. Just under a cup of Mexican crema made the dish creamy, lightly salty, and tangy and balanced the mild heat of the poblanos without overpowering them.
1 pound (3 to 4) poblano chiles, stemmed, halved, and seeded
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1⁄2 white onion, sliced through root end 1⁄4 inch thick *** I used thinly sliced shallots
2 garlic cloves, minced
1⁄2 teaspoon table salt
1⁄4 teaspoon pepper
3⁄4 cup Mexican crema
* Cooking times will vary depending on the broiler, so watch the chiles carefully. Mexican crema (or crema mexicana) can be found in the dairy section of the grocer store If you don't have Crema, substitute with heavy cream.
*** Poblanos were fully cooked when peeled, so don't over cook in the final assembly
Rajas con crema is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed alongside grilled meat or fish, rice, or beans or as a filling for tacos or quesadillas.
1- Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Arrange poblanos skin side up on prepared sheet and press to flatten. Adjust oven rack 3 to 4 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Broil until skin is puffed and most of surface is well charred, 5 to 10 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through broiling.
2- Using tongs, pile poblanos in center of foil. Gather foil over poblanos and crimp to form pouch. Let steam for 10 minutes. Open foil packet carefully and spread out poblanos. When cool enough to handle, peel poblanos (it's OK if some bits of skin remain intact) and discard skins. Slice lengthwise into 1⁄2-inch-thick strips. (Rajas can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)
3- Melt butter in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion has softened and edges are just starting to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add rajas, salt, and pepper and cook until warmed through, about 1 minute. Add crema and cook, stirring gently but frequently, until crema has thickened and clings to vegetables, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve immediately.